Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Four Agreements

I recently read an interesting book. I guess it fits in the "new Age" category, but I found it to be slightly interesting. It's called The Four Agreements it talks about four basic things that one could change in their life. I find that some of the ideas behind these elements could be somewhat self-righteous but I also see some truth in them, especially in my teaching and dealing with youth.

The first is Be impeccable with Your Word-
Basically say what you mean, and don't use words that are intended to hurt or have the potential to hurt. If you say something bad to someone it has the potential to become a self-fulfilling prophesy, whether its positive or negative.

The second is Don't take anything personally-
If someone says something mean spirited or acusatory it shouldnt be taken internally, it is just an emancipation of the person's disposition. This one really helps in the classroom, although it is very difficult to do.

The third is Don't make assumptions-
Stereotypes, prejudices, etc. Hard to avoid doing this, but an important thing to think about... but also, be clear with what is said and what you are saying. Communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings.

And the fourth is Always Do your best-
This one seems kind of sesame Street but it makes sense and it makes the other agreements work, it makes them less self righteous. If my partner is mad at me and I haven't done my bestm then i can't disregard it as her professing her problems on to me. My friend Andrew showed me that one, and I like it.

I think these are basic lessons, but could be used positively in life and in the classroom.

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