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Apr 14

Some Fools Can Be Trained, Like Me

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I was a young man my friends Steve Schesvold, Dave Murphy and David Villringer would tease me for my recklessness.

One morning at the conclusion of a Grace Community Church pancake breakfast I needed to dispose of my paper plate.  Being “blessed” with both laziness and misguided self-confidence I threw away my plate. Unfortunately, I attempted to throw away my crumb-filled, syrup-laden plate from across the room, over tables, around other people and into the trash can.

I failed.

I cannot recall all the specifics, but I know I missed the can and hit an innocent bystander with my less that aerodynamic plate.

Because of my laziness and lack of judgment and skill, I still had to get off my chair, but now it also had to be accompanied by some humility, a sincere apology, and Steve’s legendary quote, “you have an exaggerated view of your own abilities.”  [See below} **

My dad’s comment to me was right, “Commonsense is not common to you.”

And it was not.

While my parents and other trustworthy adults tried to teach me common sense I didn’t listen.  Fortunately, God used Steve’s kind patience to build up my fragile self-confidence.  Steve used questions, and lots of them.

If you want to help ignorant, common-sense free friends, family members and children to build self-confidence in their decision-making resist the temptation to do it for them.  Teach them to think for themselves.

If You Want To Build Self-Confidence Model Trust

Some people are not trustworthy because they have never been challenged to grow in wisdom.

When we ask questions instead of giving suggestions we may slow the decision-making process, but we change the outcome.  Rather than taking on the role of fixer, rescuer or hero we become a teacher and guide.  We help build thinking skills and demonstrate trust that your friend, spouse, lover or child can make wise decisions with confidence.

7 Benefits of Asking Questions instead of Giving Suggestions

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to help explore options.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to help her/him identify goals and intentions.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to draw out possible solutions.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to communicate that you trust her/him to capably solve a problem.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to reinforce that the responsibility for finding a solution is in her/his hands.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to help evaluate the choices he/she has made.

Ask questions instead of give suggestions if you want to build confidence and independence in problem solving.

** Fortunately years later God’s sense of humor found a way to use my recklessness for good.  I was frustrated with my inability to throw that plate “from across the room, over tables, around other people and into the trash can.”  Many, many times I would continue to throw things around, over and through obstacles and as a side-benefit I became a rather proficient quarterback.  =D

Bring on the comments

  1. I really liked the picture this painted for me. Gave me some things to take into practice when helping my 4 year old and my husband. Maybe I should respond more often in this manner than with a loud groan and a slap on my head.

  2. ‘Rin’ you are too funny! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. […] Fortunately, there is hope for your foolish family, friends, co-workers, classmates and neighbors — I am living proof that “Some Fools Can Be Trained, Like Me.” […]

  4. […] I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating. […]

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