Are you in a profession that deals with people? How well do you deal with customers in you field of expertise? How does it make you feel when someone asks you what seems like a thousand questions? What about cleaning up after your customers? Finally, when you have to repeat yourself over and over, how does that make you feel?
Do you feel like you were given the proper training to deal with the people you interact with each day? Were there strategies given to deal with the unhappy customer, the unruly parent, or the people you can not please no matter how hard you try?
With five years of college and twelve years of experience, you would think that I would have reached professional status in my line of work.
Not so fast! No amount of classroom work, observation hours, or internships can prepare you for interacting with roughly seventy kindergarteners on a daily basis. I am an elementary physical education teacher if you were curious.
There are times when answers to the same question are given numerous times. Also, there are times when even after those questions are answered, you get a blank stare. What the heck are you talking about? This guy has lost his mind. At times, there could be dirt, grass, paper, food, throw up or pretty much any other substance on a gym floor that has to be cleaned. There are times when these kids are upset because they are sick, miss their mommy, or because they have fell and injured themselves. They also have many stories to tell, we could spend the entire allotted time for exercise and games talking about each students daily activities at school or at home. “My mom has a baby in her stomach, coach, did you know I was Spider-Man, I got a new puppy, Johnnie threw up at the lunch table,” are examples of things that can be heard on any given day.
However, adults could learn a lot from a group of five year olds. When students exit their buses at least one kid graciously gives me a hug to start my day. Throughout the day, at least ten or twelve more will follow. Rarely a day goes by that a child doesn’t tell me they love me. Also, I’ve been told I was a “legend” and the best pe teacher ever. Regularly, students tell me how they like my shoes, clothes, hat, whistle, sunglasses, facial hair, watch, fingernails. You get the point. Sometimes I think it’s a competition.
John 13:34-35 states, “A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Interactions with your customers, the people you work with, family and friends is a direct reflection of your heart. Sure, we all have those days, but we could learn a lot from a group of five year olds about loving one another unconditionally, no matter their background, socioeconomic status, race, religion, gender or what they can offer in return for our love.