The Daily Stoic for November 28th, “It’s Not On Them, It’s On You”.
“If someone is slipping up, kindly correct them and point out what they missed. But if you can’t, blame yourself—or no one.”—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 10.4
“A good teacher knows that when a student is failing, the blame falls on the instructor, not the pupil”. This initial statement for today’s stoic could be used as a metaphor for my whole opinion on the subject about today’s stoic meditation.
It’s Not On Them, It’s On You
As the son of a teacher, I know that quote is bullshit. My mother was a good teacher -well, I might not be objective here- but not all her students turned out the same. Some of them were good, responsible students, got good degrees and graduated without a problem.
Others, on the other hand… well, some of them didn’t even finish their studies. I’m convinced that, regardless of the teacher’s skills, there are better and worse students. Of course, your education at home is a big influence. Your family, friends, your own willingness to learn, or the interest that school or the topics discussed arouse on you… all that matters.
Obviously, the teacher needs to care about the students, all of them and -perhaps especially- the worse ones, or the ones with the most difficulties.
But it’s also true that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t alone decide the destiny of each and every one of them. You have to accept that and let go when things don’t turn out well.
So be a good teacher, but don’t get obsessed on trying to save all of them. Some of them don’t want to be saved, or are not in the right moment of their lives for appreciating your efforts. They will, eventually, or maybe not.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “It’s Not On Them, It’s On You”, talks about our duty with others, and how we should not blame them, but us, when they don’t react accordnig to our expectations.