Lance Scranton: You might be an adult …
Read local and national news and you start to think that the grown-ups are acting like children.
It was once common to understand the difference between a child and a grown-up, but times have changed and maybe a few reminders are in order:
If you understand the difference between what you can control and that which you can’t — you might be an adult. So often we calculate our moods according to those things that are far beyond our ability to impact. You may not always get what you think you deserve, but that should make no difference in your approach to life. Only a child plays that game, and it usually works but ends in frustration when life delivers a few lemons.
If you are known just as much for what you prohibit as what you promote — you might be an adult. In a culture that wraps itself in the robe of acceptance, it’s no wonder that people find it difficult to say no. Culture cry-babies wail for permissiveness, but the adult in the room understands that allowing people to do whatever they want leads down a path of eventual suffering. Unrestrained permissiveness conditions the culture to avoid disputes and disagreements, which promotes apathetic compliance.
If you realize that being effective is more fulfilling than efficiency — you might be an adult. Working at that which we are hired to do is an efficient means of employment, but effectiveness means we are working at doing the right thing correctly. It usually means we are willing to take advice and criticism in order to grow in our profession. The child looks for excuses and usually gets emotional when asked to make adjustments or do things differently.
Finally, you might be an adult if you are able to recognize the difference between listening and agreement. Discussions center around the time-honored approach that sharing ideas is the best way to make wise decisions. Look around our country these days and you see too much screaming and way too little listening. The adult understands that listening can help shape our thoughts, refine our values, and promote the well being of a community but doesn’t always mean agreement.
Being civil in our culture demands that the adults act accordingly and with maturity take the actions and support behaviors that make us easily discernible from the children. Remember the old saying: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Wise words – probably from an adult!
About a week ago I was rolling a bale of hay down past the loading dock of the corral so that I could throw hay over the fence. Right there in the path was some rhubarb. It isn’t that the rhubarb hadn’t been there before, but I thought it had died out during the drought. It isn’t easy to get water to that location. The rhubarb is nice and tender, and I’m determined to use it up before the stalks get tough. So I hunted up my rhubarb recipes.