On a Pedestal

pedestal

A pedestal is defined as:

1. An architectural support or base, as for a column or statue.
2. A support or foundation.
3. A position of high regard or adoration.
(thefreedictionary.com)

Pedestals are designed to put something on display. The displayed item must always look good. It must be very still or it can fall. It cannot be too large, or it is unsteady–again in danger of falling. Its use is limited to being viewed, bragged about, and admired. It collects dust and can eventually be taken for granted. In the event of a fall, damage can occur; sometimes a fall results in being broken beyond repair, at least not without a scar.

Think twice before putting a person on a pedestal. People on a pedestal are at great risk of falling, being damaged, collecting dust, and being taken for granted. If I place perfectionist expectations on any person, I set myself and others up for disappointment.

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Guidelines for Fully Living, Part 4

  1. Be still and quiet
  2. Do not interrupt
  3. Apologize
  4. Mind your manners
  5. Watch the watchers
  6. Go boldly where no one has gone before; do it.
  7. Shoulders back, chest out, head up
  8. Don’t take yourself too seriously
  9. Rest is as holy as work
  10. Practice, practice, practice (if you want to improve)

Rules for Fully Living, part 2

11. Honor confidentiality
12. Be appropriately transparent
13. Listen well
14. Grieve your losses fully
15. Confront evil
16. Honor differences
17. Hurting people hurt people
18. Trust your instincts
19. We teach people how to  treat us
20. Enjoy simple pleasures

Guidelines for Living Fully

I started a few months ago compiling some guidelines (rules, if you prefer) for living fully. I share a few with you below.

1. Be grateful
2. Rejoice
3. Smile and laugh often
4. Trust
5.  Don’t waste good
6. Tell the truth
7. Know when to cut your losses
8. Know when to say no
9. Know when to wait
10. Know when to say nothing

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DISCLAIMER: WordPress occasionally adds an advertisement at the bottom of my blog. Twice, I’ve been notified by readers that those ads were offensive. I am unable to view these ads, and I cannot delete them. I apologize and am attempting to prevent this from happening in the future.

Chuckology

Who wants to study Chuck? Why would anyone want to? He’s a nice guy and fun to be around; even I acknowledge that. He’s also interesting and has some great experiences to share. He likes people. Chuck is also human and can empathize with almost anyone. There are skeletons in his closet, but he doesn’t try to hide them–for the most part.

But study him? He doesn’t want anyone to study him. The very idea gives him the shivers. Chuckology? The suffix, ology = the study of.

Bio = life.

Biology = the study of life.

_________________________

Geo = the earth.

Geology = the study of the earth.

_________________________

Chuck = me.

Chuckology = the study of me.

Boring! Why not just spend time with me, get to know me. We might become friends. I’d like that. Yes, indeed.

_________________________

Theo = God.

Theology = the study of God.

Boring! Why not just spend time with him, get to know him. You might become friends. I’m told that he’d like that. Hmmmm.

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DISCLAIMER: WordPress occasionally adds an advertisement at the bottom of my blog. Twice, I’ve been notified by readers that those ads were offensive. I am unable to view these ads, and I cannot delete them. I apologize and am attempting to prevent this from happening in the future.

On Transparency and Fear of Conflict

“Why reinvent the wheel?” someone asked.  So often others say things better than I ever would, so I like to share quotes.  Here are two:

On fear of conflict

“Why are we so afraid of conflict? Because we associate it with combat. Why are we afraid of combat? Because we don’t want to get hurt. In the workplace, the fear of conflict stunts creativity, growth and collaboration. So, if we want to get those three important ingredients for productivity and job satisfaction back, we need to learn how to manage conflict effectively for all concerned.” – Karen Mattonen

On being real (transparent)

“To be transparent is a relief. Muddy water hides a host of unpleasant surprises. Clear water shows us the bottom of the sea-the rubbish and debris if they are there, but also the multicolored fish, shells, starfish. Honesty allows us to look into someone’s eyes and through them into their heart.” – Joe Roberts

Being Real

Four from our little church went to the home of some members who would probably be classified as poor. They were having a neighborhood cookout – in a “poor” neighborhood.  About 20 hungry people of various skin colors showed up, and we had a great time.

Afterward, the youngest of us – a recent college graduate – remarked that he had noticed that poor people are open and honest.  They have very open and real conversations.  That sparked a conversation about middle class and upper class (rich) people.

Most middle class people, we concluded, are not as real and honest and mostly talk about each other.  The difficulty of climbing out of the middle class is that everyone else in the class is working hard to pull each other down in their own effort to climb up.

The student then said he’d never really hung out with any upper class people.  I shared that in my experience most upper class people are not very real and honest (they work hard to give the impression that they are doing great) and in conversation they talk about business, philosophy, politics, and society subjects.

Hmmmm. Interesting. What do you think about our observations?

HUGS

It’s wondrous what a hug can do,
A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.
A hug can say, “I love you so,”
or, “Gee! I hate to see you go.”
A hug is, “Welcome back again!”
and, “Great to see you!” or
“Where’ve you been?”
A hug can soothe a small child’s pain
And bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug! There’s just no doubt about it,
We scarcely could survive without it.
A hug delights and warms and charms,
It must be why God gave us arms.
Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers,
and chances are some favorite aunts
love them more than potted plants.
Kittens crave them. Puppies love them.
Heads of state are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier,
And make the dullest day seem merrier.
No need to fret about the store of ’em.
The more you give, the more there are of ’em.
So stretch those arms without delay
and give someone a hug today.
Author Unknown

Discipline and Love

I frequently told my children, “There’s nothing you can do so bad that will make me stop loving you.  And there’s nothing you can do to earn my love.  I just love you because you are you!”  I occasionally remind them of that, although my youngest is 28.

I frequently appropriately touched my children.  A loving, approving pat communicates love and acceptance.  I also hugged my children frequently.  There is no substitute for hugs for expressing love and acceptance.  This seems to come naturally for mothers, but father-hugs are just as important.   Fathers, hug your children!

Love for my children included discipline.  The purpose of discipline is to teach that actions have consequences.  Here were my quidelines:

  1. Discipline in love, not anger.  Wait until I cool off.
  2. Remember the purpose – to help them remember not to do that again
  3. Do not administer physical discipline with a hand – hands are for expressing love and acceptance
  4. Allow the discipline to sting, but not wound
  5. Remember to communicate why you are administering discipline
  6. Remember to be sure to remind them afterward that you do love them – enough to do this
  7. Forgive
  8. Avoid pointing a finger at them.  (That leaves three fingers pointing back at you!)  Having a finger pointed at you can be threatening or demeaning.

Consequences and Discipline

An important aspect of teaching children/young adults is the concept of consequences for behavior.  When I was young, I was told to not touch a hot object, or I would get burned.  Of course, I eventually did touch something hot, and the burn became a highly effective teacher.  My parents didn’t tell me to not touch a hot object just to be in control or to be mean.  They cared about me.

Part of teaching about consequences is caring enough to allow children to suffer the consequences of their actions and love them enough to discipline them.  The purpose of discipline is to teach that actions have consequences.  Discipline must be administered in love, not anger.  Discipline should be coupled with loving communication.  Discipline is not to be administered with a hand; hands are for expressing acceptance and approval.  A loving, approving pat communicates love and acceptance.  Restaurant waiters have learned that an appropriate, brief, gentle touch of a customer almost always raises the tip amount.

Appropriate discipline is minimized in most public schools today.  It is minimized in many homes too.  Too bad!