What Would Happen if Adult Behaviors Were Graded?

Children know their day-to-day actions are being monitored at home and school. How different would things be if adults were evaluated on a similar system?

Last week I was driving behind a school bus as it delivered morning kindergarten students to their prospective bus stops.

My windows were down, the sunroof was open, the sun was shining, and my heart warmed as I heard one father eagerly ask his daughter, “Did you get a gold star today?” as she jumped off the bus. She nodded her head with a beaming smile as he gave her a bear hug.

Initially I thought it was so sweet, this dad genuinely inquiring about his youngster's morning at school. But then another thought occurred to me.

When do we stop being graded on our daily behavior?

Stars, smiley faces, and green, yellow and red circles are awarded to children every day at school based on the way they act toward one another, how respectful they are to the teacher, and if they follow the rules.

Naturally, this is a hypothetical sort of question, but it caused me to pause and ponder this concept.

If adults knew they were being graded, day in and day out on their actions and words, would we live in a better society? Would people be more conscious of their criticisms, their judgments on others? Would they be more kind?

I know there are days where I would certainly go from the green to the yellow color on the stoplight chart. Depending on what’s going on, I might even drop to red. Fortunately I’m at a point in life where no one is calling home to tell my mom that I’ve been a naughty girl.

But what if they did? Sounds silly at this point in life, but in a way it would be an interesting study in adult behavior.

Out of a group of 100 adults on any given day, how many would get the gold star? How many would drop to yellow circle on the stoplight? How many might end up with a frown face on their daily behavior chart?

Some days my patience is worn thin. I’m more likely to yell at my kids when I should really be taking a step back and communicating in a calmer tone. I would have to give myself a yellow light on that.

Or maybe I’ll go the extra mile to have something baked fresh when they walk in the door. Certainly that earns me a gold star for the day, right?

Let’s try our own little experiment this week and see how many gold stars we can put on our behavior charts! What have you done to earn a green circle on the stoplight?

Or better yet, maybe we can share some encouragment by awarding our friends with smiley faces in a public comment. Think about it ... who do you know who has done something "gold-star-worthy" today?

Jenae Holtzhafer October 10, 2012 at 06:13 PM
That's a WHOLE other column, Slyfox!! :)
Crestor Januvia October 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I yelled at an old lady today.
Daryl Nerl October 10, 2012 at 08:45 PM
FAIL, Crestor.
Mary Anne Looby October 11, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Yesterday I spent the day lunching and shopping with my daughter who is 32. During the course of the day she spoke to a number of people, both in person and on the phone. I could not help but say to her "jeez, you are so nice to everybody", her response was that she was raised to be that way! She gets a gold star, I need to go back to school and relearn what I taught!!!
Carl W October 11, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I just feel good doing nice things for friends & strangers, eveyday. Spreads niceness - makes people happier. (Living near I-78 exits, often explain, and if difficult, suggest people follow me to their destinations). (Also, like to be ambassador of good for Allentown)! :-)


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »