March #SOLC17 Day 16
I had a conversation with one of my favorite people yesterday. We only get to talk once a month, or so, and when we do it’s a marathon! We cover so much ground – from family to education and everything in between. I love catching up with her. After our conversations, I truly know what it feels like to have my bucket filled.
Yesterday’s chat, as always, had some real gems. My friend attended a conference a couple of months ago where the speaker asked the crowd; “Are you a cynic or a skeptic?” She shared this with me back then, we talked about it – in theory – and then moved on to other topics. It intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure how it looked in “real life.”
I am a firm believer in questioning. It has been a cornerstone in my life for a very long time. In fact, I can recall my 6th-grade teacher actually telling me that I asked TOO many questions. Don’t worry – that didn’t slow me down. I was taught to question everything. Never settle – if you are unsure or unclear always ask – there are no bad questions – yada, yada, yada. Questioning has always lay smack dab at the heart of my core belief system.
When someone asks a question from a negative place I get very annoyed. As if they are trying to bait the other person. A question such as; Do we really need (blank)? (Insert your own here) Cynic, I think to myself. Then there is the other way at which to come at a question; How can we incorporate (blank) with (blank) to best serve the needs of our students? Skeptic, I think to myself.
The conversation with my friend prompted me to search for words to describe how I feel when the above two scenarios occur. I found these two definitions – from an article entitled; Skeptics vs. Cynics: Know Which Are Toxic? | Dharmesh Shah | Pulse
Skeptic: A person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
Cynic: A person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable reasons. A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative
What I learned from this is to not blanketly accept questions for questions sake. I need to pay attention to the warning signs. Is questioning being cloaked in sheep’s clothing but really just a back-door form of venting and complaining? Don’t be fooled. True inquiry comes from a place of wanting to know more. Seeking to understand. Intention. Really wanting more information.
From now on I will make sure my questions are not coming from a cynical perspective. We can’t be skeptical all the time, but it’s OK to speak up when we have doubts…after listening and understanding first. Change starts with me.