Friday, April 26, 2013

Proverbs 17:28 Keepin' my mouth shut...

I’m a member of several different committees in my school district. I’m in awe of the other members of these committees. These are REALLY smart people who fluently speak eduspeak! Most of the time I have no idea what they are saying. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and nod knowingly! :) So when I saw this final verse of Proverbs 17, I had to chuckle!

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;

   when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Proverbs 17:28)

Yes, I’ve learned to just hang around the smart people and shut up! Of course, it took me a few years to learn that I was NOT one of the wise! It seems that when we are young, we are certain that we know everything (I think that begins to happen at about the age of 13). Then, as we move through high school and college, when we are only hanging out with other dummies who think they are wise, this confirms our opinion of ourselves!

It wasn’t until I had a strong-willed toddler that I was suddenly made glaringly aware that maybe I knew NOTHING that mattered! I could not figure out for the life of me how to handle the defiance of a two-year old stomping her feet!

The reality is that for my entire life I’ve been waiting for people to discover that I really know nothing! The “Peter Principle” was very evident in my early career, when, at the age of 23 I was given my own escrow office to open with Security Pacific Bank in Huntington Beach, after less than a year of training! I was scared to death! I had to drum up business with the local realtors and then had to do all of the paperwork on my own, as no one else in a bank knows a thing about escrow (kind of like how in teaching no one understands Kindergarten unless they are teaching it).

The first day I arrived at the branch, the manager handed me a file for a construction loan and said, “You don’t need to worry about this for a while.” Well, that file kept getting lower and lower on the stack of files as my business grew. Quickly I was promoted to Senior Escrow Officer (at that time I was the youngest Senior Escrow Officer in the Bank by about 30 years). Then one day when I returned from lunch, the manager came to me and said, “Mr. Smith is wondering when we can fund that construction loan!” I burst into tears and confessed, “I don’t know how to do that!!!” My poor manager was so flustered and looked completely baffled about how to handle me! I think I transferred to another branch before ever funding that loan, because I still have no idea how to do that!

When I began teaching at the age of 42, most parents assumed I’d been teaching for years. That age worked for me! However, I was actually so stressed out at first and filled with self-doubt. I’ll never forget a very sweet coworker who said to me, “Pray that you will look competent while you are becoming competent!” I began to relax and just enjoy the process! The reality is that 21 years later, I’m still doubting myself all the time.

Apparently, the shut mouth has fooled enough people! About a year ago one of my coworkers met a man with whom I’d grown up. When they discovered that they both knew me, he said to her about me, “She was the smartest girl at our school!” When she relayed that info I just cracked up and answered, “Yeah, in 4TH GRADE!!!!!” :) Too funny!

Yes, this verse in Proverbs rings true with me!!  

No comments:

Post a Comment