The stories from the two Dry Gables Series include an accompanying post from the Sparkle Schoolhouse Educator, Meredith Markow. Each post offers insights into the characters and dynamics of the stories, along with suggestions for how to use the stories as parenting or teaching tools!
Nice of you to join us, Sparkle Grownups, for a Meet & Greet with Dry Gables’ very own town mayor, EB Herz.
In short, EB wants to be the best. And that can mean that sometimes he puts his self-interests ahead of others. What’s important to remember that underneath his competitive edge, is someone looking to be seen and valued for who he really and truly is without all of the achievements. And what he does for others in his own striving is that he inspires us to be our best, too! EB is a champion for celebrating and encouraging our potential. He is our motivational speaker, he is our trendsetter, he is our life coach. Ra! Ra! Sis Boom Bah! Gooooooo US!
EB is saying: “I want to be excellent!”
Because our EBs can become self-important in their striving, it helps to remind them that there is Something Greater than Me that deserves his attention. And this is where we need Franz Denken, our dry goods owner. Franz assures EB that we are in this together, and that our individual success intimately hinges on the success of all.
“Yes” said the serious dry goods owner, “Listen to your people – they want to know you are really seeing them, hearing them – that you are there for them – not for yourself.”
EB is at his best when he is truly able to listen to others to see what needs to be inspired and seen in them. In doing so, we balance his tendency to want that solely for himself.
Yes, he was still his charming, well-dressed and entertaining self – but now he had clearly taken Franz’s advice and he was listening. It was very common now to see EB sitting next to someone with a serious expression as he listened so deeply to what they were saying. He would nod and his eyes were so caring – so understanding – so … committed to what they were saying. It was a big change…and he wasn’t pretending – it was real.
And remember, EB wants us to see his real self, too!
What we hope for our EBs is they can turn their self-interest outward, so that it serves the greater good. We hope for them to show others their real feelings.
Franz will help him to do that. When you notice your little EB worrying too much about what others think of him, or if he is trying to be better than others and not taking them into proper consideration, you can call on the Franz in you to help!
Here’s what you can do to bring a little Franz to your EB:
Will the Real Me Stand Up? Play a game where you list the ‘me on the outside’ qualities in your EB, the ones that really don’t help others to be their best selves. List then the ‘inside of me’ qualities that reflect the best of the real EB that others benefit from, too. Stand up and clap when you say the Real Me parts!
Mirror! Mirror! OFF the Wall! Take the mirrors down in your house. Help you EB to see himself without the mirror! (I need to do this for myself!)
Eyes Closed Selfie! Take a few selfies with your eyes closed. Do they look the same as the ones you take when you are looking at your image? Make goofy faces! Or draw yourself. But close your eyes when you do it! Have fun drawing yourself and then imagining that that is you. Is that really YOU? Not so much. It’s only your self-ish.
Serve your Community! Lend a Hand! Do something for others. Bake. Cook. Weed. Clear. Doesn’t matter. Just do it for others. How does your heart feel after that?
Better Together! Give your EB a task to do by himself. See how long it took. What was the outcome. How did it feel? Then do the same thing together and compare!
Read Hope for Flowers, if not for your EB, then perhaps for the EB in you?
Our EBs need our Franz’s! Hands Together!
Franz helps EB to develop himself for the benefit of others.
He reminds him the value of community.
He reminds him of the value of humility.
About the Author
Meredith has been working with adults and children of all ages for the past 25 years as a Waldorf Teacher and Educational Consultant. She received a B.A. with a focus on child development and child psychology from the University of Michigan, in 1984, an M.A. Ed from Washington University in 1987, and her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Lehrerausbildung (Teacher Training) in Nurnberg, Germany in 1989. She was certified as a Living Inquiries Facilitator in 2014, and she completed her formal teaching certification with The Enneagram Institute in 2014. Her work in the classroom and with individuals and groups is designed to help people of all ages to drop self-limiting beliefs to live a more joyful and compassionate life.