I quit. Some people I have met see this as a form of failure, and to be truthful- it sometimes is an indication of the end of a possibility. However, there are times when quitting is beneficial. Knowing when to give up can be wisdom.  There are stubborn streaks in my nature and quitting is not easy for me in any arena.  Reasonable amounts of persuasion are necessary, for those of us with a will and drive to always succeed, to put on the brakes and turn around to head in a different direction. Perspective from those around me is not always going to steer me clear of obstacles and prevent me from mistakes. I find there are three major reasons to be a quitter:

1) Obstacles and barriers cannot be avoided or removed

2) The effort pursued has no worthy return left in the goal

3) Something else has become more important to attain

When I am faced with challenges in life, I find wisdom in looking for other ways to achieve my goal or in working through difficulties. This does not mean all obstacles can be overcome.  The unstoppable force can hit the immovable object and there will either be an explosion or an impasse at stasis.  I spent five years of married life trying to work out irreconcilable differences and found, to my surprise, that ending the marriage finally brought peace with the issues. Abusers, murderers, and haters can be created from people incapable of ever reaching agreeable terms who refuse to part ways.

Never do something for nothing. Every good charitable deed, every task I work at, every conversation I have has some sort of purpose to it. All of the reasons for doing anything are meant to produce something, some sort of actual result. If I am attempting an effort and the effort is not going to produce any results or any desirable outcome I feel the effort should cease. Instant returns are not always realistic, but there is a point where input does not follow through with achieved output. Resources are precious and personal investments of any nature should not be put forward to the point that individuals are bankrupt and nothing has been accomplished.

Usually, when I go to the grocery store I have a list of items I need: butter, bread, olive oil, etc. and sometimes I impulse buy something I want. There is a limited amount of budget to make choices on and if I have to give up olive oil for toilet paper I can use the butter to cook with.  Something on my list became more important than something else. Trying to attain more, to achieve more, and to give more takes allotting resources and making choices. Giving up on one idea or effort or endeavor to realize another goal obtained is not shameful. Quitting is sometimes a matter of priorities.

We can give everything we have to everything we do, but we have to know when to quit.






When We Were Innocent…

Saturday morning, bright and early as soon as the sun came up, I was eight and my brother was six and it was our time with the television to watch cartoons without disturbing our parents. If we could not agree on the same show, we would take turns on half hours of Scooby Doo and Space Ghost. The rule was “no fighting out loud” or our parents would get out of bed and turn off the television.

Children decide to settle things on their own. Some of us had such a hard time in grade school that we always needed our teachers and parents to settle things instead. This never created fewer problems with other children. Life was better after we all grew up a little bit.  The teenage years were ours and our families were always there. This is when we were innocent, before the real world where “bad” answers are not “cool” and before we learned that we have to support ourselves not just expect our answers from others. This was before Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, and 9/11.

Most of us can say our own children have arrived. We are all aware of the fact that our world has changed. We have simply lost our innocence. As children we fought, cried, laughed, played, and worked hard to learn. As adults, we reconcile, compromise, enjoy, teach and still fight. The difference between adult and child is in lives of innocent days and lives that have left the days when we were innocent behind them.

In our world today natural disaster that we can do nothing about strikes at our cities and our people, enemies attack us in our homes and on our streets, and we know that we can help others but we may pay too high of a personal price without doing much good.  These are the lessons we have learned since childhood and these lessons are part of the knowledge we are passing on to our children and trying to protect against.

When I was eight I learned to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. I was scared and I fell off several times before I found my balance.  The bicycle did not break in the falls and I had bruises and scrapes, but no serious injuries.  My father stood and watched and helped balance the bicycle from behind.  Life is not learning to ride a bicycle. We cannot afford to learn the lessons we are paying for today.

Our legacy will be left on this Earth once our time is over.  The days when we were innocent will never come again. Looking back, I remember those days and even though I cannot reclaim them preserving the memories is crucial to finding moments of freedom, happiness, and security as an adult. We have remembered 9/11. We have remembered our anger, pain, and loss. Now let us remember when we were innocent. Although we cannot return to our childhood, we must find our peace.