“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – Philippians 2:3-5
Attitude influences everything you do! It seems in the field of interpreting there is a lot of pride and strife (seeking to look better than others). Other people can clearly see your attitude. Your attitude shows! Bad reasons to interpret include interpreting for praise from others, for self-gratification, because of pride, to be superior to the people we serve, to be a “control freak” (making decisions for other people) and more. But, interpreters are servants!
Recently I heard a person in leadership (not an interpreter) talk about US (the leadership team) and THEM (the followers). He seemed to think he was above and separate from the people he was supposed to serve. The “us vs. them” attitude is very dangerous in the field of interpreting.
“Would You Rather” questions reveal values and attitude. In many of our meetings with large Deaf groups, I have asked, “Would you rather have a highly skilled interpreter who does NOT love Deaf people, or a medium skilled interpreter who loves the Deaf?” The answer is almost 100% for the interpreter who loves the Deaf! Naturally, interpreters should always be learning and improving their skills. Never forget that your attitude is showing.
Interpreter, seek the best for the people you serve. Never argue or disagree in front of them. Defer to more skilled interpreters. Strive to give clear understanding in your interpretation. Do what is necessary, even if it makes you look bad. Serve rather than be served. Remember that your attitude is showing. “Do all things without murmurings (criticizing) and disputings (arguing)” (Phil 2:14), and the results may surprise you.