Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Campers and a Spot Correction

Welcome back. We are really glad to be home. We had a wonderful camping trip but the very best part of traveling is always coming home again. So we are, indeed, happy campers. You just never know when you may connect with another member of God's family, and the couple in the travel trailer next to us were also believers. After several days of chatting casually about this, that, and the other thing, we were loading up and heading home. They were staying for several more days but they came out to tell us goodbye just as we were leaving.

Janice said to me, "By the way, I don't think we ever got your last name." Keep in mind that over the prior days we had discussed life, careers, the fact that we each had lost close relatives in the prior six months, our children, grandchildren, etc. But when you have on ratty old jeans and no make up, well, the formal details of acquaintance just don't seem to come up very often.

"Young", I replied. She looked completely taken aback, and I was puzzled as Young is not all that uncommon a name. Then she started laughing and said, "Us too." Now it was my turn to be tickled. "You, too? Your last name is Young?" It was, and our husbands were both originally from the Midwest - and so it goes. This is one of the reasons we enjoy camping - you just meet the nicest people. We laughingly decided we just may be long lost relatives, and we exchanged contact information and drove off with a smile. &&&

Now about that spot correction. When I wrote the post on Luxury Spots vs. Real Value, I was sitting at a battered old desk in the club house of the camp grounds with no reference books available. And leaving the blog site to check references on the Internet was a bit dicey as the wi-fi seemed to "come and go" with no discernible warning - so I relied on my memory of certain details, always a risky proposition these days.

So, to be clear, I made a mistake. The title of the book by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan is not Execution: The Art of Getting Things Done. When we arrived home, I picked up my copy, which I keep handy for any number of reasons, and sure enough, it jumped right out at me.

The correct title is Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. And isn't that the truth? Accomplishing anything at all in life requires discipline, perseverance - or where I come from they called it stick-to-it-ive-ness.

Discipline and disciple both come from the same root word, of course, that being the Latin root "discere" meaning to learn. And there is just SO MUCH to learn in life.

One of the definitions of discipline in my American Heritage Dictionary - 2nd Edition - is: "Training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior..."

When I was a child, my parents and grandparents made much ado over the fact that I seemed to learn very quickly. My Mom told me that I could name fifty birds from their pictures by the time I was two. I guess that was a cute little parlor trick for when company came to visit. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to sit and listen to the names of fifty birds, but oh well.

During my youth, I could memorize almost anything from one or two readings, and while I did not possess a photographic memory, it seemed I came close. But quickly memorizing, and actually learning are not the same thing, are they? And one of my other grandmothers was of the school of thought that character and comportment were a great deal more important that being able to spout off for visitors.

Once I pranced up to her in a new dress, hoping she would say how nice it looked. She was a tall, rather stern old lady (or so she seemed to my seven-year-old view) and she simply said to me, "Marsha, pretty is as pretty does." She wasn't a barrel of laughs, but she had the right idea about the importance of character.

I never forgot that. Appearances only go so far, and memorized data is not terribly effective for the long-haul either. Data is only disconnected bits of information - knowledge is data connected in understandable patterns. Thus, while data can lead to information, which may lead us to knowledge, which can lead to wisdom, that isn't always the case. True wisdom, it has been said, is "knowledge rightly applied." And as it says in Proverbs, "With all your getting, get wisdom." Now, that takes a lot of discipline.

I do not learn as quickly these days. But hopefully, I am learning more important life-lessons that produce character more like that of Jesus - and whom He loves, He disciplines.

Help me, Lord, to have a teachable spirit. &&&& Have a good day.

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