Cookie-Cutter People

Marilyn Mackenzie

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Some brilliant person decided about twenty years ago or so that people should all be the same and that all people should be treated the same way. Now, I’m not saying that we should ever treat people differently because of their appearances – because of gender or skin color. I am saying that each of us are unique individuals, and as such, we react to the world around us differently.

Because of our uniqueness, we should be approached differently, taught differently, managed differently. If that were the case, young people would embrace learning and adults would find fulfillment in their jobs.

Instead, schools have become factories trying to use an assembly line approach to teaching. Teachers may know that children learn in many different ways, but they are unable to use that knowledge in today’s classrooms because of classroom size and local and federal requirements.

Our work places have become places where employees not only dread being there, they often try to sabotage businesses rather than helping them thrive, all because they don’t feel appreciated or fulfilled.

What ever happened to good old common sense? What happened to The Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ”

When I first read Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Manager, I realized what simple truths it held. Blanchard’s style management was a simple one. His book was written in simple terms. The one thing I’ve remembered after all these years was his wise method – the sandwich method. One should praise, then reprimand or correct, then praise again. This common sense approach to managing people also works at home or at school with children.

Whether in a classroom or work place, instructions should be given to individuals in ways that empower them to understand and go forward with the tasks at hand. If an individual learns visually, then visual aids are important. If he or she learns better verbally, then verbal instructions should be included. And if a person is teaching a group of persons – children or adults – the instructor should understand that there will be all types of learners in the classroom. Using each of these tools will help everyone learn and understand.

In the business world, and in the classroom, there have to be rules. But in the process of treating all persons the same, we’ve also taken away the abilities of individual managers and teachers to be themselves or to manage or teach in ways that are more comfortable for their own personalities. We have taken away their ability to approach individuals whom they manage or teach in different ways, because we have decided the cookie-cutter people is what we’re after.

What is odd is that we are all surprised that after stifling the creativity of individuals, those same individuals mimic each other in households throughout the land. Each night, families rush home to plop preservative-filled foods into small boxes that instantly cook them. Then they rush into family rooms to watch reality TV shows or use the newest game consoles.

Cookie-cutter people is what we have been after. We have achieved what we sought. But that’s one success about which we should not be proud.

Marilyn Mackenzie has been writing about home, family, faith, business and nature for over 40 years. She is an author on http://www.Writing.Com which is a site for Creative Writers . Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/kenzie.


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