I don't know if you read my blog or not, but if you do, I'd like to apologize, just a little bit for our brief chat yesterday. I'm sitting here and trying to figure out which college you said you attended, but I think it was Fanshaw. We met just as I was getting ready to leave the conference site, which was just after I had presented with my team, Chanelle and Donna, on the topic of 'Determined Indifference'. A session which you had attended.
You stopped and told me that you were students and that you really liked one of my books, 'Power Tools' - one of you even said it was one of the best books he'd ever read. You joked and said that I was kind of like royalty down at the college, another said something about a 'rock star' we all laughed. It was nice. I made a silly joke and then we were all on our way.
In moments like that, I often don't do or say what I'd really like to do or say. I have always been a little shy about praise or notice, it wasn't something I grew up with or have grown used to. As a result, I get flustered and use humour as a way out of it. I would have liked to have said something much different.
I would have liked to have told you that your impulse to stop and give someone positive feedback is wonderful. What's even more wonderful is that you did it. You had the courage to be positive publicly. So many compliments, so much praise remains unspoken. Almost all positive feedback is left unsaid. We think these things, we, many times, do not move from thought to action. Keep fresh your ability to act on positive thoughts and impulses. One of the things I'm sure you are learning is about the positive approach ... well, you all demonstrated that in one fell swoop.
More than that, I would have told you that you have chosen a field in which there are far fewer men than women. I know when I chose to work with people with disabilities there were those who thought that 'caring' was the job of women - that men didn't do 'that kind of thing'. They couldn't be more wrong. This is a field that needs people who have kindness, compassion and a drive for social justice. I can think of many men who fit that description. Good on you for your choice. Good on you for following your own path. It's a path that I have walked, and then rolled, for over forty years. Forty very good years.
I also would have told you that what you said really mattered to me. I like to know that my work has made a difference, that my writing is being read. It makes it all matter.
So, guys, I'm sorry.
I should have said those things, and more, but didn't.
Hope you enjoyed the conference, hope you had lots to talk about on the way home. Glad to have met you all. Really!