My college years were in the late 60’s. I noted that during the years of training we were exposed to a great deal of theory. My complaint to the “powers that were” was; “This is all very fine, but we need practical knowledge and know how to go alongside all this theory.”
We live in a world, and in a culture where a piece of paper, stamped with some college or university’s backing and approval is very acceptable and the desired thing. For some that certificate and status symbol gives great confidence. The recipients of these pieces of paper are inclined to become overnight “experts”, and lords of their discipline, demonstrating great academic knowledge and putting everybody else right, particularly those who do not have their own piece of paper.
The problem for me and my own personal perspective is that I am old enough to see that often the status information given by the piece of paper holders is not always correct. More than that, I see that more often than not the practitioners who do not hold the pieces of paper are often far more knowledgeable that those who do. Usually, after inquiry, I discover that deep and practical knowledge of almost any discipline and/or profession usually comes from years of experience in that discipline, learned at the coal face. It’s a bit like learning to swim on dry land. Theory is great – but practice is somewhat different.
The Negatives seem too often to be in the Majority
Many of the best “How to be Successful” books will tell you that in order to move forward and be a success one needs to surround one’s self with either successful people, or, most certainly, positive people. Yet so often the majority seem to fit the “negative” criteria.
I note from the story of Israel in the Bible, that when they arrived at the land that God had promised them, they sent in twelve spies and – true to form – the majority, ten, to be exact, said we can never do that! We cannot win there! We look like grasshoppers, and they look like Giants! Only two of the spies said “It’s great. God is with us. We can take the land.”
The thing is that my experience of life shows me that for most people it seems that it is easier to be negative rather than positive. So many times in my experience I have been told, “You cannot do that.” “You won’t get there.” “You are finished.” One has to learn to stop one’s ears sometimes, before they get the chance to say, “You cannot…”, or move out of the immediate zone before the cold water carriers pour it on your internal fire.
The truth is that sometimes one cannot do it simply because the majority are so negative. So, Moses never did get to the land – because he needed the others to come with him, and they were too negative to do so.
I have been in situations where I know it was achievable, workable and doable and would have been great to be done and help others. But, the “ten” outweighed the “two,” so I lost out also.
It’s sad also when people do it to others. They are no good, they cannot do it, and they poor scorn on other human beings. Often they pull down others who are actually doing what they are not and doing it well.
I still remember a deputy head teacher calling me to his office one day. It was the days when people in that position sat in high and lofty desks and looked down on the students as if they were minnows. He looked at me and said, “Hawkes! You are so stupid, you will never be able to do anything in life. I can’t even think you could be good enough to sweep the streets.” Maybe that is why, when people ask me, “How do you get to be a leader?” my answer is always, “How well can you sweep up?
If you can do that job well, there is every hope in your other abilities, and the character to lead!”
I was very bad to that teacher. After I had left school, I took my new car – part of my successful job – and drove past the school as he peddled out on his rusty old bike. I pulled over and asked him with a smile, “Are you really still riding that old bike sir?” I guess that was not a good example to others, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit it was fun.
The other side to this “negative” discussion is often the mountain or the journey of achievement itself. “It’s just too big!” I get lots of knocks on my FB page and other writings as people tell me we should not be taking in Refugees. Many look at the problem, and, “Yes! There are around 60 Million displaced people in the world at the moment.” And: “No!” I did not make a mistake on the number. Many sarcastically say to me, “Where are you going to put all those millions of people in the UK?”
My oft reply is to refer them to the story made plain in the following web site: https://eventsforchange.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/the-starfish-story-one-step-towards-changing-the-world/ Have a look at it.
Even so, I do have answers for the bigger group, that is, the majority that are the “neggo’s”. But then I need more than the two out of the ten to see it also and come with me to take the positive action. I could climb the mountain, or enter the land, but others need to see it too. That is the problem with vision. What is obvious to the positive mind, is just negative fun to those who are of the negative mind.
As the Chinese proverb goes, “The longest journey has to start with the first step.” If we are not willing to get out of our easy chair. If we are just happy seeing only the negative. If we are always of the “half empty” rather than “half full” people. If we are always only able to see the problems and never see the problem as a “stepping stone” to success, then we will never see the view from the top of the Mountain.
I am a follower of Jesus, and he said to his followers, that if they believed, they would be able not only to see the view from the top of the mountain, but they would be actually empowered to say to the mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea.”
Personally, I would rather believe and see the success, than listen to the negativity of others. Or rather, I would prefer to have you join me in being positive, seeing what could be, taking steps, believing in a vision, and climbing mountains, or moving them out of the way, whichever is most appropriate.
Edited by K Lannon