The Difference Between Ignorance and Stupidity…

I might as well write this now. I’ve thought about it before, but now I know the difference. What I am referring to is that line between being ignorant and just being stupid. This is what I came up with:

Being ignorant means, by definition, that you lack knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified. Being stupid, on the other hand, means that one is given to unintelligent decisions or acts. In one instance, you simply aren’t armed with knowledge and therefore cannot be reasonably expected to do the correct thing in a given situation. In the other, well, you just don’t have the ability to arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to do the correct thing. No matter what happens, you’re not going to be able to figure it out.

I met a shining example of the latter today. I’m at my desk on the telephone trying to listen to someone’s voicemail greeting so that I can leave a message for them. This lady, whom I’ve never met before, comes into my area and starts asking me questions about a print job. I am completely ignorant in this instance. Note, I had no knowledge of what she wanted, who she was, or why she was asking me questions. Ignorant.

Upon seeing that I was on the phone, most people would turn and wait until I hung up the receiver and asked what they needed. Most people would do that. But not this lady. This lady, instead keeps talking even as I glare at her to shut the #@$& up so that I can hear my phone call. Obtuse. Stupid.

When I finally hung up the phone, she was still hanging around the area. She had moved into another corner of the room and appeared to be searching for something. I asked her what she needed and she launched into some sort of speech, though I’m not sure it had the energy of an actual speech, it was more like absent-minded babbling. I still had no idea what she needed, who she was or why she had come to me. Ignorant.

She left, but then a few moments later, returned. This time, I had my purse, my briefcase and my keys in hand and I was ready to leave the building. Upon seeing this, the lady proceeded to ask more questions. I told her that I didn’t think I could help her with her problem and that I wasn’t necessarily sure who could. Perhaps she should ask someone else. Most people would say, yeah, I’ll try someone else. Not this lady. She continued asking me questions although I had made it quite clear that I was not the person who held the key to her dilemma. Stupid.

Hmmmm. I’m not sure how to recover from such an encounter. It almost had me doubting my own capacity, but alas, I feel much better now that I have shared the moment with you. Alas, you are ignorant no more. 😉

Until next time…

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Stop being so angry…

My new job has given me lots to think about these past few weeks. In short, some people I’ve met have given me reason to spout off a little. I won’t say exactly why, but after reading this, you’ll probably understand:

If you have a child, if you watch a child, if you are around children at all on a regular basis, you need to hear this. I firmly believe that kids take every word we say and store it in their little memory banks until they can find a context where those phrases make sense. The ones they hear most often are the ones that start to mold their very existence and dictate the direction of their lives. So, that being said, I think that especially in cases where your main audience is a child or several children, if you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.

I’m not saying that discipline should not be applied when necessary. I’m saying that every interaction you have with a child should not be your opportunity to vent about the things in your life that make you unhappy. If you don’t like your job, that’s not a child’s fault. It’s yours. If you don’t like your spouse, that’s not your child’s fault. It’s yours. If your life isn’t working out according to plan or due to lack of plan, that is not a child’s fault. It’s, well, you guessed it…it’s your own fault.

When a child hears the same angry or negative messages over and over, they begin to attach those messages to their own character. There can’t possibly be any other reason why someone would be so negative towards me, so I must be bad. This is how the child processes your anger. This is not fair. If you find yourself continuously unhappy, you need to make some changes in the way you process things. And especially in the way you treat those around you.

Okay, I’m done. Until next time…

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It’s one of those things that I’ve never quite been able to overcome. My tendency to put things off until the very last minute is in direct conflict with my sheer disgust in being late or being unprepared. Why then, do I always seem to be putting off doing what I know needs to be done until it becomes a stress building monster that will not let me out of it’s grasp?

That’s a little dramatic for this early in the morning, isn’t it? It really must be the coffee. Friggin’ morning blend always does that to me. But seriously, I have noticed this tendency to create within my world a more stressful situation than there really needs to be. I could easily get these things done in plenty of time since I am always…and I do mean always sitting at the computer. There is no excuse for my not getting work done. Other than I find time-suckers to keep myself occupied because for some reason, I don’t want to let myself focus on the important stuff.

Even writing this blog today is part of the problem. I’m not scheduled to do a post, however, sometimes, I just need to vent. What I should be doing is working on my program outlines, press releases and other materials for my upcoming discussion events. What I find myself doing is wondering what else I can do to keep from working on those things. Sometimes, I feel that someone should just slap me. I was the same way throughout high school and college. I always waited until the night before a big paper or presentation was due to write the entire thing. I always hated trying to plan out presentations because I never, ever stick to my agenda. I’m always improvising because I just can’t do “canned” speeches. Even if I write them. I have to feel somewhat connected to what I am saying or I can’t seem to say it. Once I have written it down, only a few hours can pass before the feelings associated with the writing are permanently archived. The mood has passed.

In spite of an overwhelming need to be punctual and to appear as though I have it all together, I am really a very spontaneous person. This is something I didn’t realize until lately. I like spur-of-the-moment excursions and unplanned road trips. I want to be able to just get up and go without having a plan. I’ve lived my whole life the other way, though, and what has it gotten me: acid reflux and a body full of knotted muscles. It makes it really hard to be the fun person I know I can be.

So, what I’ve been trying to say here, and I’m putting it off until the very last line, of course, is that I really should be working on something else right now.

Until next time…

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Slowing Down

I think the hardest thing for me to do is to slow myself down and enjoy life. Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to back off from taking on too many projects and now that I’ve phased some things out, I’m going a little nuts. I get to a point where I just need to have something going on. While most people seem to enjoy the sounds of silence, it makes me feel as though I should be in a rubber room somewhere.

The point of my slowing down was to allow me to enjoy the time I have with my little girl before she has to go to school. I have a couple of years, but I wanted to make the most of the time. When I had my little girl, I was a very different person. I wanted to get to the top of that career ladder and teeter there on the brink of insanity for the next thirty years. Now, I find it hard to even prop the ladder against a wall. It’s funny how our priorities change once we become parents. I know I never would have dreamed that I would leave a prestigious position with a well-known organization to stay at home and be a mom. But for me, the mommy gene and the corporate career gene simply aren’t able to coexist.

So, I sit here every morning making my rounds on the internet. Before she wakes up, I check e-mail, update websites, update blogs, look for interesting stuff, check the obituaries to make sure I haven’t passed on, and then I think about all of the things I used to get done before 9 a.m. when I had a “real job.” I can’t believe I ever put myself through that. Now, when my daughter wakes up, I’m here and she doesn’t feel pressured by my hurrying to get her to a babysitter. It has made a significant change in her. One that is worth at least giving up a relatively large salary. She’s happy, she’s having fun and I think she feels more secure.

I’m approaching my thirty-fifth birthday and it has become clear to me over the last few years that life is much more than how much you can bring home on your paycheck. If you can’t get something more from the work you are doing than simply cash rewards, then it probably isn’t even worth doing. I feel more fulfilled at this point in my life than I ever did before. Although it scares me to slow down, I am comforted by the knowledge that it has made a very positive impact on my daughter. She sees that she is more important to me than anything else and that it is possible to choose a path that fits what is in your heart.

Until next time…