Thursday, 19 May 2016

 14:51:00      ,    No comments

Bringing out the best


Bringing, out, the, best,

Avem nevoie de competitie?

Aparent, da. Si sunt multe voci care ar aduce mii de argumente si exemple de viata in favoarea competitiei. Pana la urma, traim intr-o lume competitiva, in care ne batem ca nebunii, cu pretul unor eforturi fantastice pentru locurile fruntase sau chiar pentru primul loc.

 Pentru ca se spune ca oricum nimeni nu isi mai aduce aminte cine a iesit pe locul al doilea. Dar acum, sincer, ne mai amintim cu exactitate cine a iesit pe primul loc mai departe de perioada imediat urmatoare evenimentului? Stiti cine a fost Miss World anul trecut? Asa, repede, fara sa cereti ajutorul prietenului Google! Eu va spun sincer ca habar nu am! Ma rog, am dat doar un exemplu. Si totusi, sunt de acord, lumea in care traim ne determina sa fim competitivi. Dar chiar ne dorim acest lucru, oare este singurul mod in care putem fi multumiti de noi insine, de viata noastra?

Haideti sa va spun o poveste! Pana prin clasa a II-a habar nu aveam la ce sunt bune notele. Adica intelegeam ca e bine sa iei o nota de 10, dar nu prea imi pasa de note, invatam pentru ca asa imi explicasera parintii mei ca este ok sa procedez si imi si placea, recunosc. Sunt o persoana curioasa, iar pe mine curiozitatea asta m-a impins sa tot invat. Oricum, pana prin clasa a V-a, impreuna cu cateva colege, am format “echipa de soc”, noi era cele care luau an de an premiul I. Si din an in an, realizam ca suntem “la concurenta”. Eram prietena cu unele dintre aceste fetite, dar stiam clar ca ele sunt mai degraba in competitie cu mine decat intr-o relatie de prietenie. Simteam acest lucru si din atitudinea parintilor. Una dintre ele, in special, prietena mea, colega mea de banca, cea cu care ma vedeam constant si in afara orelor de scoala este cea despre care doresc sa va povestesc azi. Am mers umar la umar pana la clasa a V-a, cand, printr-un concurs de imprejurari, ea a luat o nota de 9 in teza de la limba si literatura romana. Stiam toate ce urma sa se intample: a luat premiul II in acel an, iar eu alaturi de inca o fetita, am ajuns pe locul I. Nu m-am simtit bine! Prietena mea nu a venit la festivitatea de premiere si m-am trezit langa cealalta fetita ca sunt in centrul atentiei la serbarea de sfarsit de an. Nu-mi gaseam locul! Adevarul este ca pe cealalta nu o placeam deloc si nici ea pe mine. Nu am reusit sa ne apropiem niciodata, pur si simplu eram foarte, foarte diferite si nu ne intelegeam deloc. Dupa serbare, tatal meu ne-a luat pe amandoua si ne-a plimbat prin parc, apoi, am mers la mine acasa. Nu m-am putut juca frumos cu ea, nu aveam subiecte de conversatie, am petrecut acea dupa-amiaza incercand sa ne gasim interese comune, dar nimic. Nu ne-am putut conecta! Ma tot gandeam la celelalte finaluri de an, cand plecam fericita, cu prietena mea si cu parintii acesteia, amandoua cu coronitele de flori pe cap, la mine acasa. Locuiam la curte, mama pregatea inghetata si alte bunatati, ne jucam, alergam si ne bucuram de inceputul de vacanta. Nu m-a bucurat acea victorie!

