We all have that best quality that also doubles as our most challenging quality. It’s a fun thing to talk about since it allows others to open up and talk about themselves. I found a great way to bring it up with my students recently. We talk about Fredrick Law Olmsted (FLO) often since its important they understand what an impact he had on American parks and cities, particularly the Emerald Necklace and Boston. I want them to see their maintenance of the parks as importantly as a curator sees the maintenance of a painting at the MFA. They are stewards of a piece of art.
Upon learning all about FLO we see that while he was an incredibly gifted man he also suffered physically, mentally and emotionally. He worked incredibly hard and his body and mind worked equally hard as well. Sometimes too hard. After watching the video“Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks” we talked about his skills, his contributions, his challenges. This was a great segue into my favorite topic, best quality/challenging quality.
I offered mine first giving the men an opportunity to think about their own. We went around the room and really listened as they offered up their best quality. When we flipped it around sometimes it was hard to listen and to not respond. In a couple of instances it was sad to hear and to witness their responses.
We then proceeded to put a pretend team together. For instance if the group were a landscape crew. It was fun to see whose traits would best suit each job. I was attempting to illustrate that we all have skills unique to ourselves, worthwhile and accessible sometimes through a challenging door.