540: How do you KNOW?

When there is a decision to be made, how do you know which of the available options to choose? HOW do you know? HOW are you sure? HOW do you know which option among the possible options is the best one to choose? HOW do you know that you are not making a mistake?

The fact is, you don’t know.

You can make the best possible choice among the available options, and still have things absolutely blow up in your face. You can make a very poor choice, and God can still arrange things to turn out right in the end, anyway. You might be the committed one, honest, and sincere in thought, word, and deed. If the other person (people) are not of the same commitment, something that is entirely beyond your control, BTW, things stand a very good chance of not working out positively.

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The cruel fact is, you don’t know. Life was never promised to be fair, equitable, acknowledging of your efforts, or affirming. Happiness is not promised. Fulfillment as an individual is not promised, either.

So – do you give up? Many do.

Giving up looks attractive, especially after yet another major defeat. Giving up guarantees one thing – you won’t win. You have to be in the game to win. You can’t win if you sit it out. Plus, realize that not everyone who is in the game wins.

If fulfillment is your goal, you must be stubborn as a mule and not give up. Even when you are slapped down once again, you cannot, ever, never give up. Be the ethical and moral person that you know yourself to be and keep going. Rest when you must. Recharge your spent batteries. But don’t quit.

How do you know you’ve won? Making peace with all that went before is one clear indicator. Being at peace with yourself is another.

 

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389: You IDJIT

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There have been times this epithet has been directed at other people. I admit it  – sometimes other people are just plain stupid. So there.

More frequently, lately, this scorching has been aimed squarely at…………………………………………..me.

Ding dong dag nab it, sometimes I win the trophy. Queen bee idjit. Tiara and all.

I know when I’ve done it, too – there is that oh-no second when I realize it is too late, right before the snot hits the fan and delivers a smooth spatter to the universe. The cringe of full knowledge – eyup, that was me, blazing a trail where few had trod before, dammit, and none will (willingly) tread after.  *sigh*

Most of my idjit difficulties appear to stem from the undeniable fact that I cannot keep my big mouth SHUT. Can. NOT. Do. It.

If I am thinking it (and I occasionally do have some good thoughts, even if I do say so myself), it goes immediately to the superhighway of speech before I can warn my tongue about the speed trap ahead. And there is no calling it back once it is out there. Unlike a fart that can be politely ignored, or better yet, blamed on someone else, there is little possibility of unclaiming something I have just announced to the wide world. Brain farts converted to speech farts can NOT be passed off on somebody else, dammit. I know. I’ve tried – no dice.

This diarrhea-of-the-mouth problem I have does not include secrets – I just want to help solve any problems I hear about, so I get myself into trouble trying to help fix things. Sometimes the idjit trophy arrives squarely at my door that way, too.

So, excuse me while I adjust my tiara and march off-stage with my trophy: Miss Idjit, Universe level.

336: Following Directions

As a teacher, I give my students directions to follow to complete assignments in class. The directions generally specify such things as hand-written or word-processed, what size font is acceptable, what formatting protocol is to be followed,  the expected length of the paper, and other such things. Along with this page or two of directions, there is a rubric that will be used to score the final product, so students can see what will be evaluated, and how the assignment will be scored.

I do this because there will be directions that they have to follow in order to complete many tasks as adults – this is real-life training. to get a license to drive, there are procedures to follow, documents to bring, and steps to complete. If you do not read the directions, you will make many wasted trips, and perhaps will never attain your goal, the license to drive you were working on getting in the first place.  When you visit the doctor, often you will be prescribed medication – and told when to take it and how much of it to take for however many days. If you do not follow the doctor’s directions, you may not get well, and may even have to go to the hospital.  Sometimes the directions are very important! If you do not mix the infant formula according to the package directions, and sterilize the bottles like you are instructed to do, you can make your baby very sick, and perhaps even kill your beloved child, all because you did not read and follow the instructions.  Sometimes directions matter VERY much.

Now, as to following directions for class assignments. Just because you did your papers one way last year, with another teacher, does not mean that this year, with a different teacher, things will automatically be exactly the same. It usually means that things will NOT be the same! Not reading your assignment directions is a very foolish thing to do.

I advised a co-curricular youth vocational organization for over ten years as a public high school teacher. This organization sponsored state and national competitions each year, and my chapters, in the schools where I taught, prepared carefully each year to participate in those competitions. I would run copies of each event’s rules and instructions and give that copy to the student or group of students who were competing in that event. I warned each group to use those rules as a checklist, and to literally mark off each rule and instruction as they prepared their competitive event display or project, to be absolutely sure that we did not forget or overlook any tiny detail that was specified in the rules.  As a result, my competition teams and students consistently scored very well in the competitions, and brought home many trophies. We actually won some events because other teams got disqualified for not following the rules of the contest, and our teams won because our students DID read the directions.

This was excellent training for my students – and we got used to winning trophies because we were very careful about following the rules. We were NEVER disqualified, because we read the directions!

Now, if I can impress upon my current students that this is the way to do things – we might get a better quality student, and better assignments! Perhaps I need to sponsor competitive events like we used to do for these students, too. This is an idea that might work!