Gratuity

The research shows that student achievement in faith-based schools, many times, surpasses student achievement of public school students. The research also shows that those who attend faith-based schools are more likely to accept a leadership role in their respective church. But sometimes, anecdotes provide the impetus for seeing where we can still make improvements, especially since parents continue to question the value of our schools, even when they’re shown the facts and figures.

Truth be told, logic doesn’t compel. Cognition isn’t everything. It’s akin to learning all there is to learn about a subject – but if you can’t put what you’ve learned into practice, it remains untapped potential. This is where the affective domain comes into play. While logic solidifies one’s decision, the decision is actually made by the affective domain, as most “buying” decisions are emotional ones.

Advertising realizes this. Unfortunately, the abundance of media and the messages it offered formed the basis for the beginning of “The ME Generation.” It didn’t matter if an action was wrong or right (which is a function of logic); the prevailing feeling of the era became, “If it feels good, do it.” Remember the songs from that era? – “Love the One You’re With;” “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright;” and “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right,” not to mention “Me and Mrs. Jones.” All those messages have the same basis – “How can something that feels right be wrong?”

You know, if evil was repulsive, no one would want to be associated with it. In fact, evil looks good so that people are actually attracted to it. If you think about it in terms of our Faith, the grotesque action of crucifixion is the sign of our belief! Indeed, our salvation comes from an evil act of betrayal. Yet, people, especially today, want to “feel good” about the decisions they make. So, we not only have to make our schools “The Logical Choice,” but we have to make parents “feel good” about their choice.

Here’s one of those “feel good” stories:

In the days when ice cream sundaes cost much less than they do today, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. “How much is the ice cream sundae?” he asked. “Fifty cents,” replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins he had. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired. By now, more people were waiting at tables and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” was the waitress’ brusque response. The little boy counted his coins again, and said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream.” The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table, and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish were two nickels and five pennies. Although he had enough to pay for the sundae, he had to have enough to leave a tip.

Remember that another song from that era was “Teach Your Children Well.”  Gratuity would be a good trait to nurture in them, since a gratuitous heart would certainly make their parents feel good about how their children were raised.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2008-2018 (Original Publication Date: 20080331)