How often has something happened and it’s only after some time has passed that you thought how you could have handled it better, or what would have been a perfect response to someone’s action or comment. Winston Churchill was a master of the witty comeback, one anecdote that reflects his ability is his response to a rival politician who commented to Churchill, “Your bald head looks like my wife’s behind (ass)”; with no pause, Churchill rubs his head and said, “Feels like it too!”
There are many times when I realized some time later what I should have done or said, and then there were those times I got it right. I had the perfect response to fit the situation. Here are two personal examples (I would love to hear/read any you have.)
When I was teaching 5th grade in New York City there was a teacher who was crude, hostile, and very negative to his students and others who worked with him. I confronted him one time when he called a student stupid and asked how he would feel if someone talked to him that way. He pretty much ignored my communication. He was someone who I wanted to put in his place, and that opportunity happened during a teacher’s birthday party in the school.
He had gone on a date with a teacher, Marlene, that did not turn out well, and they did not really get along. He was sitting in her classroom
celebrating her birthday with other teachers. I walked in late, got a piece of cake and wished Marlene a happy birthday, and started to walk out of the room. As I was passing behind his chair this jerk made some crude comment to Marlene about her not getting something from me. With no hesitation I knew what had to happen, I looked at Marlene and said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and pushed the cake in his face, and left the room, with a big smile on my face. He just sat there stunned, not able to say or do anything – I love that moment.
Another appropriate response came when I was in Graduate School. The “teacher” of a three-hour class would spend the first hour talking about things totally irrelevant to the class — basically wasting our time. A number of students grumbled about this, but no one would say or do anything. So I decided to make a statement.
During the third class I brought in a newspaper and as he started doing his lecture talking about irrelevant things, I blatantly took out the paper and very obviously started to read it. He asked me to put away the paper, and my response was, “As soon as you start talking about something relevant to our course I will.”
Other students who felt the same way just sat there, letting me take the brunt of his response. “See me after class!”. I still remember that moment with great pride (and by the way I got an A in the course).
There’s a quote from Winston Churchill that is in alignment with the theme of the article, “America will always do the right thing, after having exhausted all the possibilities.” When it comes to choosing the right career or educational path that is right for you, get it right, right away. If you know you have not gotten it right I can help you or someone you know finds the perfect response to the career or educational program that is right for you or them. A path that helps you achieve the brilliance you are capable of achieving.
Please let me know if I can be of any help.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you imagine.” Thoreau Bernard