Sunday Scribblings #26 - Instructions

Instructions. That is the topic of the week from Sunday Scribblings. Yet, they failed to give us any further instructions on it.

It is tempting to write something satirical, perhaps rehashing the Hashi instructions, or else bemoaning the instructions that accompany ready-to-assemble toys and furniture (often written in English with severe grammatical errors.) I am also tempted to write a short piece concerning "Instructions for Mankind", replete with wise proverbs and suggestions that could be applied to everyday life.

Instead, I think I will write about the instructions we are given beginning at birth - which you might think is none at all.

The person you are today, the person who sits here reading this post, was molded over a lifetime of instructions that were, often, unheard and unreadable. These lessons were imparted to you over time, from the moment of your birth, via your parent/s and teachers, peers, the media, your chosen religion (or lack of religion), and events.

Many people fail in life because they choose not to learn from past mistakes. Others fail because they feel they need to forge ahead without using any instructions at all. Some choose to take self-defeating instructions to heart. Some people do well until a negative event mars them, and they spend days, weeks - or even their entire life - with this event embracing their every thought, to the point where they will fall aside on the road to life if they do not get help from a qualified therapist.

Our ability to utilize the lessons we learn in life depends greatly upon our mind set and approach to it. There is a Taoist thought process concerning the inability to change the actual bad 'happening'. Let's say you have a favorite tea cup, and it crashes to the floor and breaks. You can cry out, rant, and scream curses because the cup is broken, but that will not change the event that happened. A Taoist approach would be to accept that the cup is broken, allow yourself to grieve for the loss, and then sweep up the shards and go about your day. You will always miss that cup, but its loss should not destroy your own happiness. Only you can control your feelings of happiness, after all. (A further expansion of this thinking is: no one can insult you without your permission!) A Christian mind set might accept that it is God's will that the cup broke, and the lesson learned might be "Don't put so much desire into the material, which is fleeting."

As we move about through life, we should always keep our eyes (and minds) open to new learning experiences, for these will be the instructions needed for later events. A bad experience is only bad because of the way we perceive it. For instance, if as a toddler we burn our finger by touching a hot cup, we will store this bit of instruction for the rest of our lives... in the future, we will not just stick our hand into hot liquid or grab a hot item. Rather then dwell on the actual moment of the burn, we will remember that hot is hot. The instruction is imprinted in our minds. As our world expands around us, we will encounter even more negative stimulus. We can either learn from our own experiences, or the experiences of others (such as reading about a drunk driver killing a family, and vowing never to drive drunk ourselves.)

Today, as you go about your normal routines, keep your eyes sharp for the ways in which your life provides instruction. They may be written or verbal, such as those given by a teacher or employer (these are instructions for the betterment of a project or lesson.) They might come from a friend or family member (advice.) But, most usually, they will come from events that befall us all. Combine those events with a keen mind, and you will find yourself able to overcome all situations, striving forward as you convert the lessons learned into instructions for the future.


But, for those of you who need instructions for just about everything, I offer this fantastic website:
eHow.com - Clear Instructions on How To Do (just about) Everything

PS: once again, picture uploads are not working on Blogspot.

15 responded with...:

Andrew said...

Hi Autrice,
Thanks for visiting and leaving such nice comments today. (And nice pun btw -- Cupid, on target, I get it :o)

I agree that a section on foster children would be a great addition. I'll give some thought as to whether that would be a good chapter ... or maybe it's big enough to be a topic by itself. Great heads up. Thanks.

I ran into that Blogger photo problem too and found a way around it. It turns out that your photos actually ARE being uploaded to Blogger's database, ever time, but for some reason the html doesn't appear in your post. After you try to upload a picture and it doesn't appear to work, all you have to do is copy the html for a picture from another one of your older posts, paste this in your new post and change the file name (in two spots - you'll see where). All the rest of the information in the photo address is the same every time you upload a picture. This workaround has worked for me every time.

All the best,
Andrew

alyndabear said...

So true! Nearly everything we do is either as a result of instruction, or is setting up new instructions..

Now I'll be thinking about this all day! Good post. x

swampgrrl said...

hey there grrl...
it seems that our only job in life
is to learn from the experiences we
have. at least, that's what i've come
up with.
thanks for the making your musings
public.
cheers,
swampgrrl

Anonymous said...

Bravo!
These are the best instructions, instructions on life.

Anonymous said...

You're totally right.
Sometimes I don't want to go through some of life's lessons, but in the end, they're all necessary...
Nice post.

Anonymous said...

Great post!
I will be ever watchful for my instructions in life.

Shelley said...

Thought-provoking post.

Am finding that parenting is a constant eye-opener when it comes to the implicit lessons we're unwittingly offering up.

Thank you.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Perfectly put, the instruction on instructions, I like that! Now, to learn to apply life lessons with grace and courage.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Interesting... although I thought that you were going to deal with DNA.. (with birth) :-)

Oh well.. good anyway.

Kamsin said...

I like the idea that experiences provide instructions for lifes future events. Like life is teaching us how to live it as we go through it, if only we learn how to stop and pay attention to the instructions it gives! Great post.

TI said...

I love your idea of life as a series of instructions. Nice post.

Anonymous said...

great post!

ian russell said...

those are wise words, autrice. thanks for the insight into that aspect of taoism, it's really interesting.

but optimists have a hard time learning their lessons through experience - of course, it might not be so hot the second time. Or why oh why do i always wear my favourite shirt when i know it's spaghetti sauce for dinner! ;o)

Tammy said...

Excellent post! I love the Taoist view of life :)

yak attack said...

In your instructions on life, between the lines you have put it that it is accepting with grace what comes your way, and not complaining about eveything that really gives quality and meaning to our lives. Well done!