When I was the guidance counselor at Edge Elementary School in Niceville, FL, I wrote a poem/chant for kids about responsibility. It goes like this:
I always have a choice,
no matter what I do.
I make the choice
and I can't blame you.
I now totally realize this advice is not exclusively for kids. It's our adult choice, too.
This morning, I had to drive on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey to teach teachers about the Danielson Framework for Teaching. Driving up the Parkway, I was struck by how grateful I was it was not a typical Monday workday. As it was Martin Luther King, Jr. day, the Parkway didn't have much traffic. Nonetheless, I still had to contend with the toll booths, which by the way, are clearly random and unpredictable in their amount charged. Can we not agree on a round 50 cents for all of them?? But I digress.....
I made it up to the school and enjoyed a great day of training. On my way back to the hotel by the Newark airport, I got in another cash only toll line, in which the price was 50 cents (exact change only). The line didn't move for about a minute and the two other cars in front of me began to honk at the first car in line. The gentleman finally got out of his car, waving a dollar bill. The two people in front of me just shook their heads at him with their windows still rolled up. I rolled down my window and asked, "Do you need change?" He was so grateful, he looked as if he might cry. Truly. All I could think was Stephen Covey had it all right when he said we need to "Seek first to understand then to be understood."