Friday, November 6, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: Still Learning

Welcome to the November Secret Subject Swap. This month 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: What is the most important lesson you have ever learned?
It was submitted by: Sarah of The Momisodes.

This was beyond difficult for me. As challenges go, Sarah really pushed me with this one. I've thought about it, started to write, changed my mind, thought about it, started to write, changed my mind . . .  
I was completely settled on the most important lesson being that life isn't fair. There's something inside of me, inside of many of us, that is always surprised when life's unfair, Karma's taking a nap, what you put out there does not boomerang back to you. Initially I was going with this one because it's foremost in my mind. My son PurDude, who is a very good kid, a good friend, a hard worker and always willing to help out has had so many bad things happen to him in the past year. I've talked about some of them, the latest being his broken leg, but there's even more than what I've discussed publicly. And every time life kicks him in the gut I have to remind myself that life is just not always fair.

Ultimately though, although this continues to be exasperating, it's a lesson that's been learned.

The truth of the matter is that the most important lesson I've ever learned is one I still wrestle with, have not quite learned. The hardest lesson I think we all need to learn as children is that it's not all about us. The lesson I consider most important as an adult is tied into that.

You cannot change how people think. 

This can be a good thing. We cannot progress as a society if we all think alike. Discourse brings about change, most of it necessary and beneficial.

The lesson I'm talking about though is in the downside of this concept. I've seen the repercussions of not being able to affect the way others think on a global level, a national level, a community level and a personal level. It's all an ongoing battle for me, a lesson I'm grappling with. I think partly because fully accepting it feels too much like giving in, giving up.

Crispy Million Dollar Bars: These are NOT what you expect with quite a few surprising ingredients. Simple to make, these bars take 10 minutes prep time and 30 minutes to bake | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Crispy Million Dollar Bars

Crispy Million Dollar Bars: These are NOT what you expect with quite a few surprising ingredients. Simple to make, these bars take 10 minutes prep time and 30 minutes to bake | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Put them in the oven? Or just eat the ingredients?

I am predominantly left brained, rational, think more with my head than my heart. So, on a global level, if I see a group of terrorists like ISIS doing the unthinkable like publicly beheading people, I cannot accept that young adults around the world see that and not only say to themselves "I want to be a part of that", but take action to do so. What are they thinking? Why is no one in their lives able to affect their views?

In the national arena, I see hate groups calling themselves churches picketing funerals. I know people speak out against these practices. What are they thinking? How can those involved not be swayed by rational thought?  They have to see what people say about them, think of them.

On a community level I see school systems push students through the cracks in the name of budget. A principal who sees these issues but harasses the parent to gain favor with the district (which later promoted him). Their entire mandate is to serve those students. What are they thinking? How do they rationalize putting personal career goals over advocating for children?

I see this in my personal life as well.  There is a wrong that see so clearly but I cannot right it. I talk, I yell, I negotiate, I assign consequences but I cannot impact the situation at all. To the detriment of all. The other person does not see what I see. I cannot change how he thinks but I will not learn this lesson. I fight it, rail against it, refuse to accept it. And it has caused damage. Both physical and emotional.

My mother calls this me "beating my head up against a brick wall." And she's right. There is no moving forward until I can fully come to terms with the fact that people do not all think the same  no matter how rational I think my argument is. I cannot be part of a solution until I fully accept this reality, the most important lesson I'm in the process of learning: You cannot change how people think.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup and check them all out. See you there:

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
The Lieber Family Blog 
Rena's World 
 Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Bergham Chronicles 
Confessions of a part-time working mom 
Just a Lovely Day 
Someone Else's Genius 
The Angrivated Mom 
Our friend Southern Belle Charm usually participates in this challenge and had planned to join in today but cannot. She's had a death in her family and my is with her today.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Crispy Million Dollar Bars
Printable Recipe
3/4 stick butter, softened
1 package (10 oz) Keebler Butter Cookies
1 package (11 oz) fun size Nestles 100 Grand candy bars
1 cups Cocoa Krispies
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 11 pan.
*Process cookies in food processor until crumbs. Add in the butter and process until smooth.
*Pat firmly into bottom of pan as a crust.
*Cut the mini candy bars into 3 pieces each. Spread evenly over the crus.
*Sprinkle the cocoa krispies, then the white and dark chocolate chips over the candy layer.
*Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top.
*Bake for about 30 minutes or until the condensed milk browns and bubbles.
*Allow to cool before cutting into squares.


  1. Now I understand you better. Thank you for sharing this. However, the last statement is quite broad -- I believe 100% that you can change the way people think and spend a good portion of my life doing that when I speak to large groups and watch the metamorphosis.

    1. Yes, the last statement was deliberately broad, I know we can make some impact on an individual level and I applaud you for your success in doing so. On a broader level, we generally cannot.

  2. These look out-of-this-world delicious, Karen!

  3. There are so many lessons I've learend, it's hard to pick just one, but I think one big lesson is that our intent isn't always obvious. People may not always 'get" us.

    1. I think that lesson is a very good yin to my lesson's yang.

  4. I'm with you - some things can not be "understood" or changed. Sometimes all we can do is to do or be better than that. What others do is wrong, and I choose to let go. It's hard. Fortunately there's dessert ;-)

  5. Maybe it's better to say we cannot change the way everyone thinks. Maybe, though, that's my own bias talking. I can't give up on trying to make the world a better place, but I definitely know that no matter how hard I work, some people just aren't going to get it. It's a tough balance to find, and knowing when to give up doesn't come easily.

    1. Absolutely. The lesson I'm having such a hard time with is that knowing when.

  6. We are a lot alike in this aspect! How can people not see what we see?! How do they think their minority groups opinion is rationally better than that of the whole? Then I gotta take a step back and realize the whole may only be me. When I find myself "beating my head against the brick wall", I find that the Serenity Prayer helps me regain my focus again, even though I'm not strongly religious person. Maybe you should try it as a mantra in those moments, too?

  7. It looks like I bought the wrong treats to hand out for Halloween. I really wish now that the leftovers were Keebler butter cookies and 100 Grand candy bars!

  8. Ah, but you see, you ARE changing the world and influencing how others think, by other means. You have raised another generation that can carry on the lessons you've taught them and use them to impact this world in a huge way.

  9. What a great life lesson that is! I think accepting people for who they are is vital to good relationships.

    Your bars look absolutely wonderful!

    1. Thank you, they really were great. Going to have to make more over the holidays.

  10. That's a very hard thing to accept. I've tried and failed myself many, many times especially when it is a loved one. I imagine it like watching a train wreck and not being able to stop it. Changes can only happen when we're open to change. When we're not it's a hard thing to accept.

  11. I am open to lots of other viewpoints and opinions, but I still think that 80% of problems have solutions that people just refuse to see. So much of humanity is self-serving, rather than thinking of others and the greater good.

  12. "You cannot change how people think".

    ^ No truer words have been spoken. People can change...can change their thought processes...but it has to be on their own accord. Wonderful post!!!

    1. I agree, I need to learn that I cannot change how people think, only they can make that change.

  13. It's a lesson I know, but haven't learned yet. I struggle with understanding it. I know it. I just struggle. You gave perfect examples. ISIS. How!? Why?! Or even simpler things... How can a person's thought process lead them to being a Patriots fan?! I kid. I kid. Seriously though, excellent post. These bars... Going to have to make them for Chad and Gigi. It's like you created them with these two in mind.

    1. LOL, you just had to get that Patriots dig in there didn't ya?


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!