As a doctoral student, I have the privilege of working with some of my favorite professors. Currently, there are two in my program that have impacted and influenced where I am today and I am grateful to both of them. It is interesting to note that they are VERY different people.
I admitted to one of them that she made me cry my first semester in PhD-land. Well, first she made my brain ache and then she made me cry. I was taking a class called Critical Thinking and it required...duh...critical thinking. It was a semester of discovery for me that forced me to rethink the way I think. I can often be very linear; looking to solve a problem, rather than muck around in it. I prefer to do that with my emotions. I was a better person at the end of the semester, which is what this degree is ultimately about.
My other professor is one of those rare women that influences your life and the lives of many around her. I don't know why women don't lift up other women more, but she is an amazing example of what sisterhood can produce. When I finished my library degree I got a wonderful and flattering email from her saying that she thought I was going to be a wonderful librarian, but that she also thought I had the potential to be more if I wanted to. Then she asked if I had considered getting my PhD.
In addition to being part of the reason I am doing what I am doing, she is also fun. By that I mean, she invites me to present with her at conferences, passes along invitations to publisher dinners and parties at her house (where I get to hob-nob with the greats) and....she asks for my opinion. That sounds silly and weak but I just want to note how flattered I am by this. This prof has written three books in the last 18 mos or so...and she wants to know what I think about her chapter on public libraries. I offered opinions and do you know what she did then?
She included me on the acknowledgements page. (yes there were many, many others, but you are missing the point here....)
Now if you keep in mind my weakened emotional state of the past few blogs it should not surprise you that I cried.
Which leads my to ponder...how often to we acknowledge people? Sometimes the simplest words can have a great impact and you never know where these words are going to come from.
Maybe all of those "Practice Random Acts of Kindness" bumper stickers are onto something after all. I would like to think I am kind to others, but maybe it is time to move on to acknowledging the kindness we see in others.