There have been many life lessons thrown at me over time. These are three great life lessons that have made a huge difference.
When I was 12 we moved from my grandmother's house to my mother's house which had been rented the previous 8 years or so.
After my first day of school I went to the school nearby to see what was happening. To my joy I found the football field full of kids my age!
Wanting to play, I was invited to one of the teams. Its leader, who became my good friend, said, "You cover Ann. She's fast and she can catch."
Pretty simple instruction. So I went to cover her. She came at me and turned toward the sideline. I trotted after her, as she was so easy to cover.
THEN, TO MY SURPRISE, SHE TURNED UP FIELD, AND CAUGHT A LONG PASS LEAVING ME AND MY DEFLATED 12 YEAR-OLD EGO IN HER WAKE! SHE COULD CATCH AND SHE WAS REALLY FAST!!
Angry, I made sure she did not catch another pass all game as I had her covered like a blanket. But I never recovered from that embarrassment. My first day!
LESSON 1 - Sometimes the simplest instructions are the best.
I have been involved with the Boy Scouts, one way or another, since I was 8 years old.
Not having a father at home, this was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It involved me in "boy" things and I had interaction with men. Because of my relationship with my father, I was afraid of grown men.
One very important thing I was told was to leave a campsite cleaner than I found it.
And if we found a campsite that was already clean and prepared, we would leave a pile of wood for the next camper.
This has served me well my whole life. I have improved every property I have lived at, including my first apartment and rental townhouse.
LESSON 2 - The Golden Rule, doing for others as you would want them to do for you.
I spent two wonderful years of my life as a missionary in the country of Ecuador. Much of my time there was spent living with and teaching the indigenous Indians in the city of Otavalo. I learned their customs, life style and language. And their language, Quichua, a dialect of Quechua, was VERY difficult to learn. It is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like the Romantic/Latin/Germanic languages you and I are used to. I learned it by ear.
The soil there is extremely rich, darker than anything I have ever seen, before or since. When the Indians plant corn, they put other seeds in the same hole. Those seeds are climbing green beans, a broad-leafed squash and haba beans.
I took a picture of the practice! Not a very good one, taken in 1975 with my trusty Kodak Instamatic camera, it at least gives you the idea.
What the Indians do not know is all the biochemistry involved with this farming practice. Each of these vegetables replaces in the soil what the others take out.
They work symbiotically. And to each other's benefit.
The result? Delicious, nutritious food. And the corn grows so high that it must be harvested with a machete!
The cobs are twice the size and have twice the kernels.
CORN NOT PLANTED WITH THESE OTHER SEEDS DOES NOT GROW SO TALL OR HEALTHFUL.
What was the lesson this missionary learned?
That my progress in life will be more fulfilling, and I will grow more, giving and receiving more, and be far more blessed, if I accompany that path in life with three things:
PRAY, STUDY AND WORK.
I have employed this principle in every aspect of my life - as a person, as a student, and as a business owner. At every turn, I have prayed about it, studied to find out what is best and then gotten to work. And it has worked for me...
Have I had my screw ups? Sure! Which I have muddled through and tried to learn from. But this practice has served me well. It would serve anybody well.
Why do I think so? Because it is a principle, a principle with a promise and an eternal one. The most common admonition in scripture is a three-letter word. And that word is ASK. That simple request is extended to us by a loving Father who I truly believe has personal involvement in every single person's life every single day. And perhaps hundreds of times any given day.
The word 'awesome' is overused, and used in contexts that truly are NOT awesome. It is a word used so much these days that I have come not to like it!
But I think that daily, personal, individual, loving, parental involvement is truly AWESOME.
LESSON 3 - Ask! And you too will find how awesome the principle of pray, study and work is. And not to forget Father...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560