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Tue, Oct. 15

Column: Imparting the wisdom of 'Granddaddyisms'

Here is the 20th installment of Granddaddyisms that I shared with our oldest grandson when he was a teenager.

• I regret to tell you that no matter how sweet and kind we humans appear on the surface of our lives, each of us carries within us some venom. Controlling it is a lifetime challenge. It has the potential to harm not only our selves but others. Each of us is responsible for containing the poison within. We must discover how best to develop and use a personal enema to purge ourselves of it so that love and kindness can emerge and envelope our lives.

• Never be a whiner, Dylan. People who complain long and loud will discover they will soon lack for friends. When folks complain repeatedly about injustices committed against them you can be assured that their future will be filled with more.

• Karin Ravin wrote this:

Only as high as I reach can I grow,

Only as far as I seek can I go,

Only as deep as I look can I see,

Only as much as I dream can I be.

• In adolescence some young people decide they know all they need to know to live a successful life. Nonsense! It's what one learns after they "know it all" that really counts. College is a great awakening for those who have become comfortable with who they are and what they know. A year or so ago you wrote that you didn't see why you needed a college education and why you just couldn't keep working in the parts store. I don't know if you still feel that way, but I certainly hope you don't. But if there is still any of that short-sided flapdoodle in you, get rid of it. NOW! Your life is ahead of you, and what you learn in the next four years will significantly determine who you become and what you will do with your life. So, a suggestion: buckle down a little harder on your studies for the rest of the year. Work at developing better study habits. Stop procrastinating. When you sit down to study, concentrate. Turn off the music. The study habits you leave high school with will likely be those you carry forth to college. They better be good ones or you will be in for a rude, harsh awakening.

• Sometimes in your life, you are going to lose. It's inevitable. Here's the trick: When you lose, don't lose the lesson. There is always one involved. Pay attention to the lesson.

• Here is another lesson: try to understand that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

• Dylan, someday you may be hired by an organization. Here is a particular point of view--not shared by all, by any means-that you may find helpful. You have, no doubt, learned that "rules are rules." No matter what you do or where you go, there will be rules. So, learn the rules so you know which ones make sense and how to break the stupid ones properly. You won't win arguments by explaining to someone who worships rules and procedures that you didn't know what they were or that no one told you, or whatever.

Excuses won't cut it. So, learn what they are and then figure out which ones are considered by those in power to be God-given, and which ones can be ignored or broken quietly. My experience, Dylan, is that within an organization, that has a lot of rules and regulations there will be a good number of bureaucrats. These are people whose motto is "No Exceptions!" You will need to learn how to deal with them.

Dr. Ron Barnes is a retired educator and businessman.

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