Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Get Knocked Down

But I get up again.
You're never going to keep me down…

Things happen. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. A lot of time there is no reason for something to happen. You’re going along, minding your business, trying to better yourself and wham…you’re blindsided by some insecure, jealous individual.

America seems to be content with mediocrity these days. Maybe nothing has changed and it’s always been that way. I saw it in the classroom. When I was teaching I could give an assignment with a rubric to calculate the grade. A rubric is just a fancy name for what you have to do to get to a certain level. For simplicity, the student had to do 5 things to pass. If the student did 6 things she was above average and if she put out any effort whatsoever and accomplished all 7 things she got an A. I don’t know if the students were lazy or just complacent. It was seldom anyone ever put forth the effort to achieve the A. Passing was good enough.
That’s all fine and good because passing is passing, and that is the goal. What I didn’t like, though, is the fact that if a student wanted to excel and put out the extra effort, she was met with jealousy and sometimes even hostility from her classmates. It seems the more successful you are the more jealousy and resentment you deal with from others. It’s not fair. Why would anyone want to do better when mediocrity passes?
Picture from
Jealousy is a natural trait. It stems from mediocrity. It’s the offspring of competition. We see it with kids all the time. We’ve all heard the watch me, look at me, from a toddler. Young kids compete with each other for attention from their parents or grandparents. Competition isn’t bad. Healthy competition can drive one to excel. We measure our success against the success of those around us. But when the success of one over the other gets out of balance, jealousy ensues.

It’s natural for us all to be jealous or envious at some time or other. We might be envious because our neighbor got a new car. We might be envious because our friend lost weight. It’s okay to be envious. It can lead to improvement. It’s when the envy turns into resentment or jealousy that the problems start.
Sometimes jealousy comes up for seemingly trivial reasons. Of course, if it happens to you it’s not trivial, no matter what the situation. I recently heard a story about a cookie caper that brought on a fit of jealousy… from someone. There is an excellent cookie designer in a little town in Texas. Her cookies are works of art, each with minute detail making the cookie a masterpiece. The cookies taste good, too. They melt in your mouth and the icing, sweet, caresses your tongue. But as it happens when someone excels, the green eyed monster, jealousy, creeps in.
Coincidentally there is another baker in the same town. The other baker has a bad reputation. It’s been said her cakes taste as bad as they look. Her cookies look as if they were decorated at an elementary school party. Both the cookie designer and the other baker started the same way, working from home. When people liked the cookie designer’s cookies better than the other baker’s, she felt threatened. She became a green eyed monster and wreaked havoc. She wasn’t content to tear down one. She tore down many.
But the cookie designer is strong. She knows how to deal with jealous people. She knows the jealous baker has a small heart. She knows that the jealous baker lacks imagination and sympathy. She knows that the jealous baker is self centered and insecure. The cookie designer, on the other hand, has a warm heart. She is sympathetic and ready to help her friends. If the jealous baker had asked she might even have helped her. The cookie designer, with her big heart, does everything bigger. She’ll get the credit she’s due, even for the small achievements. The jealous baker with the shallow heart will manage to spoil everything, even her own achievement. She’s given up. Instead of trying to better herself, she wants the reward without the work. It is so much easier for her to tear down others instead of trying to rise to their level.
The cookie designer will continue to make her beautiful cookies. The jealous baker will continue to make her mediocre cookies. She’ll continue to bake her tasteless cakes that no one will eat. The jealous baker will finally give up because it would take too much effort to improve. And the cookie designer will live happily ever after. Because she’ll get up again.

Jealousy will eventually find us all. We’ll be on the receiving end and we’ll be on the giving end. Dealing with the jealous people won’t be easy. But it’s doable. The secret, regardless of which side of jealousy you’re on, is to get up again.

We'll be singing,
When we're winning.
We'll be singing…

I’m hanging in with the knitayear. I’ve got a couple of other projects going too. I finished two pompadoodle blankets so far. I have two more to go. Easy, no brain knitting. My favorite! I also used a magic ball I’d had for a long time. I made a diagonal scarf. It’s all kinds of black and gold yarns, some with sparkles. I like it. Nobody said anything though so maybe it’s just dorky.
On October 23, I was feeling pretty calm, undisturbed by whatever was going on. I picked rust silk yarn. It was day 206 and it was a good day. On day 207, October 24, I did a lot of things, the things that you have to take care of, whether you want to or not. It was a pretty active day with washing and the like. I picked turquoise wool, something called kaleidoscope. The color is bright and pretty. Not sure exactly why it stood out to me but that’s what I picked. October 25, day 208 was another industrious day. I had a planned meeting and a surprise meeting. I wasn’t really prepared for the second but because I have great people I work with, across the state, managed to pull it together. I chose dark green homespun yarn. It reminded me of pine trees and the forest and the saying, you can’t see the forest for the trees. I felt like I couldn’t get it all done because I was looking at the trees but when I figured out it was a forest it all fell into place. Day 209, October 26, was a casual, catch up day. I had time to do some paperwork and plan the next meeting and trip. I picked blue variegated ribbon. It changes from dark blue, intense, to white, a lighter time. Day 210, October 27, I was again busy, consumed with details and trying to remember them all. I found a raspberry colored cotton that appealed to me. I don’t know why but that color seemed calming. I think it would be a nice color for a room. Green is really my favorite color, but the green eyed monster can stay away. But I’m ready, if I come face to face. I know what to do.
I get knocked down,
But I get up again.
You're never going to keep me down…


  1. Maybe the cookie-maker's Mom gave her a strong warm heart. Maybe on the bad days the cookie maker realizes where that heart came from and is glad she inheireted it, even if it gets broken sometimes. Maybe with each life experience, the cookie maker understands a little more about her mother, and sees a lot of her in herself. I love you, and I am greatful every day to have parents that will go "to the mattresses" for me. ♥

  2. I'm no expert, but I would say the cookie-maker has nothing to worry about....her work speaks for itself! (But it still stinks that she has to go through all that.)

  3. The cookie-maker is wonderful and strong and God will take care of her because of the person she is and everything will come back to her in due time.
    The other person? Well Karma will take care of it.
    This was an excellent post. ;)

  4. The cookie-maker will survive!

    Thanks guys!