“I’d rather improve someone’s life rather than just be liked”

Posted by ScottJarvie at May 26, 2011

Category: (a) Engagement Pictures, Uncategorized

OK, I don’t know how to write this better, I’m trying, and this might be a little off but you’re just gonna have to work with me on this as I try to formulate my ideas.

Those that know me will get it, those that don’t might think “he’s a little full of it”.
I suppose by posting this I’m saying I’m willing to take that risk of perception in hopes what I write helps someone.

The post is not perfect and prone to misunderstandings… but right now I just don’t care. (Maybe I’ll erase the post later)


I realize their is a magical mixture in our personal interactions. (like when teaching people. )
I recognize that I often fail to achieve those lofty heights.

For now (specially in teaching) I usually say to myself: “I’d rather improve someone’s life rather than just be liked”.
When optimal, I’d rather do both.

Am I saying I don’t want to be their friend? No! I’m not saying that. I want to be liked very badly.
Am I not friendly? If you know me then I think you know the answer to that.


But I feel like often I come to a crossroads of sorts and I need to make a decision and it’s one of 1. push to improve their lives or 2. just work to be liked.
In those situations I’ve said to myself, many people come and go and while I certainly want it to be said: “That Jarvie guy is swell and we always got along great” – I personally would rather they say “He helped me to be better and that improved my life in these ways…”
The obvious example I’m using here, for me, is photography. Particularly in a teacher student relationship. I want them to say: “The thoughts, principles, information and overall skill-set he shared made my life better. He pushed me to be better at these things and those things improved my life and the life of all my family.”

I’m not a parent but I hear stories of deadbeat dads who only will do the fun and exciting things with their children just to be liked and to see their children excited, they never lay down the law or push them to be better, or take moments to teach and share actions and consequences.

Fun and enjoyment have their place but it seems like more and more it’s becoming the only objective some people talk about or seek after.

I often come to those crossroads and say: “You know what? maybe they spite me a little while for pushing, but I feel my ego can take that hit because of the knowledge that I’ve given them something invaluable to improve their lives.”


There are lots of people out there willing to say things to you to make you feel like all is well and make you smile, giggle and laugh (only).
But my contemplation is: “maybe we need more people truly invested and interested in helping and improving their quality of life, wether they thank you or not or put you on their christmas card list.”

Some days I can

There are days when I can look out and say: “I know I might not have been liked for the frustrations of learning, the tiredness, the nudges forward or the amount of hard work that I had someone do, or when I don’t take their excuses the way they’re used to.
BUT my hope I rely on is that they are becoming a more capable skilled individual ready to handle the world… and I am OK with it.”
Those days I can say to myself: I’m happy knowing they are better and stronger and more capable.

Some days I can’t

Then there are days where that mental fortitude, on my part, is NOT there… and I can’t handle it. I just want to be liked and appreciated, at that moment. I get sad and just want to say: “lets just go play around all day and not worry about anything as long as I’m not the perceived bad guy.”

Today was one of those days.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal ways and this will be a mute point.

But today I wonder and I’m here to say that it certainly would be soooo much easier to not care and not be invested and just have people pay me to tell them everything is fine, all is well, and let’s go do the funnest things you can think of.

But honestly I’d rather I improve their lives than be liked.

Just not today – today I just wanted to be appreciated for those other days and experiences.

And I guess that makes me just like those I’m teaching…

One Day

Someday (Hopefully every day) I’ll be even better at the magical recipe of how to best accomplish my objectives: To share things that will help to make a person’s life better. (And to do it in the best way’s possible)
To be an advocate for and personally invested in them being their best.

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