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Health and Personal Development of young adults

For many years I have been involved in the personal development and health of teenagers and young adults. I have gained an insight into the way their minds work (or don´t work) and the reasons for many of their behaviors. There is nothing that will surprise me at this stage in my career and all sorts of information will land on this blog. Hopefully some of it will help!

When Compassion is thrown back in your face.
18 March 2013 @ 11:41

Its not often that I get upset about anything...... I guess that people would describe me as easy going and generally looking at the upside of life.

With all the problems I handle on a daily basis in my role at college its important that I keep a  stable perspective offering solutions and ideas on how the students can move forward  with what they are dealing with right now.

 Since returning from Spain in August and moving back into the college I have noticed the high incidence of home related problems among the students. So much so that when a good student in one class started to miss class I took the responsibility of enquiring what the problem was. The student informed me that her mother had very severe arthritis and on some days needed someone in the house to help her with mobility.

 As I coordinate the health and social care course and most of the students are going to move into either a medical or care related environment it is not unusual for them to be involved in or have had experience in a caring capacity so this situation that the student found herself in was not unusual.

As time moved on I noticed that the student missed a full week and once again the reason given was her mother being severely ill.

 

On one particular day this student arrived into my class with an orange form from the social services. She told me that since her mother was unable to work and also since she was spending a lot of time looking after her then she could get some kind of carer allowance to help with their financial situation.

 As the coordinator of the course could I please sign the form to say that she was a student on the course and also was a carer for her mother.

 Kathy being Kathy signed the form and thought no more about it.

 As the weeks unfolded the student disappeared from the class. We could not contact her by phone either mobile or home number and realized that she had dropped out of the course.

 Unfortunately for this student I have a good relationship with the students I teach and so they tell me things that perhaps they would not usually pass on to other adults.

 

It was then that two students in the class told me the truth.

 

 She did not live with her mother, her mother did not have arthritis and she bragged to them how she had got 1000 pounds out of social services and was using it to go off on holiday to Spain with her boyfriend.

So hence my title to this article “when compassion is kicked back in your face”

 

Of course I should not have been as trusting and should have checked up on everything she said and for that I get smacked over the knuckles. With the course and subject matter I teach I talk to the students about their values, beliefs and their personal development. I guess I got to this one too late.

 

As the week unfolds we will be reporting this to the social services as benefit fraud and hopefully they will get onto her case.

As for myself…..its not often something upsets me but this did. Not that she fooled me but just that she lied to me for weeks and played on my understanding nature to scheme on a way to illegally get some money for her and her boyfriend.

What she did not count on was the students telling me what had gone on. I guess it’s a classic case of a nail in the coffin of “losing faith in human nature” but its important that situations like this do not make us cynical and yet to be honest it left a very bad taste in my mouth.

 

I ask myself the question at 58 years old…..  should I not have learned by now that just because I place a high value on honesty, integrity and not sharing other people's business , telling the truth and keeping promises I've made, etc....  I seem to just expect that everyone else would naturally do the same.  

Of course, by now, after many years teaching I do know ...   that this is not the case,  That in fact, those of us who feel this way  seem to be in the minority when it comes to the high value we place on honor, trust and integrity.  Yet it is very important to me that  I continue to act in the way that feels right to me despite being totally disappointed in the way this student behaved.  

I am not going to dwell on this scenario that has happened.   I will keep reminding myself that just because I place a high value on certain things, doesn't mean that I have any right to expect that everyone else will do the same.

This is a difficult inner conflict with me as I believe that one aspect of the concept of honesty and Intregrity is that genuine Love and caring cannot exist if there is not first Trust. 

 

If I cannot feel a level of trust with the people whom I come into contact then no basis for a relationship is in place. If an elderly person in a care home cannot trust her carer then there is no moving forward.

This incident that happened is a lesson in itself on why Honesty and Integrity are so very important.... This should be the norm and not the exception.

This student has got her money for her holiday.

After two weeks the holiday is over.

 



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11 Comments


Mary Rogers said:
18 March 2013 @ 15:31

Kathyd - my first thoughts after reading your article were that you failed in your duties as a responsible adult and professional by signing a form stating that your student was a "carer" for her mother without checking this out. It is the same neglect committed by Drs and other professionals who sign off so called victims without proper investigation. As well as the welfare of your students you have a responsibility to the working public who provide the money for benefits, etc. It is not about your honesty, integrity, feelings etc but about your responsibility to the people who provide the benefits. I hope this does not sound too harsh and critical but our trusting, generous natures have been stretched too far by benefit scroungers.


