Archive for December, 2012

You Can’t Keep Looking to the Back of the Book for the Answers!

December 4, 2012

The Broadway musical, “Thirteen” is a show about young people coming of age and the rites of passage associated with becoming a teenager.


In one of the numbers, a boy sings a metaphorical song about how he’s been looking in the back of the book for the answers about life, but he is learning that he will have to hang in there until the whole story ends; because he has a little more homework to do. Of course, this is how a thirteen-year-old would think, because when we are that age; going to school, completing assignments and taking tests is a large part of our existence!


I like that.  I know that sometimes I am in such a rush to find out how things are going to work out, or I am in a hurry to “fix” a situation, and I become frustrated when things don’t go according to my time table. After all….doesn’t the world know who I am and what results I need and deserve???


I think we all continue to go through rites of passage throughout our lives…it doesn’t end when we become adults. Hopefully, we continue to grow and mature in the way we think and the way we deal with life situations.  Sometimes, it is necessary to go through some tough times in order to get to a stronger and healthier place emotionally.


I guess I like the song from “Thirteen” because I can relate to it. I remember being exactly that age and totally non-interested; and therefore, inept in algebra. As a result, I didn’t even try to understand it. I truly did just look in the back of the book for the answers without even attempting to work the problems on my own. I fought against doing my homework, thinking that I could skip the hard stuff and come out okay. Ding Dong, I was wrong.  Turns out that when they give you the test, they expect you to know how to figure things out and they don’t let you use the book!  Oops…..I ended up having to take the entire class over again and it wasn’t any more fun the second time! If I had tried a little patience and not skipped to the back of the book, I probably would have saved myself a lot of frustration.


Even now, I often want to take shortcuts. I am not willing to do what needs to be done in order to get to where I need to be. I want the answers NOW! In other words, I want to go from A to Z and be done with it. I don’t want to go through any tough times. I do not want to do my homework. Getting past the pain, avoiding the emotional roller coaster or achieving the results I want seem to hold more importance than the process of getting there. I rebel at the concept of my spiritual ore being tempered and purified into real gold. I want to shine IMMEDIATELY!


We all think it would be lovely to just sail through life and bypass any trials, challenges or struggles. But lessons are not learned only through successes; sometimes the greater knowledge comes from the journey. If someone is always there to give us the answers, we never find our inner strength which comes from working through the problems ourselves and coming out the other side.