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Having written a training department newsletter for 18 years, I would include the important dates each month (Direct Support Professionals week is Sept 9-15, 2018), holidays, the interesting dates, such as famous birthdays (Elvis, January 8), and also the unusual dates (Square Dance Day, November 29). We have appreciation days for almost everything imaginable (and a few that you would not even think of)! Now, I always thought it was nice that we took time to remember people, groups, and events with a day, week, or month of appreciation. I believe, however, everyone is deserving of appreciation.

If everyone followed the Mandt System philosophy of always treating everyone with Dignity and Respect would we need the ‘special’ appreciation days? Imagine living in a world where the office assistant always felt appreciated. How would you day go if the waitstaff at your local restaurant felt appreciated every day? If each and every person on the planet treated each other with Dignity and Respect, would we even recognize the Earth? If we only could get to the point where everyone always interacted with others in a way that would build them up, what changes would that bring about?

So, how do we get to such a point? Before you start to think about how you can change everyone else, let’s each of us start by looking at ourselves. Isn’t there some old saying about removing the log out of your own eye before removing the splinter out of someone else’s? If everyone who is Mandt certified could take it upon themselves to improve their own quality of interaction with others, that would be a good starting place. This takes practice! This takes a lot of “affirm the feelings and choose the behavior.” The better we are, the better we will be able to teach and role model this for our students. The better we can teach this to our students, the better they will be able to implement it. The better our students implement it, the more effect it has. See, it all comes back to each of us as individuals.

Dr. Dale Shannon – Mandt Faculty