Who Are You?

The other day, one of my nieces put a saying by George Harrison of the Beatles on Facebook.  It was generally a live for today kind of thing and I think it really missed the mark.  The Beatles gave up in the middle of being some of the best musicians and song writers to travel to India to get spiritual guidance.  It should not surprise anyone that a country that has so many people and poor living conditions would have a motto about living for today.  Throw in their religions that believe in reincarnation and it is pretty easy to see they think that it will all work out in the end. I am not a music expert, but I feel that trip changed their music and for me not for the better.  I do not think Rock and Roll is better played on a Sitar.

Yes dear ones, I too kind of wonder where the heck this is leading but I will try to follow the yellow brick road to my version of OZ.  I am not going to argue the Nature vs Nurture argument, I am simple going to state my side and tell you what it feels like from my side.

I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood after WWII.  I was exposed to a lot of education and loved to read.  I feel that I learned as much from that "library" education as I ever did from the formal "sit in class one."  I also was exposed to a lot of different kids and saw how they lived and what they did and I think I grew from the experience of talking and playing with kids from across the political and economic spectrum. I went to school with the children of Doctors and Lawyers as well as kids on welfare.  I had the opportunity to play a lot of different sports and was in both the Cub and Boy Scouts.  

In the 50's, the kids played outside mostly.  It was pre TV and air conditioning and outside was where we gathered.  There was no shortage of people to play with or things to do.  I am pretty sure that our parents were concerned about us, but not as worried as people seem to be today.  Perhaps it was because I was a boy that my parents didn't watch my every movement. I think it might have been kind of a hoot to see what I was going to do next.  I think that having the responsibility of coming home or not shaped my independence.

I will not tell you that I was the leader in every mock cavalry charge or war game we played.  I sure as heck did not have the size to break the defense in a good game of Red Rover.  I think that I just played with abandonment and threw myself into games that we played.  Mostly I learned things by doing and that was the hard way in a lot of cases, but I did learn a lot of things to not do next time. 

One area that I think that up to my retirement I did was to continue to learn new things.  I often say that I would much rather learn a new skill than try to hone an old skill to perfection.   I know this leads to a lot of projects not finished but who said you have to have everything perfect?  What part of good enough is good enough? 

Somewhere in the middle of my life I attended a class on planning. It opened me to new ways to plan and how to help groups of people get to the end of a project with something they could use.  I remember the first time the science teacher said we had to write down what the "Outcome" of an experiment was.  I never thought about outcome, only was thrilled to watch what the hell happened when we did something.  

In the Military, My first plans were written using the Five Paragraph OPORD format.  Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Weather and Coordinating Instructions.  I did find it interesting to have a format on what we were going to do, but it wasn't until I took the facilitation class that I learned a lot of different ways to think about planning and how to take a problem apart.   The Instructor for that Class was a young Captain that the National Guard brought in and paid him to teach us how to have fun in a job that could be boring

I really could go on and give you a heck of a lot more details, but I am now a lot like Popeye, "I Yam what I Yam."  I hope you will take a moment and think about what got you to where you are and help you think about "Who Are You?"

Writer, Husband, Father, Thinker, Do-er, Retired, Tinkerer, Cook, Head laborer at Rabbit Run, and Ex Soldier.


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