Wednesday, September 7, 2011

(Iron Fist Sold Separately): Welcoming environments

The first professional development I'll be giving (when I talk about The Boat) is tomorrow. Last night I wrote up some things I'll be saying to go along with the morning script, which was given to us but needs to be embellished a bit. I get to talk about two "principles" to mindfulness with patron interaction-- one is relating to a feeling powerlessness and another is creating welcoming environments.

Powerlessness: The script says to talk about "last week" when I saw a mom and kid in the grocery store: "I was the grocery store a few weeks ago. A woman had two toddlers and was talking out loud. She said, 'James, it is not my fault that you did not take your nap. I'm tired and I need one, too!'
We all have this happen, this powerlessness. People are doing the best they can with what they have!
We need to have compassion and understanding. We don't need to know the whole scenario, but it helps to remember."

A mean looking baby. Text says "you nap when I say"
Now, this is a fine story. But it didn't really happen to me, or to anyone I witnessed. I figured this was disingenuous,  and that the principle of "powerlessness" isn't about an objective understanding of the idea of powerlessness and more about recalling (probably hurtful) memories of times that we have felt powerless in order to empathize properly.
Here is what I am going to add. This is a true story: