Guilt: A Meditation for Teachers

“When God wishes a man well, he gives him insight into his own faults.”
—Muslim Proverb

One unfortunate thing we often learn as small children is how to fling guilt at other people. We find that guilt is a sticky substance that seems to attach better to some than to others. If you are one who easily feels guilty, you know when guilt throwers are at work. They are so good at it: a pathetic face looks up and asks why you have to turn in the unexcused absence or call their parents because of missing homework. When you recognize that a student is trying to manipulate you into feeling guilty, take a hard look at what just transpired. In most cases you will see that guilt was directed at you so that a student could get his or her own way. We all need to be on “guilt alert” and also be careful that we do not use this manipulating tool against others.

“Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.”
—Benjamin Franklin

This post first appeared in A Moment of Peace and Quiet: Meditations for Teachers by Gail G. Mesplay.

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