Thursday, January 10, 2013

Words of Wisdom

I will dedicate this topic to a great friend that not so recently took his act down south.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation at work or home or in one of your other lives (organizations) where you attempt to explain something to your audience and they just don't seem to get it? In your mind the answer is just so simple... you think the answer is as obvious as the time on the clock. But, the time on the clock is different in New York than it is in California. In other words, not everybody sees what we see or, more importantly, thinks the way we think.

I have found that this concept is critical to successful and healthy life. I think back to my life since I turned 18 years old. My perspectives on many things changed since those formative years. My attention and interests were pretty typical for a young adult who was about to enter the "real world". I knew I had much to learn, but had unconsciously arrived to a point in my thought that entrenched me in a perspective that I accepted as "truth".

I entered the United States Marine Corps at 20 years old. During my time in the Marine Corps my perspectives changed and, to a degree, intensified. The military, and specifically the Marine Corps, tend to do this to people. I also had the good fortune to have a strong and opinionated family whose sometimes opposing views provided a safe landscape to examine my views. My wife of 17+ years was also an important part of my "re-education" while still in my early 20's. Factor in my diverse and vast (and expensive) education, I thought I finally had life all figured out. Key concept here is THOUGHT!

Too late in my life I was introduced to the concept of "not everyone thinks the way I do" in a common-sense, congestible form. I have to thank TR, who is the person I dedicate this first blog post to for that. I have to say that this lesson is perhaps the most important and painful life lesson I've learned. It has made me a more compassionate and well-rounded person. I feel this approach has made me a better son, husband, father, brother, friend, employee, and advocate for others.

Please understand that this perspective is not something that you arrive at and the work is done. Quite to the contrary... this is a daily struggle, a struggle that I continue to embrace because I know the positive affects this thinking has had on my life. So, put the shoe on the other foot once in a while and see how it feels... you may be surprised how it feels. You may realize that the shoe fits better than you thought it would.

On a broader note, I want to thank everyone in my life, past and present, who helped to make me into the responsible person that I have become. (you'll have to take my word for it here :-)) I am not naive enough to believe that I have gotten this far in 41 years on my own. However, I do not discount the time, effort, and commitment on my own part.

I don't enter the blogging community with any pre-conceived notions or expectations. Some will read this blog, other will not. As long as you read, I will post. I believe I have a few nuggets of knowledge to share, but they are only my perspectives and my perspectives and $1 will barely buy you a Coke. Feel free to hit me back and questions my thoughts... and shoot them full of holes. I will even listen to direct attacks of me... but only ask that you limits your barbs to me. That said, Happy Reading!!!

Matt Washock


  1. Good start. I wish more people were able to open their minds to the journies of others. What has been your most profound example of "walking a mile in another's shoes?

  2. Jim... thanks for the support. You really have me thinking here Jim :-) I don't know that I have ever really been selfless enough to say I have walked a mile in another's shoes. I have sacrificed for others but can I really say I taken their cross and walked a mile for them willingly? The one thing that comes to mind, and I know you will understand, is being an advocate for parents with kids with special needs. I have two daughters with special needs and now that I have experienced all the trials and tribulations that go along with that, I will always advocate for children with disabilities for as long as I live. I won't get into specifics, but one of the things I have done is helped other parents prepare for CSE meetings in their respective School Districts.