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What I Have Learned… About Me, Through Others

Here it is, and now you know, this is my thinking platform! Some people retreat to a prayer room, others to their fishing hole, me… I like to mow. It’s amazing what your subconscious can work out for you when you are busy making sure every blade of grass is sufficiently lowered, dodging rocks and potholes, and ducking under low lying branches less they make you one with the ground.

These past few weeks have taught me some valuable lessons, and my thinking platform allowed them to be applied in such a way that I am victorious! Even when the rain pounded me this afternoon, I just kept mowing and learning some valuable lessons.

There is a saying of old, “To thy own self-be true…“.  Essentially, be your true self, to your self, first…, so that there is no illusion to anyone else about who you really are.  Lessons like this are probably meant to be learned over and over again. And, if the truth be told, we will continually re-learn these lessons, and often at the most inopportune time. This often means that we have to learn lessons about others that we thought we knew, but when the grass is finally mown we realize we did not really understand what we knew about someone else.

These past few weeks produced some very valuable lessons. Now, I know I’m a smart guy. I have just completed my Masters and am approaching a doctorate program this summer. For some, my intelligence and ability cause them to distrust me. For others, my ability to excel in some areas cause them to be frightened of me. Still, to others, I remind them of someone else in their life and they judge me by that memory.

Regardless, the lessons learned these few weeks were about myself, in the words and actions of others, as well as learned about who these others truly are.

It was a great time of learning, but probably one I wished to never have to repeat again.

When you see yourself through the eyes of others you have to stop and analyze their view and determine if their view is correct. Or not. If you are true to yourself then this assessment is easy. You cannot hide yourself, from yourself, even when someone else says or does something that paints you into a corner, or even shades you by an odd color of light.

If the litany of lessons were to be rehearsed here, I could probably write for a few hours and not adequately document every occurrence. In fact, what I have learned about myself are not worthy of your consideration. They are mine, and mine alone. Yet, the way I have learned some lessons, I would hope that others will have learned equally valuable lessons. But, then, that is not really my problem! It’s their problem.

Many statements I have used in teaching and preaching come to mind, but I so love this one: “When I teach, I learn twice.” To teach a lesson to someone else you have to be in a position where they will hear, even if they will not receive. If you are not in that position then T.F. Tenney says something so eloquently, “Most of us know how to say nothing. Few of us know when.” In one book, many years ago, someone attributed a phrase to Benjamin Franklin. I have since learned that it goes much farther back than him.

“Teach me, I forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I understand.”

Learning when to speak, and when not to speak,  is probably the hardest lesson for all of us to learn. Some lessons that should be learned by others are best learned by them in their own timing.

From this perspective I am, learning again not to share too much with others, even though I wish I could live my life as an open book…. “Nuff said….