March 2024 Education Report: Conduit of Success, Volume 2: Letting Go

When you have something that you cherish, love, and admire, it is always hard to let it go. Many of us have old clothes, jewelry, or shoes that are well past their prime, but we are not able to let them go. Some of us have had parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends who made a lasting impact on us that we hold in our hearts and never let go. However, in this article, I want to discuss how hard it is to let those old ideas go to make room for the new.

When I was young, living in Huttonville, I had the bright idea that I wanted to capture and raise rabbits, so I built a cage out of scraps, wire, and other rubbish that existed on the farm. I caught two rabbits that were playing in the yard one day and I was in business! My mother told me that it wasn’t a good idea to hold the rabbits and certainly not a responsibility that I needed to take on at the age of five. However, I was confident in my abilities, and I knew I was a responsible young man. I would provide carrots, lettuce, water, and my attention day after day caring for the two rabbits.

After about a month, I was walking around proud of my accomplished maturity, having proven that I was responsible. While enjoying my celebration of success, I was interacting with the rabbits on our front porch feeling like I had grown up in just 30 days. I was practically a man! I set one of the rabbits down on the bottom step, waiting to see how it would respond. Then, my sister’s cat came running from under the porch, grabbed the rabbit, and took him into the pasture. Frantic, I chased the cat but was not able to keep up. I had lost one of my rabbits! When I returned to the porch, the second rabbit had made her way out of the cage and was gone. My time as a rabbit herder had come to an end. I had to let go of my dream of raising rabbits and accept that my mother may have been right all along. Letting go is a very difficult concept.

Throughout my career, the choice of what to keep and what to discard continues to be a challenging exercise. The concept of “having it all” is not sustainable. I have been around piping systems my entire life. As far back as I can remember living in a small area known as “Huttonville” in Oklahoma on a farm, with cattle, grain, dogs, chickens, rabbits, and an old milk cow with a bell around her neck, we had work that needed to be done. Hard work and fortitude were instilled in me from a young age. The constant pursuit of perfection has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Some may look at this viewpoint as being a critical person or a person who critiques constantly. Maybe, but for me, I try to look at this as a way to continuously self-reflect and get better.

Trying to get better may make some of us have a hoarder mentality. We know we are going to need a piece of scrap metal, a special shirt, a special tool, or some other item that we just can’t throw away. These tendencies lead us to fill up spaces that are available for storage and so forth.

Experience has taught me that letting go can be liberating. Letting go can open the door to new opportunities that can lead us on a new path. I bring this up because if we are to achieve our destiny, we have to be ready to receive all of the blessings along the way. Being ready in my view means making some of the tough decisions about who you have in your life, what you do to provide for yourself or your family, or maybe what worldly possessions you can keep versus what you no longer can maintain. In the world of education, we sometimes have to let go of some things we have learned, or a better description may be that we learn to evolve our thinking to accept new ways of accomplishing old tasks.

Conduit of Success: Education

Continuous pursuit of perfection is a common phrase to which many of us tend to aspire. We try to keep getting better, finding new ways to do things more efficiently. Education is at the heart of accomplishment in my viewpoint. You don’t have to be smart to succeed, just don’t be stupid. Educating ourselves on the methods available to us via technology advancements is something we all should be considering. If we keep our heads down, we tend to miss what is happening around us. I know it sounds crazy to many of you, but we have to evolve as we get new information. The American Society of Plumbing Engineers is the premier source of education in the plumbing design community. I hope you can relate to our discussion on letting go and how that can affect education.

I look forward to more interactions with each of you as we work together on our common cause, ASPE. A big “thank you” goes to everyone who took the time to read this article.

As we create Volume 2 of my articles, I am enclosing Volume 2 of the ASPE Education Crossword Puzzle. Luther Thevenin, CPD, MCPPO,  is one of our many talented contributors on the ASPE Education Committee, and he has taken the time to put together some great puzzles for our ASPE community. So, take some time and complete the crossword puzzle. The answers will be posted in our next article.

Until next time…

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