So, here we are, February 21, 2015, ready and raring to go.
Before we start, my old faithful computer is beginning to show signs of wear and tear and you may notice that - occasionally, you will find an 'n' missing here and there. Whenever it makes me misspell a word, the computer catches it, but - for example, the word - and. Leave out the 'n' and you have ad and the computer moves on, doing what it supposed to be doing.
OK, I'm done with that.
Laying on my desk is an order for a new book, The Art of Work, and you should know, I have a basket full of articles on what others think about work and working. My brief opinion is that what most of the others think about work and working miss the most important part.
I did not realize what I will now write down as my theory; we miss a lot in just believing we can train people to do our becking and calling in the work place and where ever and whenever we find them.
It all starts on the day we were born. Do you remember? Of course not. You had just spent nine months in the warmth and comfort of your mother's womb and now, you are cast into the cold and soon to be, fear filled world. You don't notice it at first. The first thing you did begin to realize is that you are hungry, following shortly afterwards was another realization. You have filled your diaper with something new, waste matter, and more than likely, it stinks.
So, you express your opinion the only way you know how, you whine and cry and if that does not get these strangers attention, somehow you know how to turn up the volume.
At the appropriate time, they move you out of your sanitized environment where you had just learned how to welcome and trust the attention of those white clad angels, into the place will you will soon be calling, home. The colors change and you are now learning to trust the lady called "Mother" and maybe, Sister, or if you are really lucky, you meet - Grandma. She will be the closet thing you will ever recall as being similar to the angels you had learned to trust. Occasionally, if you are boy, you will also notice the other picture in your limited framework, the one they called Father, or Dad.
And so it goes. In the early days, you only have to sleep and eat and occasionally scream when the waste matter starts to overflow the dimensions of your diaper. Life is good; life is comfortable. You are blessed and have no understanding of that emotion we like to call - love. Later, you will come to understand that it was the motivation for others to respond to your every cry and whimper. It is, at least, it should be, a wonder filled life.
Now, I must digress a bit. Not all children are as fortunate, to live in a pleasant environment and be treated like royalty. Some will never get over the original feelings of hunger and being ignored whenever they sensed a need for attention. Some will learn to walk and talk and never understand the process that was assumed by parents who recognized the need to help their children "get ahead" in this miracle, we call - life. And write this thought down in large and easily understood words, I am not implying that neglect only happens in families whose poverty is the standard.
Back to those we like to refer to as normal families. They teach the young ones how to eat and should make certain they are not imposing their tastes on the young ones. If all goes well, Dad and Mom watch the responses they see in their youngsters and encourage them to make their own decisions as to whether they like or dislike certain foods or activities.
Interviewing job candidates over the years, I have paid a lot of attention to the food choices they enjoyed - or not, as youngsters and the influences their parents imposed in those early years. The answers to "How do you make personal decisions?" more often than not reflects their ability to have made the hard choices along the way and might suggest that a Mother's (or Father's) "apron strings" are quite often, still tied to their children.
The same rationale can be applied to a child's first steps. If they are raised in an environment where the parents encourage the children, rather than imposing a fear they may not succeed, they should realize that confidence is critical to their natural evolution. They have legs so they were created to walk. That they fall in their attempts ought to be looked at as an encouragement - as long as they are not harmed, of course. But life involves lots of "falls" for most of us and knowing that they are not an impediment for natural growth, is critical to their individual process. On the other hand, a parents "fear" that the child cannot or should not do this or that often stunts their natural development.
Blessed is the child whose parents continue their love and counsel as the youngsters (no longer just children) continue their growth into adulthood. They need to prepared for the realities of life after the joys of childhood.
Of course, such counsel should apply as the children prepare to leave the family "nest". As the eagle literally pushes her offspring out of the comfort of the nest, so we must teach our children to prepare them for the eventual eviction notice. That does not mean that they are not to be welcomed when the opportunity develops to renew the relationships developed over the years.
I say all of this having evaluated my own life and the lives of the thousands I have interviewed in the employment process. I would estimate that over half of them had not been provided the environment I would consider essential to enjoy a prosperous life.
In retrospect, I never had the opportunity to enjoy the life I consider to be essential for others. I lost my father, never knowing him. I was raised by grandparents who literally showered me with love, but never attempted to address the reality of the life into which I was born. I have no regrets. In my opinion, I have done well as I have always had good friends fortunately, but unfortunately some might suggest, I lacked the maturity to realize how much better life could have been if only, I had learned how to love others. Sadly, I grew up envious of the success of others that took me decades to overcome.
And overcame that fear by a process I will best describe in the next issue. Stay tued