I - TOMKAT HYLAND -
DO HEREBY GIVE AND BEQUEATH ...
A FEW MINUTE 'PEARLS OF WISDOM' -
© - Tom Hyland - 12-19-08
My Legacy - what Will it be? What do I Want it to be? Can that possibly be Achieved? I Wonder - but Time will Tell!
To my Children, Ann and Tom - well, it certainly won’t be Riches! I was never smart enough, or greedy enough to amass any fortune, was I? My legacy to them is simply Undying, Forevermore, Ad Infinitum - LOVE! Hopefully, a tad of Wisdom also, from learning from my mistakes. To that mixture let us add another ingredient - KUDOS!
I was always so Proud of my offspring, no matter what they did, or didn’t do - they were really good as children, and grew to be very good teenagers, and finally very good adults - caring, loving people. I would honestly attribute that phenomenon to the teachings of their Mother, who purposely stayed at home to nourish them daily when they were little tots. She also was always a fine Woman, and Mother. God made a good choice when He led me to her!
To the Rest of my Family - again, certainly no great abundance of assets, and hopefully - no debts! Perhaps only a Clean Slate? To enter the world with Nothing, and to leave it in the same manner, with Nothing - Physical that is!
If the Love instilled in me by my loving Parents was passed on to them, not unlike the Olympic Torch - then perhaps that will be Remembered, and Honored, as a Good Memory? This depends on each individual’s measure of experience.
To my Fellow Authors - perhaps one or two will remember me kindly, as having helped them on occasion to sharpen their craft - a witty thought or idea, a quick chuckle or two of humor, or maybe even something more profound, like - actually learning a tidbit of information that helped them in some small way? Did they recognize the many facets of this humble being?
Attempts at capturing thoughts, ideas, creations, on paper (so to speak) but mostly Online, in that Great Universe we call - The Internet? Humor, Wit, Sarcasm, Exposition, Anger, Therapy, Mediocrity, Mundaneness (for some unknown reason that word escaped both my Dictionary and Thesaurus, as well as Mundanity?) - an appreciation of: Nature, the Environment, Spirituality, Controversial Social and Political Issues, and yet again, sometimes even Love?
To the World-At-Large - Somewhere in that vast repertoire of Stuff Written - was there ever one solitary minor poem that only one individual regarded as a Perfect Poem? I wonder? Was I ever thought of as a Good Teacher? I hope so, as I tried to be! I thought I was - but is that merely Sinful Pride? Only Time will Tell!
Will I live long enough to ever write and publish a Best Seller? This, my Friends, is highly doubtful! But, like most authors, it is always a deeply seated, often unexpressed, quiet, secret goal - WOW! To be remembered for something that one has Birthed, Created, Toiled at - with Blood, Sweat, and Tears - Aah - a taste of Immortality - truly an episode of Vanity - but Verily, Verily, I say unto you - ‘tis the TRUTH!
To the Universe - for years now, hanging on the wall of my bedroom, there has been a copy of The Desiderata - “… you are a Child of the Universe …”
I would highly recommend that any person desirous of seeking both Peace and Wisdom obtain and print out a copy of this poignant philosophy - simply GOOGLE the word, and VOILA!
My Legacy - why, pray-tell, do I bother to choose such a topic? Am I despondent? Gimme a Big ‘HELL NO!’ I simply received an email yesterday from a friend, that contained a Link to a Website of another person, totally unknown to me - that went on - and on - and on - about this subject. I finally got tired of reading, and closed the link before finishing the essay.
So, why would I then bother to take the Time to write all this Drivel? While the article started out simply, and was quite interesting and informative, it then built into Complexity, and I began getting LOST! This, Dear Reader, brought home to me - one of my own lifelong faults - VERBOSITY!
Yep - I stand Guilty, as accused! It reminded me also of an old adage -
“Once I asked a man the Time - whereupon he built me a Watch!”
Diarrhea of the mouth, as well as the pen - can oft’ label one as a ‘Blow-Hard’ or ‘Big-Mouth!’ I Know - Been There - Done That! So - what am I saying?
“Do as I Say - Not what I Do!”
In short, verbosity should be avoided like the PLAGUE! As a writer, your toughest job may simply be learning how to HONE down, or edit your own words (as mighty as you may believe they are) into being that ‘just right’ word count, so to speak. This will indubitably be the most painful exercise for you to Master - but, I Promise you - you will Thank me in the Morning!
Way back in the mid-Sixties, in night college, at The University of Baltimore,
A Professor of Speech Class taught us:
“Tell them what you are GOING to tell them” - The Introduction.
