How Messing Can Be a Blessing, and Why You Should Do So Every Chance You Get

kidTell me, does this sound familiar?

Please don’t touch that.

Does the following phrase ring a bell?

Will you pleeezzz stop messing with that?

As a youngster you probably heard this sort of thing all the time.

And as a parent I’m sure these words have rolled off your tongue more times than you care to count.


Simple, kids will be kids, and while ya gotta love em there’s no skirting the fact that their voracious curiosity can sometimes get the best of them.

It seems no matter how many times you tell em not to they just can’t manage to keep their itchy little fingers to themselves.

Suffice it to say, DNT (Do Not Touch) is not a part of their DNA.

Nope, curiosity is king in this wee kingdom I’m afraid, and when it rears its inquisitive crown you might as well stuff a sock in your disciplinary discourse.

Because the ruler has spoken, the game is on, and the sole objective is to touch, to handle, to forage through and to fiddle with everything in sight—to take things into one’s own hands…like, literally.

Now granted, from a parent’s standpoint this kind of barbaric behavior can have you seeing red in no time.

And rightfully so.

But, did you ever stop and think that…well, maybe junior’s on to something?

It says to what? I need to what? Okay now what?

Again, sound familiar?

Well, once again, it should, because these days it seems like we’re bombarded nonstop with still another new and improved can of worms claiming to make our lives simpler and easier.

And in all fairness oftentimes these claims prove to be true.

That is when the darn thing works.

That is—if and when we can figure out how it works.

Take my much-loved iPad for example; it’s an amazing piece of technology, an out and out modern marvel. And frankly it’s hard to imagine life without it.

Nevertheless there are times when all I want to do is duct tape it to a live stick of dynamite and hurl it out the upstairs window.

(Talk about making life easier)

But I’ll be honest, rarely are these compulsive fits of frustration the result of it not working the way it should, but rather, because it isn’t working the way I want it to work, or doing what I want it to do.

So what do I do?


  • I could simply surrender by laying my head in my hands and cursing out the evil genius responsible for coming up with this fatally flawed design.
  • I could get to work and spend the next hour and a half scouring the internet for an online equivalent to a paint-by-numbers how-to guide.
  • I know, hey son, ya got a minute?

My point:

If you wanna win the war on time, the trick is to pick your battles

It was Dr. Wayne Dyer who in all his worldly wisdom once conceded that if his car ever refused to start his sole course of action would be to pop the hood and pray for an on-off button.

Because outside of that, as he plainly put it…I’m screwed.

But what the good doctor also made exceedingly clear was that although he didn’t know how his car’s engine worked—he didn’t care to know.

That is to say, he wasn’t the least bit curious.

And he’s not alone. Not by a long shot.

I mean think about it, if faced with a similar situation would your immediate impulse be to reach into the glove box for the manual and start troubleshooting?

Would you bound out of your vehicle, roll up your sleeves, then crawl up under the hood and begin rummaging around for the potential problem?

Or, would you call AAA?

I thought so.

But again, like Dr. Dyer, you’re not alone.

Because the reality is when it comes to the latest “conveniences,” be it a cutting-edge computer or the inner workings of a technically advanced internal combustion engine, many of us have not even a basic understanding about how such things work.

Moreover, we don’t much care.

And what already-pressed-for-time-person in their right mind would want to spend even an iota of their precious time and energy on something they don’t much care about?

But now how about those things you do care about?

How about those things that in the end…truly matter?

If it’s tugging at your heart, grab it by the horns

There’s an ancient Chinese Proverb that says, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Now, while it may in fact be older than dirt, this slice of astuteness is every bit as relative today as it was way back in the Stone Age.

Why so?

Because despite all those gadgets and gizmos that claim otherwise, as times progress and become increasingly complex; as our day to day challenges continue to change, what hasn’t changed is how we face up to those challenges.

What hasn’t changed is how we learn and how we grow.

For the life of me I can’t help but chuckle every time I hear some oldster say the reason kids these days are so savvy when it comes to technology is because they’ve grown up with it.

Well I got news for em, I grew up with yo-yo’s and Hula Hoops and I don’t recall having a lick of talent for either one.

Nevertheless, point taken, yet the truth of the matter is kids today are mastering technology the same way skilled artists, craftsmen, and technicians have mastered their ways and wares for centuries—by being hands on.

This of course isn’t to say that being touchy feely is the only way to acquire new knowledge or skill sets.

Reading, studying, theoretical problem solving, even shrewd observation, they’re all a fundamental part of the learning process.

Still, by and large, at some point you have to become actively involved.

Eventually you need to get some skin in the game, and being hands on is hands down one of the most effectively proven ways to do that.

So relax, take heed, watch, listen, and learn, then when opportunity knocks be that meddling little kid in a candy store.

Finger and fondle to your heart’s content.

And if by chance something piques your interest take a moment or two to mess with it.

If it pulls at your heartstrings, by all means, keep messin with it.

In fact, don’t ever stop.

Trust me, you’ll be thankful you did and didn’t.

But hey, don’t thank me, thank those hyper little half-pints with the full-sized curiosity.

Thank em by loosening up the reins the next time you drag em off for a fun filled afternoon at Wally mart.

Go ahead, give em some slack.

Let em do what they do best.

Because the way I see it, you owe em one.

Besides…what’s the worst that could happen?

Just messin with ya:)

See ya December 1st, till then, keeep it up.

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