Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jellywashers: Endangered Breed

When someone roots for you or compliments you, how does that make you feel? Great, comfortable, proud or uncomfortable? or something else?

It seems to me that many people feel uncomfortable, even angry around people who give appropriate comments or work to boost morale.

These people are called JellyWashers. Why? Because they will tell you when you have jelly (real and metaphorical) on your face when no one else will. They will compliment you. They will support you. They will trust you. THEY WILL BELIEVE.

Photo by Ɓukasz Strachanowski
Attribution-NonCommercial License

They have expectations that others are jellywashers, but that is so far from the truth. Jellywashers are a rare, endangered group. So how do these grown-ups do it? How do they live in a world where people are often working against their own best interests on a regular basis?

It seems to me that JellyWashers are a rare, endangered variety in our species who need to be celebrated, not denigrated. They can do something few others can do. They can suspend cynicism and develop learned naivete'...imagination that the world can be a better place by encouraging others with appropriate comments to help enlighten and improve their daily life.

Do you know any of these people? How do you treat them? Do you shake your head? Do they embarrass you? Do you celebrate them? Do you join them?

Think about YOUR attitude and ask questions before you assume that Jellywashers are naive pawns who remain ignorant of a world where bad things happen. They are not. They are the people who are able to overcome diversity to push on through the dark world to encourage the rest of us to push on also.

Jellywashers CHOOSE to live in a world of positive ethos. They CHOOSE to work to improve their own life, so they can help others wash the clay from their eyes. Jellywashers choose to help fellow humans see themselves and others as worthy of respect and care. Thank goodness for the jellywashers of the world. What ethical behaviors can you CHOOSE today?


Anonymous said...

I have recently become one of those "Jelly washers". I like that term. I've always been told I had a positive outlook on life, but I didn't always believe my positive attitude. I've been trying to be better at the believing part. I don't want to be "toxic", but I also don't want to be "Sally Sunshine". I want to be positive and a problem solver.

loonyhiker said...

I guess I'm a jelly washer and proud to be one. :) I'm told that I always look at the positive side of things but I also think that helps with the self fulfilling prophesy. I get along with many people that others don't get along with because I try to look for the good in everyone instead of the negative. I have been teased about my attitude by colleagues and of course I end up with all the crummy jobs because I'm the one that doesn't complain. I hope administrators look at this so they don't burn out the jelly washers.

ItIsIRick said...

I have to say, and I hope you respect my candor, but I don't see myself as a Jelly Washer. I think it depends on how well you know the person. Boy, rereading what I just wrote sounds terrible. Going along with how well you know the person, I also feel that there has to be respect of the leader who say "you have jelly on your face." Respect is earned, as we all know. And if the person who has jelly on his/her face does not respect the Jelly Washer then the message will not be received well. I guess in many ways, just thinking about myself, that it may have a greater impact on me if I discover the jelly by looking in the mirror myself than having to have someone tell me. Also, as a side note, if you are seeing the jelly from the fourth donut I just ate, then maybe I deserve walking around with Jelly on my face. Who would have thought that the concept of "Jelly Washer" would have a "gray area" and possibly be controversial.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Samccoy!

This is indeed an innovative post. 1 point.

JellyWasher. I've never heard of that before. 2 points.

But I am familiar with the idea. I have always made it important to thank the JellyWashers - gracefully.

One thing that I learnt, way back, was how to take a compliment. In some ways this staves off the disrespect that the JellyWasher may get inappropriately from onlookers.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

Kate Tabor said...

Hi - thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and leave a comment. What a lovely gift. I love this post about jellywashers. I always say only your friends will tell you when you have spinach in your teeth. It cuts both ways - a real friend will tell you when you are headed in the wrong direction as well as throw props your way when you deserve them. They put aside professional jealousy and look out for others. Didn't Dale Carnegie say,"Give a man a good name and he will live up to it." It's the same with everything - only positive energy will get things done. Thanks!

samccoy said...

@anonymous I celebrate you, the positive problem solver. I know what you mean about the "Sally Sunshine" label, but those who make negative labels tend towards negative, unsustainable actions that one might consider "bullyism". There is a lifestyle philosophy that is related to positive point of view, as illustrated in the novel, White Banners.

samccoy said...

@loonyhiker, I agree that you are one of the best "jelly washers" I know.

It seems to me, that your work in the area of Special Education helped you develop a differentiated teacher toolbox. IMHO, teachers with access and facility in a wide range of pedagogical tools can find a positive solution when others may not have the expertise or research knowledge.

I also agree that the self-fulfilling prophecy is an important facet of positive thinking and being a true friend or colleague.

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

samccoy said...

Ken, I just finished reading your blog post of November 4, 2008 posting, Communicating in Space and CyberSpace. I was impressed with the focus on not being used through benign naivete'.

This is just the message I was sharing in this post. It seems to me, the "jelly washer" is the person who helps you avoid pitfalls and develop a positive attitude, if you let them.

I appreciate the kind comments. I am just one other voice in the choir doing what teachers do best, share what we know, think and believe.

samccoy said...

Ken, I forgot an important point. I appreciated you mentioning "how to accept a compliment".

Ken Allen said, "...One thing that I learnt, way back, was how to take a compliment. In some ways this staves off the disrespect that the JellyWasher may get inappropriately from onlookers...."

I agree! Wish I had thought of that point. Glad you did.

samccoy said...

Rick, I loved your comment, as I also am into antecedents. The idea of respect is a cornerstone of Choice Theory, the basis of the Quality School that Dr. Wm Glasser has shared with the world.

Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

samccoy said...

Kate, it is quite a compliment that you have commented on my blog. The quote from Dale Carnegie is excellent. He is a hero of mine, and his work helped me stay centered in many times of adversity. Thanks!

mrteachus said...

Jelly washer. Great term and after reading your post, I have realized that my favorite colleagues would be considered "Jelly washers".