9/22/14

Teaching to do better is not about teaching what is wrong.



You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.*
Winston Churchill
* It could also mean you’re an asshole.

So many articles and posts online are based on the idea of telling people what they are doing wrong. And it’s our ability to call out what is wrong what makes us better people. Even our very system is created around the idea of punishing people for their wrongdoings. And after being guilty of doing the same, I have realized that this is wrong.

There is no shortage of people willing to tell you what you do is wrong, what you believe is wrong. That’s not empathy, nor is it education. It’s simply shaming people into doing what you want. And even if what you want is right, they only learn that what they are doing is wrong. And that is if they learn it at all.

Empathy is the core to achieve harmony and equality. But how can you achieve empathy when you are unwilling to even understand why others behave how they do? To understand them? To show them why you behave how you do?

We assume that they understand that what they are doing is wrong, that they will learn from their mistakes. Yet we are unwilling to do anything else other than pointing at people’s flaws. You aren’t helping the person; you just want to punish them for not being in your clique. This is not about teaching someone to become a better person. This is about control. And the only lesson anyone learns in this kind of situation is to be able to hide their actions better, to try to avoid getting caught.

Instead, teach people to be better. Teach them another way; by word, by action, and by example. Show them WHY this is a better way, and not why their way is wrong. The end result is not someone trying to avoid punishment, but a person wanting to strive for more.