Kathy Davison said:
18 March 2013 @ 15:41

Hi Mary
I thought I had admitted my quilt in not checking everything out
"Of course I should not have been as trusting and should have checked up on everything she said and for that I get smacked over the knuckles"

when I contact the social services I will also have to admit that I should have done a thorough check and who knows where that will go . For that I take full responsibility and in the future will be more vigilant on what I am told .Pity that we cannot trust what people tell us ...guess that is the way it is now ....many out to get what they can at any expense.


eggcup said:
18 March 2013 @ 16:02

Hi Kathy. I would disregard that earlier comment. When you have admitted your mistake, it's downright unnecessary and annoying to have someone rub it in. Someone did the same to me on my Landlord Blog last week and I put him straight.
On the subject of honesty and integrity, I, too, have often made the mistake of thinking others share my values, but as a landlord who has been bitten too many times to count, I am now as cynical as a police officer.


Kathy said:
18 March 2013 @ 19:55

Thank you Eggcup for that comment...much appreciated.

I read your blog so know what you are talking about when it comes to tenants......hideous.We had problems ourselves when we came back from Spain. 125 holes in the walls of three rooms !


Sam said:
18 March 2013 @ 22:37

Kathy, I think you are right to trust people and judge them by your standards. However like you have found out the hard way people aren't all like us. If you are reading my blog Remarkable stories from a Spanish bar, you will find out how I have been burned on more than one occasion. But if we stop trusting, then they rob us of who we are !
Fingers crossed we just meet people with values from now on. Keep up the good work there are not enough teachers out there that have a relationship with their students, where their students will share private information. Well done you.


Kathy said:
19 March 2013 @ 21:42

Thank you Sam for those comments.
I hear what you say and I agree that we are who we are and if we stop trusting people we become cynical and as you say change from the person we were .

I guess I just learn from a situation like this and remind myself to keep a questioning mind and follow through with my own investigation.
The fact is that I spoke to this student today even though she has now left the course. She told me the truth in that she had got the money and there was no feeling on her part that she had done anything wrong . It seems that in the UK today there is nothing wrong with working out ways on how to get money from the government. Its like they feel its their right. Her mother is having a knee operation and the father is at home .It sounds like the whole family live on benefits..that is the world they live in.
Sometimes I wonder why I work?!


Patricia (Campana) said:
20 March 2013 @ 01:51

Kathy: I am sorry to hear of this incident, and I can see it upset you. However, nothing is ever black and white. It isn't a question of "cynical" on one extreme and "trusting" on the other extreme. It isn't cynical to keep one's eyes open, and to trust one's instincts. You know the saying: "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". People tell lies. It's a fact of life. Not just now, but always. Dishonesty didn't suddenly come into being in the past decade or so.
People's home circumstances are often not what we judge them to be. Those of us who have had a good home life may find it difficult to understand those who have not/do not have that kind of background. No harm eithr to remember about the mote in the other's eye and ignoring the plank in our own...

Could I just say - now everyone, go easy here! - not to be too hard on Mary (first post above).
Also, I don't think you had to admit "guilt", Kathy. You were not before a court of law.

Could I just say, bloggers, that you are up on a public forum, so there will be comments of all kinds on the events you describe, on your experiences, on your thoughts. The comments (provided these do not constitute a personal attack, as in the case of the individual Eggcup mentions), may not be what you want to hear, but I think the majority of comments on blogs are intended honestly -- again, not as personal attacks.

No one is perfect.

Must sit on my hands a while now, lol, in case I get MY knickles rapped.....








Kathy said:
20 March 2013 @ 10:15

Hi Patricia,
thank you for that .

I am open minded enough to be able to handle most comments thrown at me wither I agree with them or not.

Thats the way it goes when one exposes a story or situation thats displays a degree of vulnerability. When I wrote the article I was prepared for all sorts of comments that would come my way.
Reading them has been interesting in observing people reaction to the situation.


Patricia (Campana) said:
21 March 2013 @ 14:10

Hello Kathy:

I would never condone dishonesty, or lying. However, as I said, no one is perfect, and until we stand in the "other's" shoes, we have no way of knowing what the dynamics of their situation was or is. In my home, as a child, I got good example, and learned good boundaries. Some, unfortunately, never have that.
I think caution is always advisable. And that is very different from being cynical.

Again, I stress that comments should always address the topic or situation written by the blogger, but should NOT ever entail a personal attack on the blogger.

All the best for now
Patricia


Christinejoyce said:
23 March 2013 @ 08:47

Take some consolation that the Social Services department will follow this through,demand the money back and may even take her to court for theft and fraud, I do hope so!


Quilly said:
23 March 2013 @ 17:50

Hi Kathy
I'm sure you found this situation very upsetting and feel for you. I have seen my children suffer deeply from being let down by others who do not take responsibility for their actions. I have now to address my responsibilities in bringing them up to believe in honesty and integrity and to have high expectations of others and feel that I have not balanced these views sufficiently with the realities of life. However they are learning the hard way but will continue to "Be the change that they want to see in the world." As I am sure you will. We have to hold on to our values and I'm sure the work you do communicating so well with the young will help those who are not fortunate enough to get the guidance at home.


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