Posted on 07 April 2016
We all encounter life lessons. Many are learned at moments of great importance. Others, especially when we are young, are imparted to us by our elders. Some of these lessons are not terribly serious and some supremely important. At Crawford Boys there are occasions on which we are able to add our two cents worth of life lessons to the boys. Here are a few of the gems we pass along:
‘Get Out of Dodge’
Guys being guys, we’re usually not thrilled with shopping and will make a fast decision in order to ‘get out of Dodge’ as quickly as possible. As a guy myself I understand the attitude but advise the boys, “Unless a situation demands a snap decision, don’t make one. Take your time to check out all of your options.” I then relate a story that I read many years ago:
One of the first seven astronauts (Mercury program) was asked to describe what impressed him most about another of the group, Alan Sheppard. His answer was that, most people if given 10 seconds in which to make a decision will do so within the first 2 or 3 seconds. Alan Sheppard on the other hand will take 9 seconds to examine as many options as possible, decide which is the best, then at 9.5 seconds make his decision. Good advice!
Quite often one of the boys will say that he can’t decide between two different items then looks to his mom or dad, or one of us to make the call. Author Robert Heinlein had what I think is an important lesson for this. A character in one of his books believed that one of the most important abilities that everybody must learn is the ability to make a decision at the particular point of time at which that decision must be made. If the decision arrived at is the correct one… well, that is just a bonus.
With some encouragement most of these indecisive boys are quite able to decide for themselves whether they prefer item A or item B.
Good Safe Fun
We want the kids to enjoy their visit with us. We’ve got a basketball net here so the kids can shoot a few hoops. There’s a box of building blocks and a Little Tykes car. Sometimes the boys get a little overly enthusiastic and here is some pushing, shoving, and chasing one another around the store. Our life lesson is quite simple: We want you guys to have fun, but remember that this is not a playground. We have a lot of tables and counters with hard corners and edges. If you trip or are pushed and fall and your head has an argument with one of these hard edges – your head will lose the argument every time.
The Most Important Lesson
Finally, one lesson that must be learned by every guy. One that we should learn at as early an age as possible. On a regular basis one of the boys will walk out of the change room needing to be reminded of the following life lesson:
Placing a hand on his shoulder I will say most solemnly, “Here is a bit of advice that will remain unchanged for your entire life. Before you walk out of a change room, washroom, bedroom and such… check your zipper first!”