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Unknown & Underestimated

I always enjoy entering the arena, especially when it’s against unknown opponents.

The key aspect of being a negotiator is reading people, understanding their motives, reading their tactics, determining their triggers, and once all of that information is gathered, to make one’s move.

One of my favorite things is seeing that the opponent underestimates you. They have judged you on some aspect of yourself and based on that judgment they have deemed you unworthy to be in the arena. They are the the big one in the middle with the scariest armor and the largest sword daring everyone in the arena to come towards them and attack. The bluster, the positioning is fun to watch if you’re the one who has been underestimated.

I recall once, several years ago, sitting across the table from a 7 figure executive, meaning this man made over $1 million a year in his salary, who had arrived in his 6-figure sports car and his expensive clothes. He arrived at my office to “school me” on what it meant to enter the arena with his team, and in his estimate, I had so far failed in his expectations of me, and was there to tell me how the situation would proceed from there. It was wildly entertaining. His ego dripped off of him. His disdain was palatable. I was a flea in his opinion, but still a flea he felt he needed to flick off of his team’s shoulders.

To his shock and dismay, I didn’t budge. I held my ground, and told HIM how things were going to proceed from that moment forwards. I was not intimidated. I was not impressed by his wealth, by his power. I was able to professionally communicate that his ask of me was unwarranted, unprofessional, unappreciated and was not going to play out how he wanted. I was the one defining the rules, and I didn’t work for him. He left, angry, but I won.

Once again someone new has entered the arena where I live and breathe. They looked at me and instantly dismissed me. They stood there with their law degree and their professional credentials and their wealth and saw me as just a mom and deemed me unworthy to be in the arena.

And, I am enjoying being so underestimated.

Those with the biggest egos have the greatest weaknesses. They believe themselves to be unbeatable, and in their hubris they fail to understand just how vulnerable they are. This woman has entered the fray, brandishing her weapons, hurling her words, bullying all around her, violating codes of ethics, and just down right being a nasty person. She has shown there is no depth to which she is unwilling to sink, no weapon she is unwilling to use. She attacks the characters of those who oppose her, playing on emotions and attempting to rally people to her cause through lies and manipulations. She claims to care about our children, but in truth, she only cares about the agenda of who is paying her.

If she cared then she wouldn’t be doing what she’s doing, but she truly doesn’t. Our children are currency to her and nothing more. While she may have earned her right to be here by having a dyslexic child, she is not caring about our children at all, while her children, because of her privilege, thrive in private school.

I have said this before but let me say this again, dyslexia doesn’t care about a person’s gender, race or socio-economic factors. This is the most non-discriminatory learning challenge that exists, and it exists in greater numbers than any other challenge. True. Dyslexia is the most prevalent learning disability by far. So, when our schools fail to educate our children, and the majority of those children do not have the socio-economic factors that allow them access to private anything, what happens to them? Unless someone extends a hand of grace to truly help them learn to read and write, they spend their lives in illiteracy. Now, at an average of $12,000-$17,000 / year in private services is required to fully remediate dyslexia, and given that due process with an attorney in Texas, as an example, is going to cost a family between $25,000-$50,000, ask yourselves how many families can afford either part of that financial outlay?

Now, given that facts are friendly and math is even friendlier, why would someone attempt to enter the arena and CLAIM that what is currently happening to our children is actually successful?

In my state, Texas, 25% of 8th graders read at or above proficiency levels. That’s a decrease from the 4th grade numbers of course, just like it is across the nation, but Texas is also significantly below the national average. Mind you this is per NAEP. Without knowing ANYTHING ELSE, is there then a logical argument that the status quo of educating our dyslexic children thus far under “Texlexia” is actually successful? No, there isn’t.

Now, I’m all about statistics. I LOVE STATISTICS! I hate math, but statistics is my love language. Lol! So, this new entrant is attempting to use population numbers to state that this is the CHOICE that parents have made. Now, that’s some serious mathematical manipulation to me since I don’t know how on earth you can say a population number is a poll of parent’s desires, but hey, that’s just my super logical brain thinking out loud here.

But, all of that aside, and those are relatively simply arguments thus far, I am going to enjoy the future so much. While she swings her big sword, cries to those reps she’s “friends” with, and attempts to undermine the future for our children, I will dance around her, make greater strides, and shut her down in every way. What this comes down to is that she swung her sword at me, missed, dismissed me as unworthy, and in so doing dared me to come after her.

While lions don’t concern themselves with the drama of lambs, I’m going to enjoy this more than I should. That’s not ego, that’s fact. She’s out of her league with me, and it’s time to play.

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