At first, I felt good and proud as I noted all the 9’s and 10’s in the students’ evaluation of my proficiency as a teacher. Out of a scale of 10, I realized that many students had enjoyed my class, that is, until I came across ONE evaluation where a student gave me a 4. At that moment, my heart just sank! “A FOUR?! WHY?,” were my thoughts. Then instantaneously, I forgot about all the 9’s and 10’s from the other students and focus on this one student. I felt like a failure, that I had been a terrible teacher, all because of this one student’s evaluation.
I started to pace around wondering why this one evaluation bothered me so much. Could it be because of inferiority, that I believe all the other students were trying to be nice and gave me a 9 or 10, and this one was being honest and gave me a 4? Could it be because of insecurity, that I wanted everybody to like and respect me, and to think that one student did not bother me to no end? But whatever the reason was, I know one thing for sure. We tend to be a people of negativity. We mostly focus on the one negative instead of all the positives around us. We criticize more than we compliment.
We need to be positive people and not negative naggers. This take a lot of work because it goes against what we have been condition when we were young. I like what one family did when I visited them at their home. During supper, the entire family would mention one negative thing that happened to them that day, then they countered that by mentioning two positive things that occurred, and finally, they shared their goal for the next day. That is some positive reinforcement!
Everybody is attracted to positive people, people who have joy. So instead of looking at who isn’t serving and complaining, I look at who is serving and compliment. Instead of looking at who isn’t here and criticize, I look at who is here and celebrate. It is easy to look at negative things and make people feel bad. But it takes a lot of strength to look at the positive things and challenge people to excel.
Long Le, Pastor