The Wall

Yesterday afternoon I took my boys to a park.  It’s not close to where they or I live.  We’ve visited it several times.

At the park’s playground is a large concrete structure.  One of the sides is a vertical wall about  six to seven feet high.  There are lots of pipes bent into loops sticking out to climb on.

I challenged my boys to climb it.  They were both nervous.  Soon my six-year-old had climbed to the top and was waving happily at me.

My nine-year-old made several attempts, never getting more than a foot or two off the ground.

My six-year-old eventually made the climb thirty times.

I asked my nine-year-old why he hadn’t made it up yet.  He was scared.  I showed him how easy it was for his brother.  There was nothing to be afraid of.  I offered him whatever help he needed.

He refused to make the climb.

He just wanted to go home and watch TV.

I told him we weren’t leaving until he climbed at least once.

After some coaxing he started to climb.

I gave him directions.

I held his feet so they wouldn’t slip.

He got scared.  He tried to climb back down.

I wouldn’t let him.

I told him he could do it.  That he was almost there.

His younger brother stood at the top, offering him help.

Eventually he made it.

He was shaking like a leaf.

On the way home I talked to him about the experience.  We discussed why it’s important to do things even though we’re afraid.  That anything worth doing is going to be scary at first.

It’s advice I needed to hear.

Did I do the right thing?  I don’t know.

I’ve seen him give up out of fear so many times before.  He needs to break this habit.

So do I.

Quora

Earlier today I read James Altucher’s article, Do You Want To Have Money or Impact?  In the article he says, “I tell people who want to learn to write better to check out a site called Quora.

I’ve visited Quora before, looking at answers to other people’s questions.  Today I decided to try answering a few.

I hope I did more good than harm today.  I guess there’s no way to know.  At least not yet.

It felt good, though.

I need to be humbled?

I think of myself as a humble person.

I don’t go around talking about how great I am.

I don’t even think it.

There is one area I need help with:

I don’t ask for help.

I’ll do anything I can think of to avoid it.

When I move I do as much on my own as I can.

I’ll visit forums looking for answers to questions.  If no one has asked the question, I’ll move on.  I don’t want to ask it myself.

Look at all kinds of do-it-yourself books, websites etc.  If a task requires a second person, I’ll lose interest.

I wonder what refusing to ask has cost me.

Divorce?

Separation from my babies?

Moving into a dungeon?

How much worse will things have to get?

Help.

Your actions determine who you are

Do something.

Even if it’s just little.  Just a finger twitch.

Move slightly in the direction you want to go.

Then tomorrow move a little more.

Build up some momentum.

It’s okay if you fall down.  Just get back up.

Help someone.  It doesn’t have to be anything big.

Hold the door for someone.

Let someone else go first.

Smile at someone.

Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

These are just little things, but they help make the world a better place.

Make sure the world is just a little better because you’re here.

Improve a little bit every day.

Be kind to others.

Be kind to yourself.

Learning

Teach children to speak.

To read.

To write.

Teach them how to think.

NOT what to think.

Teach them to think critically.

Teach them to ask questions.

Show them how to find answers to their questions.

Nurture their curiosity.

Offer them help when they need it.

Then, for heaven’s sake, get out of their way.

I’m not saying they should be allowed to spend all day on social media.  Or playing video games.

Give them supervision.  Make sure they’re learning something.

Make sure they know the skills they’ll actually need as an adult.

Give them the resources they need.

Don’t force them to memorize a bunch of facts, regurgitate them onto a test, then never use them again.

Help them find their talents and grow them.

Let them run around and play when they need to.  They’ll focus better afterwards.

Don’t turn learning into drudgery.

Someone who loves learning will become a lifelong learner and make a great contribution to the world.

Someone who hates learning will become a dullard who never picks up a book again after they finish school.

Things I’m grateful for today 20180106

  1. My therapist
  2. Rain
  3. Pop Tarts
  4. Feeling better than yesterday
  5. Having a place to go
  6. Bernadette Logue
  7. Friends I can ask for help
  8. Libraries with wi-fi
  9. Gyms with showers
  10. I’m beginning to love and have compassion for myself

10 ways to live well

  1. Spend lots of quality time with my boys
  2. Be as spiritual as possible
  3. Eat well
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Make a meaningful contribution to the world
  6. Help others make a meaningful contribution to the world
  7. Spend time with people who care about me
  8. Avoid negative people
  9. Travel
  10. Get plenty of sleep

Self-sufficient

I hate being dependent on others.

I want to buy some land.  With cash.

To build a house.  With cash.

I want it to be efficient.

I want to generate my own electricity.  Solar.  Wind.  Thorium.  Zero Point Energy.  Whatever works.

I want to catch rain and snow.  Filter it.  Use it.

To grow my own food.

I want to help other people do these things.

To be free.

Be kind to yourself

I don’t know if I ever really liked myself.

If I did I don’t remember.

I’d tell myself I was stupid.  Ugly.  Bad.

You get the idea.

I’m not stupid.  There’s plenty of proof of that.

Beauty is subjective.  So is ugliness.  All of my significant others have told me I’m handsome.  So has my mom.  😉

We all do good things.  We all do bad things.  I’ve done plenty of bad things.  Some indefensible.  But I try to be a good man.  I think that counts for a lot.

We all have hard times.  They’re a part of life.

We all need help.  We need support.  From others, and from ourselves.

Life is tough.

Don’t make it tougher than it has to be.