In anii care au urmat, prietena mea nu a mai lasat garda jos deloc, niciodata! A fost de atunci intre noi un fel de raceala, adica ne iubeam, eram prietene, vorbeam orice, dar stiam ca pana la urma concuram pentru note si premii si aceasta era o realitate peste care nu puteam trece. O realitate sustinuta de parinti si profesori, de toti adultii din viata noastra, care ne spuneau ca trebuie sa fim una mai buna decat cealalta, ca orice mana de ajutor ne-am da, este un pas inapoi si ca fiecare lupta pentru ea insasi. Ea a luat premiul I in fiecare an, pana am finalizat clasa a VIII-a si am plecat la liceu. Ne-am tot indepartat una de alta, incet, incet, in incercarile pe care le faceam de a ne exploata greselile, slabiciunile, zilele in care nu reuseam sa fim in forma maxima. Si aveam mai putin de 14 ani! Din fericire, fiecare din noi a plecat la alt liceu si ne-am vazut de viata. Destinul insa a decis, ani mai tarziu, sa locuim in acelasi bloc, in apartamente vecine, sa avem familii si copii si sa reluam relatia de la inceput. Un nou inceput, construit prin dorinta nevinovata de a se imprieteni a copiilor nostri, dar si prin bunavointa mamei prietenei mele, cea care mi-a marturisit acum, dupa multi ani, cat de mult ma iubeste si cat pretuieste prietenia noastra.

Asadar, competitia ne izoleaza, ne da fiori reci pe spate, dar ne conduce si spre atingerea unor visuri. Cum o gestionam ca sa nu ne schilodeasca sufletul? Exista educatori care accentueaza partile bune ale competitiei si reusesc sa stabileasca acele contexte prielnice, care sa conduca la final catre colaborare, motivare, dezvoltarea abilitatilor necesare pentru rezolvarea de probleme si altele. Sunt convinsa ca acestia sunt implicati profund in actul educational si isi doresc sa ii ajute pe copii nostri sa-si descopere talentele si sa devina ceea ce isi doresc, pastrandu-si dragostea de semeni si prieteniile. Doar ca in goana dupa premii, dupa mult doritul loc I, trebuie sa fim extrem de atenti sa nu ne pierdem compasiunea, empatia si spiritul de echipa.

Eu sunt cea mai buna varianta a mea atunci cand fac parte dintr-o echipa! Am constatat acest lucru in ani multi de experienta, lucrand in medii diferite, cu oameni diferiti, singura sau in echipa. Si pot sa va spun ca mi-am descoperit noi puteri, talente si mijloace de exprimare atunci cand am fost parte a unei echipe. Asa mi-am atins potentialul maxim! Si asa am fost si cea mai fericita!

Acest blog se numeste Mickey si Mary-Lou pentru ca noi doua formam o echipa, in care fiecare isi exprima cel mai bine talentul cu care a fost inzestrata. Iar rezultatele acestei munci in echipa sunt articolele pe care le cititi saptamanal.

Lectura placuta!

*Sambata, 21 mai 2016, Alfie Kohn, autorul bestseller-urilor “Parenting neconditionat” si “Pedepsiti prin recompense”, aparute la editura Multi Media Est Publishing, se va afla pentru a treia oara la Bucuresti, unde va sustine o noua serie de conferinte. Evenimentul, care este organizat de TOTUL DESPRE MAME si care are ca parteneri principali MNAR si Asociatia pentru Comunicare Nonviolenta, prin presedintele sau, Monica Reu (trainer de comunicare non-violenta), va avea loc la sala Auditorium a Muzeului National de Arta al Romaniei, MNAR si va cuprinde doua module: o conferinta dedicata parentingului neconditionat si o a doua conferinta in care se vor aduce adevarate argumente impotriva competitiei.
 
                       
                          - ENGLISH VERSION -

Do we need competition?

Apparently, yes. And there are many voices that would bring thousands of arguments and examples of life in behalf of the competition. After all, we live in a competitive world in which we fight like crazy, with the price of fantastic efforts for the leading places or even for the first one. Because they say that anyway nobody remembers who came in second place. But now, frankly, we remember exactly who came out first beyond the period immediately following the event? Do you know who was Miss World last year? Just like that, quickly, without asking help from our friend, Google! I will honestly say that I have no idea! Well, I just gave an example. And yet, I agree, our world leads us to be competitive. But we really want this, it is the only way we can be pleased with ourselves, with our life?

