Before class Monday morning, I mentioned to the few students who were hanging out early that the room smelled like someone had been smoking pot in the room during the night. One student said there is often cigarette smoke in a room beside the painting studio. When she asked about it, someone said it was just the instructor, Joe Boss, he always smokes (even though there is a no smoking policy in the school). And no one says a thing, they just let him smoke.
It is all in the attitude. It reminded me of an incident a few years ago when one partner in a marriage was having an affair and subsequently left his wife (and two young children) for the “other” woman. The wife was devastated and began publicly accusing him of indiscretions with his children. Her manner was accusatory and anxious, whining and insecure. His new partner was proud and supportive. So the one who was seen as the problem was the wife, not the woman whom he left her for, nor the man who could quite possibly have been disregarding important boundaries with his children.
The one who smokes (against the rules) walks around the school feeling his importance, acts his importance and so no one questions him. (Not even me. Our paths don’t cross and I don’t seek him out.) Too bad. But it is a good lesson for all of us.