Monday, February 17, 2014

OCD or Good Habits?

I get to travel to all sorts of different classrooms. In doing so, I see how different teachers organize their classes. Some of them are really neat and organized. Some should be declared a disaster area. Seriously.

There was a class room I went to recently that was very organized. There were baskets, clearly labeled, where the students were supposed to turn in their assignments. The white boards were clean. Heck, even the dry erase markers were organized by color. It was amazing.

That same week, I was in a room where there were papers everywhere. The teacher’s desk was covered with assignments, folders, sticky notes and half-a-dozen knickknacks.

I understand that people have different personalities which can be reflected in how organized and clean they keep their environments. I, personally, prefer a clean environment. Granted, if you look at my workspace where I write my books, it may seem a bit cluttered. But that works for me. I know where everything is. It’s not quite the “A place for everything, and everything all over the place” situation, but it’s not as super organized as it could be.

Why do I bring this up? Hang in there a second and it will make sense.

In our current day and age, it seems like certain behaviors are given labels. To be fair, there are real and serious conditions where these terms are valid. Yet, I believe there are times when the terms are used too broadly.

For example, OCD means Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It’s real and can be a big issue for those who have it. But I, personally, think that the term is often used incorrectly. That’s a problem. Why? Because it cheapens the meaning of it.

Consider the word “awesome.” It comes from the word “awe” which means “a strong feeling of fear or respect and also wonder.” And “awesome” as a word? “An expressive of awe or inspiring awe.”

Therefore, when someone eats a taco, and then says, “Awesome!” Is that really what they mean? Did the taco honestly create a strong feeling of fear or respect or even wonder? Possibly, but I doubt it.

The same could be said for using the term “OCD” for an activity when in fact it may be a good habit. If you brush your teeth every night before you can go to bed, that’s a good habit. If you have to brush your teeth every hour on the hour, that’s more along the lines of OCD.

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion? Next time someone uses the term “OCD,” think, “is that really what they mean, or is it just a good habit?”

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