Why Bother to KISS?

Why Bother to KISS?

Are there a lot more social and emotional issues in our world today than at any other time? Are more people distracted this day in age than say just two years ago? Are we faced with more conundrums, perplexities, diversions, disorder and discord than “back in the day”? A befuddlement, quandary or paradox may not necessarily be the problem with our lives, rather what we chose to do with them when they arise may be the knotty point.

Let’s KISS

The acronym, KISS, equates to “keep it simple stupid”. For personal purposes, I’m going to eliminate discussing the word stupid while writing about this abbreviation because I want to keep things even more simple than the original acronym.  

First off, I always like to know where a particular principle first came into being. What was its original purpose? One source claims that KISS was first designed by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The hypothesis was that most systems work best if they are kept basic rather than complicated. Explicitness should be the rule not the exception. 

Many businesses use KISS in their trade, but I use it for everyday living. First of all, I like to DWIC, do what I can. For instance, I just completed a three day hands-on workshop about the wood industry. I visited experimental forests, logging operations, forest nurseries, lumber and pulp mills. I was required to be ready to roll out for a day in the woods by 7:30 a.m. This  put a crimp in my normal morning routine. I couldn’t go for a swim, ride my bike or go to a yoga class, but I could go for a run. Though my schedule was tight, I did not get entangled by my tight schedule. Instead, I kept things simple by doing what I could.

Secondly, DNPYD, do not prescript your day. In other words, much of my day during this workshop involved traveling with other people in vans. Some mornings I imagined who I might sit next to or who to avoid sitting next to. I’d also predict the conversations we might have. But then the unknown would pop up. For instance, one morning I rode with a lumber mill owner in his plush truck with two other workshop attendees. We peppered this business owner with all manner of questions about his job and the industry. I could not have predicted this rich opportunity, I could only step into it. Therefore, DNPYD. 

Finally, LIRN, let information rise naturally. Many of my cohorts from this workshop felt overwhelmed by all the information we heard and experienced. “How am I going to remember all of this?” one of the attendees asked yesterday. Well, we won’t. We will only remember the parts that made the most sense to us. All the cohorts in this workshop had one thing in common, education.  Whether a high school science teacher or primary teacher responsible to teach all subjects, our brains could only hold onto the applicable information.

So, why bother to KISS? Though keeping things simple may not be easy, KISS is worth the effort. It lightens the load in life, LTLIL, making it all the much clearer. 

Why Bother Living An Example?


Why Bother Living An Example?

For the first eight years of my life, I had the good fortune of living near my grandma. Memorable holiday meals took place in her large house and uncles, aunts, and cousins sat shoulder to shoulder around the dinner table. Tender roast beef, smooth brown gravy, fluffy mashed potatoes and an assortment of cream pies for dessert delighted my taste buds and filled my belly. It was never a chore for me to clean up my plate at Grandma’s house. 

Never A Chore

And these occasions never looked like they were a chore for Grandma. She joined in with the cacophony of laughter and chatter around the table during the meal and later, while cleaning up the dishes, more intimate conversations ensued between her and whoever got the privilege of helping her clean the kitchen.  

Grandma was used to cooking for large crowds. She grew up as the eldest on a farm in Western Nebraska. The noise around the dinner table would have been common. With fifteen siblings and a smorgasbord of personalities among them, there had to have been incessant chatter and laughter too.

Grandma never balked at the hard work of homemaking. She’d made it her vocation. When her formal education ended after the eighth grade, she worked for the more affluent people in her Western Nebraska community. After she married at age eighteen, she kept her own house in “ship-shape” order. Closets were clean and clutter free, stained laundry was presoaked the night before she washed it, and ironing was done up once a week. Her hardwood floors and furniture sparkled as did her bathtubs and sinks. 

She was amiable toward everyone; courtesy clerks at the grocery store, as well as her elderly friends who had grown cranky with age. She treated all sixteen of her grandchildren with equality. No one received any more Kool aid than the other. No one got more than one cookie at a time and we waited for our turn to spend a night at her house. 

My family moved away from Grandma when I was eight and the distance between us grew each time my father’s work took our family to another state; from Nebraska to South Dakota and then to Colorado. When illness struck my dad and he required long term care, Mom left some of my siblings with friends in Colorado and returned to Nebraska with my little brother and me, to live with Grandma.

Though a chaotic period in my life, Grandma, now a widow and in her seventies, was exactly the same as I’d remembered her. Her smile, laughter, zeal and set purpose for each day of the week was still intact and for a while, I had the good fortune of living with her. She became the stabilizing factor in my life and living with her became my education in homemaking, fairness and amiability. She is long gone from this world, but  her example for living remains my model.

Why bother living an example? You never know who is observing your life, but it is worth it to live in a way that leaves a good precedent for the one watching you. Your example remains long after you are gone.