You Treat Them Like You See Them

Zig Ziglar on

Author/speaker Lewis Timberlake from Austin, Texas, tells a fascinating story. He was invited to a school in Brooklyn, New York, to speak and participate in a banquet honoring their "Teacher of the Year." This teacher had been retired for 10 years and was called back because after the first six weeks of school this particular class of boys had run seven different teachers off. Many of them had been arrested for drugs and other crimes.

They told her they would assign a policeman to protect her, and she responded that would not be necessary. They offered to put a student assistant in the room to help control the boys. She explained that she had never had any trouble in the classroom, loved boys and loved to teach. They cautioned her that things had changed, but she was confident she could handle the job.

She had virtually no discipline problems. Academically, the boys learned far better than they had ever learned in school before, and as a result she was recognized as "Teacher of the Year." The night of the banquet was filled with the usual accolades, with everybody commending her for a tremendous job. When she spoke, she confessed that she did not deserve the honor and that she knew there would be no trouble because they had given her such outstanding students with high I.Q.s: "Albert Anderson, 137; Bill Brooks, 136; Charlie Carter, 135," etc.

The principal, with some embarrassment, explained that those were not their I.Q.s -- those were their locker numbers.


Message: We treat people like we see them. Be a good-finder, and you will do far more for the people you are with and around than you possibly can as a fault-finder. Take that approach, and I'll see you at the top!


To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



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