Do as I Say, Not as I Do

In
my youth, my parents and others always had a favorite saying when they
told me to do something and I responded with, “you don’t do it, why
should I.”


They
would respond with,”Do as I say, not as I do.” And of course they would
always be reprimanded by someone chastising them for not setting a
 good example. As I grew older , it seemed to me the one uttering this
absurd statement was being hypercritical, thus I would often discount
what they were saying and the lesson there-in contained.


I rationalized a person should practice what they preach before trying to impart their values on someone else.

It
wasn’t until later in life I began to learn the real lesson behind
this. As often happens in life lessons such as this, the answer comes in
the wee hours of the morning when normal people are sleeping.


I
realized suddenly that no one on the planet is perfect, we are all
trying to form that rough ashlar we call life into a more perfect
building block to thus fashion our life upon. No one can always live up
to the high standards we all should place upon ourselves. We are a work
of progress and continuously  under construction.  In our progression in
life, as we continue on towards perfection, perfection as each of us
sees it, we will continue to struggle, often times we take two steps
forward and one backward, and many times it is one step forward and two
backward.


This
is as it should be, we need to remember ,even though it seems we are
falling backward more than forward, our continuous direction is forward
toward our goal of perfection. It is impossible to fall backwards. every
action and reaction we take is a learning experience


There
was nothing hypercritical intended when my parents and others made this
statement.They knew exactly what they were saying. They realized no one
can live life without doing things that would be better left undone,
themselves included. Just because they did something stupid was no
reason for their children or friends to do the same thing. We are supposed to learn from others mistakes, or I like to say, “Learning
experiences.”


My
mom always had another favorite expression, when I wanted to do
something she didn’t think I should do, I would say,”But everyone else
is doing it.”


She
would respond,”If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you want to
jump also.?” It’s really hard to respond to logic like that.

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