One Bad Thing And What Do We Focus On?

When I first started lecturing at a University it was compulsory to have students evaluate your teaching at the end of a semester. I still remember clearly the feeling as I opened the first envelope full of their anonymous feedback and reviews of my teaching. Well, there were 98 students in my class … 96 of them loved me and nominated me for a Lecturer of the Year award. The other 2 … well they really did not like me at all … and the least of their criticism related to the little red dress that someone like me should apparently never wear.

Given that 96 people loved my teaching and 2 really didn’t like it at all, which of the evaluations do you think I focused on? Which ones do you think I tossed and turned over for several days going over and over in my head the unfairness, the outrageousness, the entire stupidity of what had been written on the evaluation forms? That’s right … the 2 who didn’t like me.

Looking back at it now through the eyes of a little more wisdom and a lot more maturity, I can accept that not everyone is going to like me all the time (or for some people, even any of the time) … regardless of what I do … and that is OK.

The true lesson from the story is this … how many times in our relationships with others do we focus on the 2 bad reviews instead of the 96 great ones? How many times when a loved one says something nasty to us do we let that stick and fester while all the lovely things they say and do slide right off? How many great things happen in a day that we overlook because one not so great thing happens?

Maybe we could focus on the 96 and let the other 2 slide.