Monday, April 02, 2007

Play By The Rules!

Rules ... they're recorded on the inside of every Milton Bradly game box ever made. They're handed to us in thick notebooks as we start any new job. They're written by experts in every field ... every where.

I hate rules. Am I a nonconformist? A rebel? A troublemaker? A big mouth? A pain-in-the-ass?

Possibly. To some folk.

I like to think of myself as an entrepreneur. A visionary. A risk-taker. A leader among my peers.

Some in my family have called me Drama Queen or Miss Smarty Pants.

Possibly. Whatever.

I think to myself ... wouldn't you like to be like me for just one day? Have the guts to say what you think?

This week I'm avoiding some speaking rules. For so long, I've been giving speeches on coming out of the dark, uplifting speeches ... inspirational ... and yes, even motivational. And true, there's a certain amount of humor dispersed in every speech I give. But can I deliver a speech that will have the audience rolling on the floor? I've been told to keep my speeches as is. Don't deviate. It's not who you are. Stick with what works.

I'm about to try something new. This week I'm heading to the Outer Banks. A women's group that I've been feeling ... they want to laugh. And yet, I feel as though I cannot be true to myself, without adding in the heartfelt lines of so many of my other presentations that have moved some folks to tears or conjured images of their childhood. I love to touch hearts. Watch eyes light up.

So I'm going to mix it all up. Play by my own rules.

It's getting close to Mother's Day ... I think a humorous speech about "mother" is in order. But I've decided to try something different, a good mixture of humor and memories and message. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I think for me, playing by the rules never worked. As long as I don't hurt anybody (or at least try not to hurt anybody,) I've always played by my own rules. In just about every area of my life. And it's not that I can't "follow directions." It's not that at all. It's that I like to to get to where I want to go ... my own way. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. But don't tell me I can't go that way. Don't tell me, the "rules" say you have to do it this way. Who makes this stuff up?

I know there has to be "procedures" for certain things in life. Surgery, for example. Thank God for that. And God knows the publishing industry has set enough guidelines and rules for writers to fill several dump trucks. And ... sometimes ... if you want to succeed to any great degree ... you got to follow the rules, no matter how obstinate you are or how stupid they seem. You do it because, you want to show you at least know how to play by the rules when you have to. You're not an ignoramous. You've got some class. And by God, you know how to get along with every Joe Schmo who makes the rules, even if you draw blood as you bite your tongue.

It's just that ... if I can do it my way ... I will. It don't make me a bad person. It just makes me a rule-bender. And sometimes a rule-breaker. It makes life interesting. Somehow, I think there's some folks out there that would agree.

Blessings to you and yours.

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