Friday, May 05, 2006

What Have You Learned Today?

Just a few moments ago, I was sitting in Ruby Tuesday, and thoroughly enthralled by a conversation taking place in the booth across from me. Two gentleman -- one who I think is perhaps a professor, the other an engineer -- were discussing how to help young people and our community. It wasn't a hand-wringing, "woe is us" session -- they were engaged in very lively talk about real problems and real solutions. I was completely and totally enjoying every second ... and even thanked them and wished them well as I left (and luckily, they were not upset at all that I had listened in -- as if it really could have been helped).

Anyway, one of them relayed a marvelous story, one that I hope will be as inspiring for you as it was for me.

He was a young boy at his grandmother's, and she had an old apple tree. He had apparently spent much of the day climbing the tree to get apples. At the end of the day, as she tucked him in, she asked him, "So ... what have you learned today?" He didn't have an answer, he said, other than "I spent all day eating apples." She told him that he needed to learn something every day -- to always have an answer to the question. It inspired him, he said, even today to ask himself that each night: "What have I learned today?"

With that in mind, here is what I have learned so far today:
* I really need to work on accepting compliments on my accomplishments -- not to feel guilty because I stepped in to correct a situation but to say "Yes, and I'm so glad everything worked out so well."
* I learned that I'm never too old to learn.
* I learned that I need to stop putting limits on myself.

So ... what have you learned today?

1 comment:

Talmadge G. said...

Today? Something very profound. Mom and Dad called me this morning from Nevada, some 50-ish miles from the California state line. They're on a road trip to the west coast, destined for Seattle, before heading back home.

It's a trip they've planned for months. Seattle is the only thing written down ... everything else is completely unscheduled, including the route taken, and where they're spending the night.

They announced their plans at last Thanksgiving. I jokingly said to Mom, "Who is this man at the head of the table, and where has Dad gone?"

If you know my Dad, you know that's something VERY out of character. Dad's travel ethos can be summed up thus: "Hit the freeway, get to point B as quickly as possible, and by gawd have a bladder as big as mine if you ride with me."

My parents deserve what they're doing for themselves. I also envy the snot out of 'em. :-)

Today, according to Mom:

1) More than half the trip has been via the so-called Eisenhower Interstate Highway System.

2) They have no idea where they're going to be tonight. No idea which road they'll take at the next town.

3) No timetable. Only a destination: Seattle, Washington.

And, with some thought here, I learned (reference above):

1) A leopard never changes his/her spots. Or can they? I think Dad's finally surrendering to the siren call of the two-lane road. We should all be open to occasionally changing our routine. Even if it doesn't work out, wellllll that's something ELSE you've learned. :-D

2) Most of my personality and wiring comes from Mom's side of the family. I have very little of Dad within me (ironic, because I was much closer to HIS mother than Mom's). Still, sometimes that Dad Gleck comes out ... while I love taking the "scenic route", dammit I gotta know where in tarnation I'm gonna rest my head tonight.

I think that comes from the near-miss in Arizona during the family "out west" trip in 1977. Only one room left at the last motel for 150 miles. And Dad passed another vehicle as we approached this small town. Had we not passed 'em, we'd have had to drive another two hours (they pulled in as Dad was checking in -- we felt badly for 'em, but all's fair in love and travel, heh heh)

Moral: sometimes it doesn't hurt to completely play these things by ear. Like the way it was before Holiday Inn developed the HOLIDEX in '64, creating the reservation system as we know it today.

3) This one is very simple: Let go. Someone else greater than us is in control.

Speaking of Him:

4) In 1977, our '74 Pontiac Grand Safari Wagon Queen Family Truckster had a blowout outside of Garden City, Kansas.

In 2006, Mom & Dad's '06 Lincoln Towncar had a blowout not too far from Garden City, Kansas. I kid you not.

Same friggin' tire, too (left rear).

Lesson: God has one wicked sense of humor.

Which explains why I haven't been smited long ago.

-Talmadge "I still envy 'em!" Gleck