For six months, I was a clinic supervisor at my former Acupuncture/Oriental Medicine college. There, I was in charge of facilitating and ensuring the smooth flow of the clinic, making sure that the interns, patients, and school were safe from any mishaps. However, my main duty there was to help mentor the interns, ensuring that the school was to graduate some of the finest practitioners that we can produce.
As a supervisor, I felt a duty to transmit as much wisdom I could to my interns. I needed to make sure that every future acupuncturist who’ve come under my watch become the best that they can be. If they are to become my future colleagues, they better be good, right? So I allowed each and every intern to develop their own style by establishing my own special relationship with each and every one of them based on their strengths and personality.
A part of being an intern at the school is to present to the supervisor the patient’s signs and symptoms, and to formulate a treatment strategy to the best of their ability. All throughout my short tenure of being a clinic supervisor at the school, I never did give my interns a straight answer of “you’re right” or “you’re wrong.” I always asked them “why do you believe this or that?” I was always open to the interns’ ideas as long as they adhered to proper medical theory and safety regulations. All they had to do is “sell” their strategies to me and tell me why they want to treat a patient in a particular way. And if they were “wrong,” then I’d guide them in a way that they can figure out the reasoning themselves, which gives them a sense of self-empowerment. They all loved this. It allowed them to develop their own style, their own manner of doing things, and making Traditional Chinese Medicine work for them. And as long as they can make the medicine work for them, they’ll make a successful impact on their patients’ lives. That’s the beauty of the medicine.
That’s also the beauty of life.
I treat my kids the same way. They can feel free to dream and do what they want to do, as long as their responsibilities are taken care of and that they live by compassionate morals, values, and safety.
You can’t force another person to be like you, and you can’t simply tell people they’re “wrong or right” and then to force-feed them why. You can only allow for them to discover and express their own inner brilliance. Nature is the same way. You can’t make a rose garden grow by pulling on their stems. You can’t foist your impatience and ego onto nature, your friends, your family, your workers, or others. If you do, be prepared for the backlash… whether it’s your kids rebelling against you, your workers decreasing productivity, or your flowers dying in the garden because you’re impatiently over-watering them.
Do you love the sun because you made the sun that way, or because it shines it’s own brilliance onto you?
One of my biggest joys as a parent is candidly watching my kids play or draw by themselves. You can see their entire inner world of imagination and self expression outwardly unfold before your very eyes simply by allowing them to be them.
We love the trees, the sky, the stars, and the creation of life because of what they inherently are. Everything in the universe is to be loved for their own inner essence, their own nature. And when you take time to look for the inherent nature in others, and show them how much you appreciate them in that way, they’ll make sure to show you that they appreciate you for being you, too.
That’s what I love about Tao philosophy. It allows you to be you, and by allowing your friends and loved ones to be themselves you can find true happiness.