Scratching Solutions

For many years I was a teacher and on a few occasions I had students ‘I hate you.’  I was always okay with it.  It meant that the student was listening and responding to me just not into the relationship that we had developed.  From there, it was always hard work but pretty easy to solve the problem.  I would conference with the kid and we’d find out what I did wrong or what had been interpreted incorrectly.  Sometimes it was a few conferences and some investigating but on the rare occasion it failed, it was from some underlying cause that I had no connection with. 

Where we are today in the USA feels very much like the same scenario.  To put it simply, leadership that has its own agenda and is unwilling to compromise or truly try to understand and identify a problem and a solution. 

It’s really easy to hate all of what is perceived to be the same.  For example, if you hate one teacher, it is easy to go into any classroom hating all teachers.  If you go swimming the first time and almost drown, swimming sucks.  I imagine that is how many black people feel.  It was certainly how my black and brown students felt until they came to the school I worked at.  The principle made sure the students knew they were an integral part of the system.  it ‘s why we succeeded year in and year against all odds.

Ultimately, I think all people want to be part of a kind, fair and loving community.  I’ve lived in enough places and have been embraced by enough communities to feel like this is a truth.  No one wants to be part of a community that is hate filled, they are ignored and it is unfair. 

There is an inherent problem with the logic behind this.  When a student hated me, I had to work really hard to uncover the why and to do so, the student had to do work too.  Sometimes it was through a third party.  The students would talk freely with another teacher and not me.  The teacher would share the information and et voila, solution.  Many of the kids that keep in touch with me are the students that at one point hated me.  It just took work to find a solution.

TIme and time again I am confronted with people who don’t like my opinion.  My problem is not that.  I could care less.  There are 7.8 billion unique voices on the planet.  Mine is but a speck.  What does bother me is that my message is usually clear and with purpose. I don’t just spew opinion and anger, I try to do my best at either uncovering a different opinion or an idea that lays dormant about a situation or a solution to a problem.

If you don’t agree with me, cool.  If you tell me I am wrong about my opinion, I welcome it if you provide evidence on the contrary. You are entitled to a different opinion.  Hence, opinion.  What bothers me is simple, when I offer a solution to a problem and all you can say is that my solution is wrong without offering an alternative.  I would imagine if you feel this way about what I am suggesting either you know better and therefore can come up with a better solution or the solution is somewhere in the middle.

At this moment in time across the globe it is clear what many of the problems are.  The solutions to the problems remain elusive because too many times those with a plan are told the plan is simply wrong and not viable and to scratch it. To the scratchers stop scratching for a bit.  It’s only making the problems worse.  We are in this together.


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