San Marcos Principal
When I first started my doctoral program, I was assigned a book called The Four Agreements in one of the classes. Don Miguel Ruiz spoke of four important principles of life in this wonderful book, which he considered to be one’s agreements with oneself and others. They are:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
Since then, I have often thought about these principles and worked to apply them. And now more than ever before, I believe these principles to be extremely important.
As hard as I work to use clear and concise language whenever possible, I sometimes find myself being misunderstood by many. If I find myself in such a situation where someone misunderstood me or is displeased with me, I try not to take things personally. I tell myself, as Ruiz advised, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” I must say that I have been pretty successful at not taking things personally despite having a lot of challenges this year.
Still, it is not always easy to watch the people that I serve make assumptions about why I am doing something or who I am trying to support. And sometimes my best is simply not enough for some people no matter how hard I try.
But I show up each and every day since the most important agreement to me is that I never lose hope. I hope that I will have many more days to be impeccable with my word, not take things personally, never make assumptions, and always do my best. I would like to end this with one of my favorite poems written by Emily Dickinson.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.