by Janet Shlaes, Ph.D.
“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind, yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
~ Kahlil Gibran
Have any of your greatest teachers also presented you with your greatest challenges? Mine certainly have. Several of my most powerful mentors were completely unaware that they facilitated my professional and personal growth. Ironically, over time, I am increasingly grateful to them for inadvertently providing me with the challenges I needed to become the professional/person that I am today. From these “accidental mentors,” I learned what not to do and say. These valued lessons led the way to my discovering and embodying approaches and mindsets that were more engaging, respectful and effective. Would I have preferred not to have had to endure those lessons? Absolutely! However, with the wisdom acquired through experience, I am profoundly grateful for those particular experiences. Painful as they were, they served to reveal aspects of myself that needed to be healed and/or strengthened. What about you?