'Most people are nice when you finally see them': My favourite quote

Michael S Bartlett, Founding Executive Principal, Rising School Dubai talks us through his favourite books.

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Jan 2023, 11:36 AM

What are you reading right now?

Blink by Malcom Gladwell, and The One Minute Teacher by Spencer Johnson.

A book that changed your life?

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr Seuss. It was the first book I read out loud in front of my first grade class. I'll never forget how I felt that day, standing in front of the whole class at six years old - because, until that moment, I was very terrified to be in front of people and worried about how my voice sounded, even at that age.

Name one underrated book, and why you'd recommend it.

The Eighth Habit by Stephen Covey points out simple ways to understand your "voice" when speaking to people. As a school leader, it helped me understand the significance of the four intelligences when crafting a message to teachers, or parents, or even students and children. It's given me a lot of confidence when making presentations and passing messages across to strangers and familiar faces at educational conferences both in the UAE and abroad.

Your favourite literary character?

Harry Potter - he is a very interesting character, who adds a lot of magic to his role at every given opportunity. His curiosity and bravery in the face of every challenge is admirable. At such a young age, he was chosen and given a huge destiny, even though he felt like he wasn't worthy or 'good enough'. He kept pushing though, and inspired many other kids like himself along the way.

Your favourite book quote.

"Most people are nice when you finally see them." - To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a quote and a book my English teacher used to teach us about symbolism during the slavery era in the United States; I've never forgotten that lesson, symbolism, or quote. I've had the honour of speaking at high school graduations, and I always end with this line, as I believe it is one that every individual - at any stage in their life - can learn something from.

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