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Wed, Dec. 11

Column: Sharing Granddaddyisms

Here are more Granddaddyisms I shared with our oldest grandson when he was a teenager.

• Dylan, look for ways (like going to Uganda) to increase the excitement in your life. The opportunities are there, if you want them to be. And by the way, excitement is closely related to passion.

• One of life's greatest challenges-and greatest achievements-is to gain control over your self.

• One sign of mental health is when you take responsibility for your self and stop projecting your problems onto others. It's the "I-blame-you" approach. "I blame you for my problems, my unhappiness, my lack of ability." A mentally healthy individual understands that he or she is responsible for the quality of his or her life.

• Have you discovered, Dylan, that there is high correlation between incompetence and laziness?

• Orderliness requires habits. Routines give rise to habits. The larger the organization, the more routines are encouraged, the more habits are rewarded, the more orderliness is worshiped. This is another reason why creative people are seldom tolerated and rarely happy in large organizations. There are exceptions to this principle, especially in Silicon Valley and other high tech locations.

• I have no doubt, Dylan, that you will have many good friends in your life. But I want you to understand that true friends are the individuals who will care enough about you to risk their friendship with you. Blessed are you if you have a few friends who will tell you things you may not wish to hear but need to hear. And blessed are your friends if you are that kind of person to them.

• Patience is a virtue unless you are a victim. Minorities (like African Americans) have rarely appreciated the concepts of "gradually" or "eventually" or "slowly."

• Be careful about committing yourself to do something for someone. When you give your word to a person you are honor-bound to keep it. When you tell a person you will do something, you have no choice but to do it. If you don't you have likely lost their respect and faith in you.

• Sadly, I fear the majority of people are easily deceived by appearances and image. We are raising a generation of uncritical spectators. Exterior perceptions have preference over inner realities. Be an original, Grandson.

• I believe, Dylan, there should be within each of us a well-tended garden in which revisions can grow. It should be a place where first impressions are modified, judgments are altered, opinions are discarded, truths are invalidated, beliefs are suspended and where we simply feel free to change our minds.

Dr. Ron Barnes is a retired educator and businessman.

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