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Role Modeling What?

Intentionally or otherwise, we teach each other all the time. 

We "teach" whether to expect courtesy, civility and professionalism or negligence, sloth and apathy. Each interaction leaves a deposit. 

My mentor of old, Leo Buscaglia, once opined, "teach only love." Oh, would that we would, and would that we could!

However less loftily, the next service provider you encounter... a human being to be "seen" and "experienced" or a disposable convenience, a means to an end? 

The next customer who buys into our marketing propaganda, will either be affirmed in their choice, or will they simply recoil from the customer contempt they experience? A company heartbreakingly told me recently, "it's not just that we don't push to do better, we give less than we promise, and are satisfied giving even less than we can provide." They are in an environment and have the ability to buffer that for a while, but the corporate graveyard beckons if that continues.

The next family encounter will either "teach" that the family is a tribal convenience store, where fake interactions glossed over by superficial expressions of affection abound. Or it may be a vital playground for the exchange of genuine affection, where vulnerability is honored and earned trust abounds. 

It's true that one bit of teaching is not decisive, patterns over time predominate. But you can interrupt a pattern with one positive act of professionalism or humanity. And you can enfeeble our grandest aspirations with lowest common denominator reflexes left unchecked.

Teach only, if not love: the possibility that we can serve each other better, that we can have the grace to course correct and that we can always ensure potential stays alive.

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