Wisdom Story #3: Forgive Yourself


Sister Mary Jane Wallace hosts a reception for her piano students following their 2016 recital.

Ask a Catholic Benedictine Sister for her wisdom, and she’s likely to tell you a story. Why?  Because wisdom comes through listening and being. This is the 3rd story in our Wisdom Series.

Sister Mary Jane Wallace is in-between piano lessons.

She’s been thinking a lot lately about what we expect from kids in the classroom and at the keyboard.

She’s decided we need to spend more time praising and less time criticizing.

“As teachers, we always stressed the negative,” she says.

“We would mark tests as -2 rather than +8, for example. But you know, that’s what kids remember. The negative. They remember what they failed to do. And that’s not right.

“I just had two beautiful young girls play a duet in a public performance. They played perfectly when they played alone.

“But when they played together they had trouble. Once upon a time I would have warned them about failing. But now I told them just to have fun.

“I think our tendency to criticize others comes from not forgiving ourselves.

“If we can learn to forgive ourselves for being less than we can be, maybe we can forgive others.

“And maybe we can model self-forgiveness to others.”

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