by Donnie Hayden © 2014, all rights reserved
What exactly is the “thing” on doing the right thing? To be naked-honest and glass-clear truthful, we should NEVER need any other reason to do the right thing, other than it’s just the right thing to do! But alas and alak and yak, yak, yak, we all are, after all, emotional creatures. All of us are faced with having to do things we don’t want to do. And how do we handle it? What do we do? Do we ‘put if off’ until whenever/never (my apparently most favorite and most common practice?) and take a page out of the script from ‘Gone With the Wind?’ Do you remember Scarlet O’Hara? She was a character in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ a 1936 epic historical romance, set during the American Civil War. It was a Pulitzer-winning novel by Margaret Mitchell that was adapted to film in 1939. Scarlett O’Hara (played by Viven Leigh), was a manipulative Southern belle that carried on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner named Rhett Butler (played by Clark Gable). How did Scarlet handle doing things she did not want to do?
“I’ll think about it tomorrow…”
Well, experience has shown me that putting off until tomorrow hardly NEVER, if EVER, works out for me. Oh, there’s some stuff I loathe to do (like taxes) that I would put off forever if possible. But I will put off and put off until, usually the last moment. And then the ‘dreads’ overtake me, lack of sleep leaves me drained, caffeine turns me into a freaking fiend, I get cranky and quite frankly, like Rhett said to Scarlet, “…I don’t give a damn!” When I get this way, I don’t even want to be around myself! Why in the name of dumb-ass’ do I, DO this to myself, over and over again? Oh surely I expect some different result like Scarlet did for “tomorrow?” Well, isn’t doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result, a definition of insanity? I’m not insane! I may be ‘nutty’ and do crazy things sometimes, but I’m pretty well-grounded in reality, I think? I am at least, acting like a child. And I am aware that some believe I never grew up anyway. 🙂
But maybe if I can remember being a child, MAYBE I can get a clue as to how a kid does the things that they don’t want to do? So, I went and played some mental videos made when I was a little kid that are now stored in my head. Our parents and care keepers knew that we would not long survive if all we ever ate was mac-N-cheese and ice cream (not necessarily in that order). They tried their best to give us a balanced diet. Most of us kids might think that the only thing in common between the words delicious and nutritious is, they just rhyme. But colors and textures are a BIG deal to children. Some, we like and some, not so much. Still, we were given food for colors and textures because, we need vitamins, minerals, etc., variety, fiber and good-wholesome-healthy food. So, I’m sitting there at the dinner table, after having been plucked up and away (rudely I might add), from my personal play. And what did I see? There was no mac-N-cheese and no ice cream. Are you kidding me? What is this stuff, I wondered? And what did I hear?
“Now you sit there and eat your dinner young man or you can’t get up until you do!”
Well, I have sat at the dinner table for a long time, many times. And sometimes, I did not eat my dinner. So, I went to bed hungry. It was my choice, but the worst part was that my stubbornness cost me my play time. It did not take my mom or I very long to figure out that this was not an effective way, to get me to eat what was good for me or to do what I didn’t want to do. It was all a waste of time and energy. Oh, and by the way, the ‘push-away’ and the, “That’s ucky,” look, didn’t work for me either.
Like this little guy, I tried to eat the stuff set before me. I didn’t like it. I watched mom watching me. OK, it’s in my mouth and crammed into my cheeks like a chipmunk’s cheeks full of nuts, now what? I’m not about to swallow it. But do I spit it out when mom’s not looking and where do I spit? Do I hide some in my other hand, put it into my pockets, throw it on the floor or kick it under the rug when she’s not looking? When if ever, will she ever stop looking at me? What else can be done? Strategy is required, especially when Brussels sprouts were on the menu. Let’s try ‘The Face,’ perhaps it will work?
Just saying “No,” didn’t work for me.
Neither of the following worked for me either: “I don’t wana,” or “But I don’t like it!”
The look of horror or this really creeps me out look, did not work for me. The sad, ‘Puppy Dog Face,’ didn’t work for me and maybe it was because, I never learned how to effectively make this face, since we didn’t have a dog?
My Mom was not too impressed with my, ‘If Looks Could Kill,’ look either.’
What else could be done?
Like I said before, this couldn’t work for me because, we didn’t have a dog. And it does not appear to have worked out for this kid either, IF he thought his dog was going to get rid of all the evidence! How about, “Geeze Mom, the dog won’t even eat it, why should I?” I never tried this technique, but maybe it could work?
And the empty plate is a happy plate did not work for me. I could have cared less if the stupid plate was happy or not because, I was NOT happy!
“Oh, alright, if I have to, I guess?” This MAY get me to eat my dinner, but I still wouldn’t like it. The little boy below looks all happy about eating his food, yes or no? At least he and I would be moving in the right direction, but still not there yet!
But our mom was brilliant when she came up with the following concept!
“As soon as you finish eating, you can go play!”
“Well Mom, why didn’t you say that before?!!“ Now we’re on to something! So I tore into that food so fast and ate every bite. I was a blinding-blur as if I had somehow discovered a way to speed up time! I don’t recall the food even hitting my stomach, before I was out the door! It didn’t make the food taste any better then and it still doesn’t now! But it sure got me to eat it then and it still can today!I could not recall, each and every bite I was focused upon my next delight This trip down memory lane is a public service announcement and has been brought to you by – Doing the Right Thing Do the right thing, even eating a Brussels sprout Don’t waste your energy and shout Don’t waste your time and pout Kid’s Have Got It figured Out-
Do the things you have to do, so you can do the things you Love!!!
P.S. This post was written before the date it was first posted online. I am currently involved in, endeavoring to, to do the right thing and in trying to take my own advice here in doing the things I have to do, in order to do the things I love. 🙂