Who’s Tattling?: On Learning Where to Focus

I have seen a particular scenario play out in children’s karate classes many times now. It happens most with our youngest students, in our Little Dragons program. It results in the instructor asking, “Who’s tattling?”

Here’s how the scenario goes: One of the students is talking or making noise. This is when the group is supposed to be listening to or following the instructor.

The instructor asks, “Who’s making noise?”

Rarely, the guilty party will admit it by raising their hand.

Usually, another student or two will point at the guilty party.

Then, the instructor asks, “Who’s tattling?”

This usually results in the pointing student quickly putting their hand down and focusing on their own karate.

Sometimes the instructor will take that opportunity to remind the students to focus on what they, themselves, are doing. Sometimes the teacher will state that it is their job, the instructor’s job, to help or correct the students as well as to pay attention to what the others are doing.

A Favorite Inspirational Quote

This is good advice for all of us, both young and old. And it reminds me of one of my favorite inspirational quotes: “Be so busy improving yourself that you don’t have time to pay attention to anything or anyone that distracts you from your growth.” –Anonymous

And that brings up even more than just trying not to be the one who’s tattling.

Not only do we need to keep our attention on what we are doing, but that focus is well spent if it’s spent on self-improvement. It’s a great idea to not stick our nose into the faults of others. But an even better idea to keep our attention on our own growth. And to ignore those things and people that distract us from said growth.

I often wonder how well those lessons sink in for our young students. Are they better off for being a part of the above scenario, and able to apply it to their own better living?

Self-improvement and our own growth. Let’s focus on that. Then we can’t go wrong, can we?

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

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