Re: DSM: Re: RE: Encouragement

Scott Gray (
Sun, 17 Dec 2000 14:16:18 -0500 (EST)

Hi Cindy,

     I am an SVS alumnus, and I will attempt to describe my _personal_
reflections on this. However, I have seen no studies (formal or informal)
of SVS alumni populations v traditional school alumni populations on this
trait -- so what I suggest in my own experience can only be taken as
anecdotal and may be a feature of personality quirks more peculiar to _me_
than the result of my schooling...

     Personally, I quite enjoy encouragement for a job well done. If
people are honestly happy with a finished product or work in progress, I
am always quite please when others find what I have done to be valuable.
     I always feel really icky/squeamish about encouragement for tasks I
have not yet begun and am only contemplating. It makes me fret that _I_
have over-promised, or that a suvbtle (and sort of sleazy) kind of
pressure is being brought to bear to make me do something that someone
else wants.
     And praise for a job _poorly_ done makes me feel sick to my stomach.
When I hear such praise it seems sycophantic, and makes me feel that I am
being played for a vain fool. When something can stand improvement and,
rather than hearing helpful criticism or no comment I hear "it's great
that you've tackled this tough project" I just feel like dirt.

     Overall, I find your question to be very thought provoking, and this
line of discussion fascinating. My own reactions to your initial question
are very much in line with Joe's responses, so at this time I feel no
especial need to directly answer your question myself.

Take care,

On Sun, 17 Dec 2000, CindyK wrote:

> I just thought of something else: I am the product of our public school
> system so maybe I need the encouragement to 'pump me up'. I am so used to
> 'needing' it. It makes me feel good to get it - like a drug. Maybe SVS
> kids don't need it because they aren't conditioned to need the external
> encouragement? Something to think about.
> Definitely always learning,
> CindyK

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
A man lives long who lives a hundred years; Yet half is
sleep, and half the rest again Old age and childhood. For
the rest, a man Lives close companion to disease and tears,
Losing his love, working for other men. Where can joy find
a space in this short span?

-- Bhartrhari, Epigram number 200, first millennium CE,
translated by John Brough for Penguin Classics 1968.


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