Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 31, 2014

HAMILTON: The red box: Do you really see what I see?

Niagara Gazette — Before we start something with someone, both of us should clearly know the expected finish. When you have finished reading this, you’ll better understand.

I skipped watching the state of the union address the other night and opted, instead, to watch the more important video of the local city council meeting. There came a citizen speaker to the podium and upon completing his long and winding speech, no one was completely sure what he wanted the council to do.

I too have been guilty of not clearly telling people, upfront, what it was that I thought that the end product should be, and what their place was in it. We must let people know exactly what it is that we want them to do before wasting all of our times in explaining details and never stating the wished-for end product — preferably up front.

Here is a simple case from my personal life that exemplifies this — and you almost have to have been a boy, or raised one, to appreciate it. 

In my mid-20s, never having spent too much time being responsible for a child, the mother of my then 4-year-old godson Curtis asked me to come to Hartford Conn., get him and to care for him back in Niagara Falls until she had her surgery and a two-week period of recovery.

Raising Curtis for those two weeks was a challenge, but I was nonetheless saddened when the time came, well, to give him back. 

By the time that we pulled off the Thruway and into the rest stop west of Syracuse for gasoline, night had fallen. Curtis had talked himself to sleep for a half-hour or so before; but as I was pumping gas, the Virginia-born tyke sprung from the car, excitingly danced around me as he held himself and proclaimed, “Godfodda. I’ve got to go to the baffroom.” 

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