Thursday, August 10, 2006

To forgive is divine

I witnessed an amazing event this week which blew my mind in opposite directions.

Initially it was a huge disaster of negative proportions, with yelling and shouting by two of my colleagues over a radio. One wanted to listen to the radio, the other wanted to take it to class. Now, generally the unspoken school rule is that teaching use overules personal use. The listener wanted to keep the radio and make the other go out of the way to find another from a classroom. In the short end, the radio stayed, but not without cross words.

Later, when the teacher left, the listener aked if it was unreasonable to demand the teacher to fetch a different one. Simply, "Yes." Through divine assistance and a calm manner, I was able to guide the listener to an understanding that the displayed behavior was rather self-serving and improper. The reality is that the listener had actually taken the stereo from another classroom and never returned it properly so that all the other teachers have been without a CD player to use, including myself. I informed the listener that I usually have to go out of my way to another classroom to obtain a CD player to use because that room's player is missing.

Later that day as I returned to school, the listener informed me that an apology had been made to the teacher. I didn't say much, save for noting the generous response and affirming that now the response is up to the teacher to accept and move on.

Further that day, I approached the teacher to slyly ask about this apology and the teacher replied that it was so shocking to hear that a response was frozen inside. This teacher further added that it was so impressive that there was no need to hold it against the listener any longer. The teacher queried me about my role in the situation and I relayed the aforementioned episode. The gratitude was evident.

Not to boast (really), but I am very pleased that I was able to positively influence a potentially corrosive situation into a friendly understanding. Not only that, but such a huge change of heart. Believe me, an apology from the listener is a really big deal.

To God be the glory!

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