Momism and a RNF – Instilling self determination…

A HS Guidance Counselor once told me that I should not take up Engineering, even though I had strong math and science grades as well as a 4 year HS Mechanical Drafting curriculum under my belt. He gave no justification for this opinion. He gave no such negative advice to any of my peers, but there was little mystery to me what the likely driving force was behind his words, whether intentional or otherwise. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when I told her. On the next face to face meeting with the three of us, called by my mother, I was witness to a most delightfully decisive dismantling of an individual I have ever seen. My parents are preternaturally stoic and balanced so with a calm voice and searing glaze my mother delivered this:

“Mr. Guidance Counselor, My son shared with me your opinion regarding his career choice and all I have to say is that from this day forward you are to neither guide nor counsel my son any further. Are we clear?” -ECW

She spent not a moment attempting to convince him of his error. In fact we never spoke of him again. I was her only concern. He was free to be as wrong as he wanted to be. With my parents’ guidance and counseling I never placed another’s opinion of me above my own and a few years later I was an Engineer at General Electric Power Generation Engineering.

The vital lesson I picked up that day is that regardless of the dynamics involved:

Never let what someone else thinks get in the way of what you know. -ELW

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