It’s a big deal for me to walk my grandson to school everyday. It’s only about a five-minute stroll down a very busy street. I say the same thing to him every morning as we weave in and out of sidewalk traffic. I tell him; you know it’s going to happen. What Papa? I’m going to love you more when you come home than I do right now. Sometimes I get a smile and sometimes I get a frustrated, you tell me that everyday, Papa!
If I could line up all the little boys in the world and pick the one I want to be my papa boy, I would pick you. I know Papa, you say that all the time. Guess I have to keep finding new ways to say the things I want him to know. When we get to the school he always gives me a big hug and says, I’ll see you later, Papa! I whisper in his ear, or look him in the eye, and say our secret theme!
I want Jaden to get the best education he can, and then, I want him to get over it. He might be learning some things that he will never use. For me, Algebra was a test to see if I would stay in school, and nothing more. It deposited a bad memory I’m yet to get over. If not for the nice young lady sitting next to me, helping me understand, I might have made a picket sign and went on strike. I can’t remember ever using algebraic axioms to solve life problems. But, I have solved many problems. I wonder if that’s the whole point?
It’s important that Jaden learn, as early as he can, challenges are daily occurrences. Developing a masterful skill set, capable of navigating the most troubled waters, is necessary. Take life in stride is the foundational message I’m trying to instill in Jaden. If you are prepared, even for the unexpected, you won’t be sidelined. Learn to take a punch. When knocked down, learn, how to get back up!
I find a big difference between challenges and trouble. Challenges, arise organically, and are a natural part of living in a world with other people. There are differing thoughts, customs, religions, and governments. We are challenged to respect one another. And, treat each other with dignity. Trouble? Well, that’s what we generally bring on ourselves. Talking when we should be listening. Playing when it’s time to be working. Complaining when we’re suppose to be resolving.
Most of our demons possess us when we develop bad habits. I know an exorcism is more dramatic than creating rituals that lead to a fulfilling life. Only we can decide whether we’re dealing with challenges or trouble. Excellence is the arch-enemy of mediocrity. And, excellence is always an option. No matter what! The problem with shooting yourself in the foot, repeatedly, is you eventually run out of toes.
Our secret theme is simple; Excellence and no Trouble!
What is your theme, mantra, or ritual that keeps you heading in the right direction?