Sarah’s Diary Episode Twenty-Four

Jenny looked forward to today’s class because it would add a new dimension to the dynamics of the Malcomb family. The entry was from September 1, 1889. It was the day after Elizabeth had left home to go to the University. No one in the Malcomb family over generations had ever left the community. While Hiram and Mable were certainly not facing an empty nest, they really felt the loss of Elizabeth.

“In his memoir, Hiram reflected on missing Elizabeth. He could foresee the time when all of the children but Luke would leave to go to the University and have lives in other parts of the country. Hiram began to doubt whether he and Mable were right in their encouragement of the children to develop inquisitive minds.

Jenny was also interested in seeing how the children would react to the diary entry of Jacob. He was ranked the lowest of all of the children as an innovator. Would the diary entry give them a new perspective on Jacob?

“We are missing Elizabeth something terrible. Everybody is very sad and I don’t know what we’d do without Jacob. He’s been so calming and helpful to each of us. Jacob has always been spiritual, but now I see where his faith has helped all of us. He has this sincere and uplifting tone to help us adjust. I have to admit that Jacob is funny, and his jokes have brought smiles to our faces.”

Now that you have heard about Jacob from this diary entry, how do you view him as an innovator? Before, we saw him as being lazy but inventive. Now we see him as a calming influence to help others get through a tough moment in the family. Would you score his innovation potential?

Question 1:  Do you seek out new information regularly just for fun and then share this information with others? Score 3.6

Question 2:  Do you seek out new information when you are anxious about not knowing something you feel you should/must know? Score 3.4

Question 3:  Do you try to understand how other people are thinking by observing them or asking them questions? Score 4.5

Question 4:  Are you willing to take risks to gain new experiences? Score 3.1

Question 5:  Are you comfortable with moving out of your comfort zone in order to gain new insights or knowledge? Score 3.2

As she expected, Jacob had the lowest scores so far of any of the children. Jenny wanted the class to reflect on their scores. “Up until now, Jacob has received the lowest scores of any of the siblings. What’s that telling us? He was certainly empathetic. It was clear that this was a loving family, but do you find it interesting that Jacob was the one that helped them get through a tough time. He had the right words, a calming manner, and a light look on life. Why don’t we think of that as being innovative? I want you to think about that as your assignment for the next class.

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“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

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