“I Can’t Do It”

February 2, 2010

I’ve heard these words a lot recently. “I can’t do it.” “It’s too hard.” “Just tell me what to do.” Etc. This is either my son, a student who won’t read the directions on a worksheet, or a teenager who has not brought a writing utensil, binder, book to a reading class, or ┬ácan’t remember to complete or turn in their homework. The students won’t try unless it’s spelled out to them individually and repeated 100 times. Even, to my horror, from my own son. If everyone knew how hard I had to work to make him play with his portable Nintendo system, they’d wonder why I tried at all. It’s work

I asked my parents how much they had to remind me to do homework. They remembered that it was a lot harder to motivate me than I recall, coincidently. Apparently I refused to practice anything that I couldn’t do successfully the first time. If my little brother did better than I did at something, that was the end of it; I wouldn’t try again. One of the qualities that has made me successful in college, at my banking job, in the Army, and (hopefully) as a law student is that I wouldn’t give in and would continue to work until I’d exhausted every avenue of approach.

The frustrating part of all this? That I was the one who frustrated someone previously. Being a self-identified hypocrite is a tough, bitter, non-chewable pill to swallow. It’s like seeing a pill and assuming it has to be chewable. So you bite into it, but it cracks a tooth and there’s a horrible taste in your mouth that toothpaste can’t get rid of. That’s what this feels like.

The other part of this that I ┬ájust don’t understand is when did it all change? Most likely, there is no identifiable date. “Oh, look! April 5th, 2002 I suddenly kept all my appointments and buckled down at work!” More like a slow process of improvements gained through long hours at the grindstone of character.

Whatever. Typing this post is taking too long. I quit. I’mma gonna play some Wii now.

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