Let me tell you a story! Up to the second year of the primary school, I had no idea what grades are good for.

I mean that I understood it's good to get a grade of 10 (or an A), but I didn’t really care about grades, but I was studying because my parents were saying that is ok to do so, and I loved it anyway, I recognize. I am a curious person, and it was my curiosity that pushed me to learn everything and all the time. However, until the fifth grade, along with several colleagues, I formed the "shock team" and we were the ones who took the first prize every year. And from year to year, we realized more that we are "in competition". I was friend with the some of these girls, but I knew clearly that they are in competition with me rather than in a friendship. I was feeling this also from the parents' attitudes. One, in particular, my friend, my colleague, and the one with whom I was spending time constantly outside school hours, is the one I’m about to tell you today. We walked shoulder to shoulder up to the fifth grade, when, through a concurrence of circumstances, she got a grade 9 (meaning a B) in thesis from Romanian literature. We all knew what was going happen: that year, she got the second prize, and me along with another girl, we reached the first prize. I did not feel good! My friend did not come to the ceremony and I woke up next to the other girl, being in the middle of everyone attention, at the celebration of the end of the school year. I could not find my place! The truth is that I did not like at all the other girl, and the feeling was mutual. We have never managed to get closer, we were just very, very different and we were not capable to get along at all. After the celebration, my father took us both to a walk to the park, and then we went to my house. There I wasn’t able to play nice with her, there were no topics of conversation, we spent the entire afternoon trying to find our common interests, but nothing. We could not connect! I kept thinking the other endings of year, leaving happy, with my girlfriend and her parents, both with wreaths of flowers on our heads, to my house. My house was surrounded by a courtyard garden, my mother was preparing ice cream and other goodies, and we were playing, running and enjoy the early holiday. No way for me to enjoy that victory!

In the years that followed, my girlfriend never had any weakness! It was since then a kind of coldness between us, meaning that we loved each other, we were friends, talking about anything, but we knew that in the end, we were competing for prizes and grades and it was a reality that we could not pass over. A reality supported by parents and teachers, by all the adults in our lives, saying that we must be one better than the other, that every helping hand we could give, is a step backwards, and that each fight for herself. She took the first prize every year until we have completed the eight grade and we went to high school. And the distance between us was growing, slowly, in our attempts to exploit our mistakes, weaknesses, those days when one of us could not be in top form. And we had less than 14 years old! Fortunately, each of us went to another high school and each of us went on her walk in life. But the destiny decided for us, and years later, we found one another again, living in the same building, in neighboring apartments, having families and children and the chance to resume the relationship from the beginning. A new beginning, built on the innocent desire of our children to become friends, and on the courtesy of my friend's mother, who told me now, after many years, how much she loves me and how she appreciates our friendship.

So competition isolates us, give us a chilling sensation, but also lead us to achieve some of our dreams. How could we manage it to avoid crippling our soul? There are educators who emphasize the good parts of the competition and manage to establish those favorable contexts, leading in the end to collaboration, motivation, skills development and others. I am confident that they are deeply involved in the educational act and they want to help our children to discover their talents and become what they want, keeping all along their love for one another and their friendships. But in the pursuit of awards, in the rush after the much needed first place, we must be extremely careful not to lose our compassion, our empathy and our team spirit.

I am the best version of me when I’m part of a team! I found this in many years of experience working in different environments with different people, alone or in teams. And I can tell you that I discovered my new powers, talents and means of expression when I was part of a team. This way I reached my full potential! And so I was the happiest ever!

This blog is called Mickey and Mary Lou because we two are a team in which each of us expresses the best the talent she has. And the results of this teamwork are the articles you read every week.
Enjoy your reading!
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