Two dear friends (family for sure) enjoyed my last paper, but want me to write my thoughts down as they relate to my “philosophy towards life and living.” On their behalf, I’ll try.
It was 1951 when Lenette approached my table (work job fair at UCLA ). She asked questions and I asked questions and in the process I fell in love with her. Within minutes I knew this is the girl I wanted to marry. She left the interview with a promise to return after canceling her job with the YMCA as a swimming instructor. During this time she met two of her girlfriends and told them about me and the jobs I was looking to fill. She also mentioned that “his philosophy is awesome and, by the way, he’s the guy I’m going to marry.” It’s the truth!
I have never thought philosophically about my approach to working with children, I just did the best I could at all times and in all situations and wanted and demanded this of those that I worked with. I would hold numerous training sessions discussing what apparently had to be my philosophy, but always emphasizing the pragmatic essentials. For sure I was not theoretical in any sense that I was aware of, but “hands on” practical. I was a carpenter not a professor.
When an undergraduate and graduate student in my psych classes I remember having issues with my professors over what was being taught and what I knewworked. Experience, working with coworkers, parents and children, always had greater influence on me than what was being taught in the class room. As a practitioner in the field I know we (my staff and I) did an excellent job. Kids and parents were the recipients and the messengers. Also, and without question, staff and children ages 4 to 16 played the biggest hand in what I became and the philosophy’s evolution. Influence was never one way.
The “children phase” finished I was thought by professionals and entrepreneurs around the country to be able to solve their problems with staff communication and behavior. In the process of working to “better” staff relationships and productivity I discovered that the real problem is the leader. This led to my heavy duty studying anything and everything relative to Leadership, power and influence. It was here (the 70’s) that I discovered that I did have a philosophy.
In general, my philosophy when in relationship: Respect the other, bein the present, listen, work hard to understand, seek clarification if necessary and confirm what you think you hear being said. Agree or disagree, honesty is essential. Have the courage to be candid in response. And finally, be what you say and teach.
While I was writing my book I called an old friend still living in Chicago (most are gone) and ask him to tell me what kind of kid I was 85 years ago. I question his response, but he told me I was the best listener in the gang and was trusted. The seed had to come from my parents and apparently my philosophy began to grow very early on. Sy
Who you see is me———-Not an act to fool anyone———–Good or bad just me.
We need role models————–We do not simply become————Experience counts.