Trouble kids. What is your definition of trouble makers?
When I was 16, we had a new pastor come to our church. When I first met him I was sitting on the counter, legs swinging, in the church’s kitchen. We had a decent size youth group in our small church for the size of our town. We were active, loud, and enthusiastic. Normal. The one thing I later learned was that I looked like trouble, or so my pastor thought. This always perplexed me since I thought I was a good girl.
Going back in time, in junior high about 7th grade or so, I got into a scuffle on the bus ride from school. I was in the coveted back seat and a bigger boy wanted my seat. I didn’t budge. We scuffled and we both got suspended from the bus. I don’t remember much except being aggravated because I wanted to win and feeling scared of going to the principal’s office. The one thing I didn’t remember my mom had to tell me later. My dad confronted the bus driver. This shocked me because in my family is pretty quiet. We each handle ourselves and take care of our own issues, but apparently my dad was miffed. The boy was big, around 200 pounds; I was a little 80 pound girl. That wasn’t right, and Dad’s all about right.
You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.
So, is it better to raise quiet, subservient children? Not in my world. In some situations being passive is helpful, but handling life as an adult you need some spunk. If you want a quiet, compliant, factory worker then fine, raise a child to never question authority, but I can’t stand that. We need to feel free to speak up, to call attention to injustice, and to think of solutions for our problems.
More recently in my life I’ve had a few minor verbal scuffles. And by a few I mean 6 months worth of hell. When asked to help on a project at work, I dove in feet first. I asked questions,
- Why are we doing this?
- What do we want to see as an end result?
- How hard do we need to push the software company or do we adapt?
- Are we missing any steps along the way in this process?
I ran across some gaps in our process so I spoke up. I spoke up about how things were done and what I saw that needed to be done. If one of the missing elements I noticed wasn’t done immediately, then we’d have a noticeable loss of income in 2 months. Someone would be irate. The task was done, but I ruffled a few feathers along the way. There are still some ruffled feathers even over a year later. Would I do it again? Hell yes. It may not have been my specific job, but it affected my job. I knew the software and I knew the tasks that had to be done to get the money in the door.
What concerns me is how we define a trouble maker. I see accomplishing a task as getting things done, even if you have to bump a few noses along the way. Trouble making, to me, is causing a problem because you want to stir up attention. I avoid attention, but I like to do a job well. Work done well is what counts.
Or as in the song “Stand Out”
And if your gonna make a mess make it loud
And if your gonna take a stand stand out
I highly recommend you listen to this episode of This American Life – Is This Working. Act 3 specifically talks about a school with an interesting method of discipline. When the method reached the real world things got interesting. Actually this episode made me want to punch an idiot. The shortened version – Act 3 Is This Working