PonderIt

Friday, September 19, 2008

Appreciating is Hard to Do

I worked a lot of hours, along with a dedicated team of student employees (who had much more fun things to be doing) to get some computer systems ready for the first day of school at the university.

In spite of my best efforts, late nights, early mornings, and much running around the campus, we had a high profile system fail to perform properly in a few classrooms during the first two weeks of school.

The CIO, Academic Vice President, and others in my up line got an angry email. The professor complained in effect, "Why can't the IT shop respect the hard work of the professors and make an effort to have working systems for them. Don't they know we're relying on these systems to teach?"

Yes.

I was frustrated that my colleague had chosen to criticize us for our failure. Didn't he know how much work we'd put in? Didn't he recognize the huge majority of things that worked right?

Yes, apparently he did. He sent a nice thank you note later, reconsidering his earlier remarks.

***

[One day later.]

Tonight was the stake roadshow. Our ward has been pretty scattered in getting our performance together. Rehearsals ended up taking more time from my family than I would have liked during an already very busy time. Somehow, we managed to make it to the opening night.

The stake had set up really fancy lights, had boys manning the curtain ropes, people manning the sound system, microphones hung. A stage manager explained to our ward, who was first up, that we'd have reserved seats in the audience to sit in after our performance to watch the other wards perform.

Things didn't go perfectly. The sound system wasn't loud enough. The curtain boys didn't pull it at the right moments. Fans on the stage were too loud to allow the performers to hear the audience much. After our performance, our seats had been taken. We could stand in the back with three restless kids. We left early, in a bit of frustration, without watching the other performances.

Walking out to the car, I rattled off a list of the things that the stake people had failed to do to make the plays a success. Why didn't they make the microphones louder? Why didn't they police our reserved seats a little better? Why didn't the curtain boys follow along on the script?

Then I realized what I was doing.

I was so wrapped up in my ability to perform--so centered on ME--that I failed to appreciate all the hard work by others that had gone into supporting my performance. I had made the same mistake as the grumbling professor. I followed his example and repented quickly.

Hopefully, I can be more appreciate in the future of all the hard work that goes into making the ordinary things around us.

4 Comments:

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  • Yes, me too.

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 9/22/2008 11:37 AM  

  • The details that are out of order always stand out. We expect everything to be in proper order, so it's natural to pay attention to what fails to meet our expectations. It comes back to overcoming the natural man within us.

    By Blogger Reach Upward, at 9/22/2008 12:43 PM  

  • You need to learn the Adulation Jig, obviously.

    By Blogger SilverRain, at 9/22/2008 12:48 PM  

  • I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
    http://www.isaiahexplained.com/
    The site has free lessons on every chapter.
    Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
    Every Isaiah Chapter has the Analytical Commentary of Isaiah. Enjoy this personable verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah by well-known Hebrew scholar Avraham Gileadi.

    “Dr. Gileadi is the only LDS scholar I know of who is thoroughly competent to teach the words of Isaiah”—Professor Hugh Nibley, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. (1. 6. 2003)

    “It is my testimony that this man has been brought forward and trained at this time to help those inside the Church into Isaiah, and those outside the Church, Jew and Gentile, through Isaiah into the Church” —Arthur Henry King, author, former BYU professor and London
    Temple President.

    “Dr. Gileadi has achieved a major breakthrough in the investigation of a book of such complexity and importance as the Book of Isaiah”—Professor David Noel Freedman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    “Dr. Gileadi’s work will render obsolete almost all the speculations of Isaiah scholars over the last one hundred years . . . enabling scholarship to proceed along an entirely new line . . . opening new avenues of approach for others to follow”—Professor Roland K. Harrison, Wycliffe College, Toronto, Canada.

    “Only one who is truly at home not only with the Hebrew but with the ancient manner of biblical thought could have produced such an insightful and ground-breaking book”—Professor S. Douglas Waterhouse, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

    “Avraham Gileadi’s unsealing of the Book of Isaiah will forever change people’s
    understanding of Judeo-Christian religion, lifting it to heights hitherto known only to prophets and saints”—Arie Noot, corporate executive, Edmond, Oklahoma.

    “Isaiah Decoded is a huge breakthrough for the seeker of truth—Jew, Christian, Moslem, and agnostic. From an ancient writing, Gileadi has brought to light eternal truths about the nature of God and our relationship to him that have lain buried for centuries in the dust of time”—Guy Wins, fifth-generation Jewish diamond dealer from Antwerp, Belgium.

    “Gileadi is the only scholar I know who has been able to express the Jewish expectation of the Messiah in relation to the life and mission of Jesus of Nazareth”—Daniel Rona, Israeli tour guide, Jerusalem, Israel.

    “Dr. Gileadi has clearly demonstrated his mastery of the Book of Isaiah and of the scholarly literature dealing with it”—Professor Ronald Youngblood, Bethel Theological Seminary, San Diego, California.

    “Avraham Gileadi’s books and tapes take the casual observer of Isaiah’s words and transform him into an enlightened and lifelong student of the Word of God”—Allan and Nancy Pratt, LDS mission president, Toulouse, France.

    “Dr. Gileadi has awakened a whole new depth of my understanding of Isaiah’s prophetic message. His books and tapes illuminate the urgent relevance of Isaiah’s writings to our own day”—Becky Douglas, supervisor and sponsor of three orphanages in India, Atlanta, Georgia.

    “Dr. Gileadi’s translation [of the Book of Isaiah] is clear and smooth, allowing the reader to appreciate the power and beauty of Isaiah as conveyed in the Hebrew original”—Professor Herbert M. Wolf, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

    “Gileadi has uncovered an amazing message written in a divine code by the prophet–poet Isaiah. This will give comfort, hope, and joy to masses of people as they cope with the perplexing events now unfolding before their eyes”—Fenton Tobler, thirty years elementary school principle, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/21/2008 10:37 AM  

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