Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Book of the Day

Just yesterday, I recommended Ruby Payne's A Framework for Understanding Poverty to a former student and now fellow grad student (hmm, when your students become your peers, maybe it's time to graduate already?) Payne's extraordinary book is aimed at middle-class teachers to understand that poverty is much more than a lack of money, but I think the book does an extraordinary job of understanding the choices people, and not just those in poverty, make based on the resources at their disposal. I'm a strong believer that people are shaped by environmental cues, and this book helps remind me that people's behavior isn't always an indication of a rational choice, but often a function of learned behaviors (in the book, Payne talks about the "rules of being poor", but you could extend this to just about any situation)

1 comment:

Su said...

Amazing observation and choice of words.

'Function of learned behaviors'
' Shaped by environmenal cues'

That is exactly how I feel. It is one of the rules that I apply as I make my way around the world. Doing that makes us more tolerant, more perceptive, realistic, intuitive, less selfish and definately more grateful. However, one needs to know their limits on how much you can ' put yourself in another person's shoes' and ' understand where they are coming from.