Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WASTE (10/11/18)
- TITLE: WASTED BREATH
By Stephen Kimball
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“We might be able to use that for something sometime.”
Yea, I kind of see myself there a bit.
I also find myself oft-repeating the mantra of my much beloved grandpa at the dinner table –
“Clean your plate…you know, there are starving kids in Africa.”
Because I can sense the eye rolls from my wife each time one of these types of statements leave my lips, I know that yes indeed we are a product of our past.
In my work life I have an aversion to waste. Much mental energy has gone into trying to figure out how to shave seconds off a task. I try to operate my equipment with as much efficiency and effortlessness that is humanly possible. I am constantly looking for ways to make a job quicker and easier while getting the same result. Can I combine two steps of the process or maybe use a more efficient tool? After all, “time is money”, so they say, and saving money has always been a priority for me.
With the objective of doing things in the most efficient manner, one of the first things to be omitted is unnecessary conversation. When people are involved, I try to hone down on the most essential instructions making sure the person understands what I am trying to communicate the first time. Nothing is more irritating, in this process, than having to repeat myself. I have found that this practice seems to work fine in the workplace and I even take a little pride in my work efficiency, but I am learning that this doesn’t translate too well at home.
Truth be told, I am probably a little too efficient with my words when it comes to my wife and she has her own subtle way of reminding me of that sometimes. However, we both understand the truth that women have WAY more words than men to use in a day. But with my children, I have what I now see as a bad habit of being all too free with my words. I have always figured my kids were still learning, still needing to be influenced, whereas my wife – well, she’s too stubborn to take my advice anyway.
They say that on average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year - unless we get a lot of exercise. The person who lives to 80 will take about 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime and lately, I have been paying attention to just how many of those I waste on the kids.
I think we can all agree that as parents we are full of the experience; wisdom and knowledge that can help the kids navigate life and all its difficulties. Only problem is the kids don’t believe it - or perhaps they do, somewhere in the back of their mind, but are unwilling to admit it. What I am beginning to understand as a parent is that even if they do give you some credit for your experience, what they really want is to figure it out on their own. I struggle with this. I have a real problem with wanting to impart everything I am onto them.
“Do you have any shorts that are not athletic shorts? It would go a lot better.”
“Stop worrying so much about what other kids think and dance! (At the school dance for goodness sake.)”
“You are going to be outside in the sun for 4 hours today, some sun screen might be a good idea.”
“Do you have any homework? It’s Sunday night.”
“Make sure you don’t shoot someone in the head (With your “air-soft” gun.)”
I mean I am forever throwing advice their way that they didn’t solicit and that they don’t really want – they don’t listen anyway. Why bother?
From this point on I am going to do something about the inequality of my words. I will be saving the limited breaths I have by not offering unwanted advice to the kids and instead I will transfer them to my lovely wife. After all, God knows, I didn’t do it perfect growing up either.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.