we can go further as a team.
conflicting opinions surround the level of praise we are adviced to give children. criticism often goes along the lines of: “everyone gets a trophy in little league these days but in life there are winners and there are losers.” or “bosses don’t care about hurt feelings and teachers shouldn’t either.” there are small truths to most perspectives and while they are expressed in different ways, they often aren’t as far apart as it first appears. i tend more toward lavishing praise on my child than others but i also value the ability to take criticism as well as possession of a clear sense of reality.
that being said, he is also an active participant in reality both as he experiences it and as those around him do. this morning as i was driving he told me the cushion on the arm rest of the car seat had come off. i tried the reach back while your eyes stay on the road approach and was not able to get it. soon after we came to a stop light and i could reach the cushion and fixed it for him.
“Yay!!!” he clapped. placing the cushion on the seat was not a challenging task for me, yet it was something he couldn’t do and something that he appreciated me for doing. his delight and praise made me feel good even though i knew it was the simplest of tasks. by praising him for accomplishments it not only instills an inner voice that is encouraging, but it reflects back to those around him as he encourages others.
there is a balance we all walk between knowing what reality exists and actively working to create the reality we want. i would prefer a reality in which we are all more encouraging of one another, in which our definitions of success and accomplishment are not so narrowly defined. celebrating small accomplishments is one way i will continue doing this.
“you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” mahatma ghandi
i studied more for this test than any other. that didn’t guarantee a better grade. some days you show up for a game prepared and it’s just not your day. here’s to hoping finals week works out better.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
“i gave it my body and mind but i have kept my soul.” phil jackson
med school is not the end game. md is not the end game. changing the health of communities is the end game. providing for my family is the end game. a fulfilling career is the end game. the pre-med mentality is bringing me down. i’m competing to get a’s in classes that in all practicality in no way prepare me to be an excellent physician. i’m competing against students who admit to getting disability status so that they get longer to take their tests. i’m competing against students who pop pills to focus, who have little to no responsibility outside of the classroom, who have very limited life experiences.
medical schools proclaim to want well rounded individuals in their schools. they need to know you can succeed academically, but are equally concerned with the other aspects of professional development. students know the truth. you are classified according to scores and not just scores that display your academic competence, but scores that rank you next to each other. the rat race of ranking continues at the detriment of souls and healthcare.
on my way home, i briefly listened to an npr interview with the husband/wife duo that wrote the songs to the movie frozen. (disclaimer: i haven’t seen the movie.) the writers sound charming, gracious, intelligent, etc. during the 15 or so minutes i was listening, the conversation was largely focused on the progress this movie makes. apparently it is about two female roles and their relationship together. as quoted in the interview, less than 1% of hollywood movies pass this criteria. additionally, this movie has active roles for the females. there is no prince that comes in and saves them because they are beautiful.
the interviewer asked if the writers’ own daughters had gone through a ‘princess phase.’ they had, and in fact had over 50 dresses to play with but she emphasizes that they can be the snow white princess doctor that saves african orphans.
this is my problem with white feminism. the traditional story line that puts men in the active role, the role of saving does not feel right. we all know women have power and agency and we can save ourselves, save each other, IF saving is needed at all. how is it then missed that this exact false storyline plays out over and over with a different population requiring saving.
we can’t claim that we are progressive and/or feminist and replace men with white women saving the helpless other.
i am lucky enough to have a mentor relationship with a doctor who is in her mid-60s, still working and is happy. i asked her why. the response was something like:
i have really had several careers. i was a nurse. a student in medical training. i worked in the cath lab. i taught. i worked in a clinic. i went back to the hospital. now i am in telemedicine. if you are humble enough to always be learning, always asking questions, you can mold your career to your interests and life circumstances. it’s hard to get burned out when you are starting exciting new adventures. i also don’t have anything toxic in my life: relationships/debt/health/etc.