...We all yearn for self-esteem and the approval of others. We want our fifteen minutes.
Moments of Glory
I travel a lot for Citibank. I’ve been in dozens and dozens of airports. Practically every small and mid-sized airport in America has displayed a plaque which notes and celebrates the airport’s latest expansion or renovation. The plaque announces that the renovation was authorized on a certain date by some local political board of commissioners. It then goes on – in raised bronze letters – to name each member of the commission. Woodie Allen’s truism scores again. Everyone is desperate for his or her 15 minutes of fame. Even if it has to be a cumulative total of thousands of passing glances from busy travelers!
I once heard a story about a campus visitor who was being shown the Goethe Building at a university. “I’ve always admired Goethe,” he volunteered. His guide responded, “This building is named for Herman Goethe, not Johann Wolfgang Goethe.” The guest asked, “What did Herman Goethe write?” His guide responded, “A check.”
Cheaper to go for the airport commission thing.
But no matter how we pursue it, we all yearn for self-esteem and the approval of others. We want our fifteen minutes.
It occurs to me that, in working with students, you are in a position to make at least a small contribution to their self-esteem, their fifteen minutes.
Examples, you say?
One of the tools for generating creative possibilities works this way. You write out the issue at the top of a blank piece of paper. Then you put the numbers 1 to 15 down the left side of the page. Next you write an uncritiqued idea next to each of the fifteen numbers. You don’t allow yourself to stop until all of the numbers have been filled in. I did that with this question: “How can a financial aid person enhance the self-esteem of a student client?” FYI, here is what I got.
You can make your own list of fifteen. The point is to make your clients feel special. Then they won’t have to wait for wall space in the airport.
Dan Brent is a Professional Development Officer with Citibank. He regularly presents workshops for financial aid people.