Have you ever heard the phrase, “I found your nose. It was in my business.” ? I chuckled when I first read this quote. It reminds me of my oh so mature behavior in Jr. High. Joking aside, there is some truth to it. It made me think of all the times I really want to know the latest about a student, a co-worker, friend, etc. and it really isn’t my business. It makes us feel good when we are “in the know”. The problem is, most of the time, we don’t need to be.
We think everything should be our business. I am so guilty of this as a teacher. Every year one of my colleagues gets a challenging student. She’s on a winning streak. I don’t really have a right to information about this kid other than anything pertaining to my interactions with him/her. But, but…I teach in the building. I do interact with this student regularly, if briefly. I do want to help my colleague. When I see this student in all their glory it’s tempting to want to know what on earth is going on. I could make excuses all day long to justify why I need the rundown on this student. Honestly, this kid is not in my class. My colleague hasn’t asked for my help. She is handling the situation well. I know enough. I want to know more, but I don’t need to. I would love all the juicy details of ways people I don’t like have failed. I want to know everything that’s going on. I irrationally feel left out sometimes if I don’t know the latest scoop. Being in the know is power. But, what does it lead to? When we want to know more or feel we should, we have to check our intentions. Do I want to know more because it would be helpful information or do I want to be “in the know”? How will being “in the know” help or change the situation in a positive way?
A few days ago, a teacher friend said a colleague gave her information about a student she is getting next year. Afterwards, she was completely calm and stress free. She felt so warm and fuzzy inside about this student. She can’t wait to have them in her class. Hardly. She freaked out! Her year has already been stressful enough. She wanted all the details, at first. She thought knowing every minuscule detail would help her prepare. So far, it hasn’t. In fact, she feels so bad she vented to one of her colleagues who told the rest of the planet about this student. Ooops. I’ve been there. Knowing more can backfire.
Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Be still and know.