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No longer 10 feet tall and bulletproof

      I am reminded every day, as I get older, of my wild and crazy youth. Once my body was made of steel, now it’s made of petrified wood. At one time I felt that I could do anything even if it meant putting my body through rigorous pain. Now I know to search for the easy ways instead of blasting through head first. Once I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, now I know I was just stupid at the time. I am now paying for the heroics of my youth with a much wiser set of rules for myself. Am I any more fragile than when I was young? I don’t believe this to be true. In all actuality, I’m probably stronger now than I ever was. The difference is, now I understand how much abuse the human body can withstand. Now I know with great feats of strength, come great pains of what was in the beginning.

      I’m not sure why, as young men, we must try to blast through that concrete wall when it is much easier to use the door. Some say it’s the testosterone running through us and yet, others claim it is the rite of passage. Maybe, just maybe, it was that pretty girl that walked by, and she must be shown how massively strong this young buck was. Of course, later in life we realize that she, who turned the young buck’s head, thought we were just stupid. She, of course, was correct, but we are blinded by the beauty and the testosterone will boil! There is a certain dynamic to these tales that will be relived over and over through our lives. And when the magic 3-0 rears its head, the pain will drive a man to think twice about going through the wall instead of using the door.

Car wreck at bottom of hillside

      I believe in my heart, for most men, wisdom begins at thirty. How much damage have we done through our twenty-nine years of being untamed, stupid and just plain not right in the head before this time is anyone’s guess. We all have the stories of our wild and crazy youths but, you have to ask, was it worth it? The answer depends on how much your body reminds you of your wild or shall I step on and say, “Stupid” days. Did you break some bones or almost die from something that seemed like a good idea at the time? Did you wreak your first car by trying to make that 20mph curve at 60mph? Did you do something that even you knew at the time was idiotic, just because someone dared you to do it and out of the corner of your eye, you seen that pretty girl that you wanted to get to know? And afterwards, did really feel stupid when you did it and you got hurt, let alone seen that pretty girl leave the scene with someone else? Ya, me too!

     All the cases above had some form of truth to them in my own life. I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the barn. However, I have become much wiser for my misadventures so in some ways, it wasn’t so bad, I guess. I do feel all the twinges of pain more and more as I gain age. Even though I never broke a bone growing up, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. In all actuality, I believe the good Lord was taken care of me. Many times, I should have died from my variance, but it wasn’t until much older that I experienced my own death. Of course, that is a story for another time. So was it all worth it? Well I didn’t get the girl, I messed up a lot of vehicles along with my body, and I’m feeling a lot more pain from my adventures. I guess I would have to say, yes it was. I am who I am because of my stupidity and I enjoy a wisdom, I never would have without my misadventures.

       Would I live my life the same way over, given another chance? I guess I would have to answer no to that question. This would be because I now have the wisdom, so unless said wisdom was taken away, my answer would have to stand as no I wouldn’t.

Boy jumps his skateboard onto stair railing

      Another part of this would have to include my sons and grandson. I raised my boys letting them know, I didn’t want them to do stupid things, but knew they would. I never held it against them, of course there was always punishment that would be handed out. They are getting close to their thirties now, and I know, the wisdom will come when their time is at hand. I have one grandson now, and I hope his daddy will show him the same tolerance. We are all boys and as the old adage says, “boys will be boys.”

      As fathers, we must remember our youth and allow our sons to find their way in life, too. We must be stern when they mess up. We must teach them respect, and we must allow them to grow up to be good men. They will find wisdom on their own path in their own time, but don’t take away their rite of passage. They are going to mess up and cause themselves pain along the way, but it will make them stronger and wiser men. The last thing I must add, be careful telling them of your youth. Pick and choose your stories careful, at least until they reach the turning point from stupid to wisdom.

I once was 10 feet tall and bulletproof! I am now not so tall and no longer bulletproof, but I am much wiser for the things I have been through. Furthermore, I would love to hear your coming of age stories. Was there ever a point when you just knew you turned the corner from stupid to wise? If you had a chance to go back and try again, would you? What are your feelings on this subject? I hope you enjoyed this one. Take care, God bless, and I talk to you again next week. Remember, we are all in this together.

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Don’t want to know? Don’t ask!

If you don’t want the answer, don’t ask! I have lived by this sentence for many years and it has served me well. I have always tried to be honest, but others feelings tend to lead to small lies (white lies as some call them). If I’m to be a truthful person, how can I tell even the smallest of lies and keep credibility? Even if I am trying not to offend someone, a lie is still a lie. It doesn’t matter how small the lie, if I’m telling it, that makes me a lier.

So how am I supposed to tell my boss at work the truth about a situation when he wants a certain answer but this isn’t the truth? I decided to incorporate into my language a short sentence that has helped me keep a solid reputation as a truthful person. “If you don’t want the answer, don’t ask.” This allows the other person to choose whether they really want the truth or not be told. Everyone that knows me, knows I give my honest opinion. I hold nothing back. I have used this many times with my work supervisors, friends, family and even with enemies. But, never ever with my wife!

There are always the questions you may be asked, that requires a variation of what the truth is. Not a lie, but not the first thing that comes to your mind. Here is an example of a trap that all men are stuck dealing with a girlfriend or wife. “Honey, do these pants make me look fat?” In this instance, one cannot use the sentence I have described above unless you have a death wish! Also you cannot necessarily say what comes to mind at first. Here is an example, “Well, if you want to look like a hippopotamus on swan lake, it’s great!” This too is a death sentence! So the best way to answer this question would be to think of something she has worn before that you really liked and go with that. This answer would be something like “Honestly, I really liked that stripe pair of pants you had on the other day.”

Hippopotamus in water
Well. Dear you look….

Now guys, let’s face it, unless you want to lie to your bride, it doesn’t matter what you say, it is going to be wrong. On the other hand, she will appreciate that you didn’t just lie to her. You found a way to get out of lying and still make her feel as beautiful as you know she is.

Ladies, your men see you as lovely and beautiful as they have always seen you. If you ask your man to answer a question like the one above, then you are asking him to look through another’s eyes. Once you do this, you have set your man up for a fall, because no matter how beautiful you look, you aren’t worried about how men see you, you are worried about how other women see you. Let’s be truthful, if women think you look good, then you know men do too.

So using the sentence I have suggested does work with bosses, fellow workers, family and friends as well with enemies. However, this helpful sentence is never to be used with your significant other, unless you really are ready for a knock down, drag out fight and possibly death of a relationship.

I have tried to make this as enjoyable as I can while still getting my message across. It is true what I have said about using this made up sentence. It has worked for me over and over again. Once someone decides that they do want your opinion, (truth as you see it) they may get angry but, they have no reason to be angry with you because they were warned.

Notebook with thoughts written on the cover
What are your thoughts?

I would love to hear your thoughts about what this post is about. Let me know if you have tried this sentence and if it has worked for you. Also, let me know if using my ideas while answering your spouses impossible questions has helped. Ladies, am I wrong about what I said when looking good for other women is important? I look forward to your responses. Take care out there and Remember, we are all in this together.