“Then TELL them!” - The Body.
“Then, tell them what you TOLD them!” - The Conclusion.
In both oral and written presentations, this simplistic advice has always made perfect sense to me. If you learn nothing else, do yourself a favor - MEMORIZE THIS! You are Welcome!
This little true story is a perfect example of a Legacy - while I have no clue as to the Name of this Wise Teacher - his WORDS will live on in Immortality - that may be his Tantamount Legacy!
Now, there is another fine example of the Legacy of a single word - it was in the late Sixties, at Johns Hopkins University, where I was an employee, that a former Boss used the word - TANTAMOUNT - I had no clue as to what it meant, so I had to look it up (you have my permission to do likewise) - but -
The sentence was - “Printing out all those bills is tantamount to delivering yesterday’s news in a horse-drawn buggy!” Her name was Sonia Marchand!
Another tidbit that I shall pass on to you as possibly another ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ is this - the SHOCK VALUE of the difference between High School and College. I did not begin my Freshman year until the ripe old age of Twenty-Two! After doing a six-month stint in the U.S. Army, then returning to civilian life for another six months, I decided it was time to get an education. I was like an old man to all those young Whipper-Snapper mere Teenagers!
So, in September, 1962, I resigned my job at The Social Security Administration, in Woodlawn Maryland, took my big $900.00 Retirement Fund to pay tuition and buy textbooks, traded in my magnificent, beautiful, gas-guzzling ’57 Chevie BelAir, Four-Door Hardtop, for a cute little, white Box - a 1959 FIAT 1100 Four-Door Sedan, 4-cylinder Efficiency vehicle. The daily round-trip of some 60 miles to and from College Park, Maryland, five times a week would have been too costly, even way back then - this was one of my more sensible decisions.
Anyway, I quickly learned that I was nothing more than a mere grain of sand on the beach, amidst a student campus exceeding Twenty-Five Thousand! The previous ‘spoon-feeding’ by caring individual H.S. teachers was GONE FOREVER! In this mass of faces, one was ALONE - no Professor, no Associate Professor, no Teacher, no Resident Student Assistant - no ONE was going to wipe your sniveling nose, nor your sore bottom - it was DOG EAT DOG - SINK OR SWIM - WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD, BUNKY!
The adage taught in Basic Training in the Army - “If the Student doesn’t Learn, then the Teacher didn’t Teach!” was echoing in my mind like the old, old computer game - PONG! In high school I was an ‘A’ student - had a 95 Average in Chemistry, ACED everything in Mathematics, and won the coveted Language Award - BUT - in my second semester of college I FLUNKED BOTH MATH AND CHEMISTRY - DUH? Perhaps I was not good enough to be an Engineer?
Well, I guess ‘burning the candle at both ends’ didn’t help either - what with 1,200 miles a month of travel - spending weekends at the Library doing research on Term Papers - AND - trying to please a Lover who wanted more time with her? DOUBLE DUH?
So, now - as I try to wind down this possibly overdone, verbose discourse in possible Education, I should like to make two final points. One - if you happen to be a parent, especially with teenagers with aspirations of going to college - do them and yourselves a favor - WARN THEM! The excruciating SHOCK DIFFERENTIAL is quite powerful, and you don’t want them POPPING PILLS, or Imbibing in Alcohol, because of the pressures exerted upon them, do you? A Word to the Wise should be sufficient!
Secondly, another Basic Tenet learned in Majoring in Business Management (I spent about thirty-five years of my working life as a Manager) - is this:
P-O-A-C - Plan - Organize - Activate - Control - let me repeat that - P-O-A-C.
These are the basic Active verbs, that are needed for anyone, anywhere, anytime - to be Successful as Managers. It is like a four-legged stool that will topple if any leg is ignored! Trust me - I know! One may develop the Perfect Plan, then Organize it with the Perfect People, and Activate it on a very Timely basis - BUT - if it is not Monitored daily, and CONTROLLED - in order to achieve the desired Results - IT WILL FAIL!
Just look at Government! Need I say more?
And, guess what, Pilgrims - it may be applied successfully for ANYTHING you do in this thing we call LIFE! So - there you have it.
My Legacy TO YOU - A hopefully, succinct Primer, with maybe a point or two, that will somehow inform you of something just a tad pertinent to your future endeavors? Maybe? Perhaps? Might-Could Be?
- PEACE - LOVE - COMPASSION - TRUTH - DUE DILIGENCE -
© - TKH - 12-19-08