The Hard Way
It’s a journey of instruction
Dependable and pure
Useful for the toughest case
The arrogant and sure
For those hell-bent and headstrong
Discarding what “you” say
A beaten path “you’ve” gone before
A path we call…Hard Way
It’s a phrase best said with flair, panache, an in your face almost arrogance. “Go ahead! (says dad, standing and raising his right hand quickly as if trying to bag the latest dinger from Albert Pujos [St Louis Cardinal, future hall of famer]). You don’t have to listen to me! You can do it (here it comes)…the hard way! Actually (the elder continues, pacing slowly back and forth, the right arm imitating the ump’s balls and strikes) it’s a time honored method! It’s been the teacher of multitudes! Whole generations! Why (there’s a pausing, facing, a slight bowing with the right hand flat against the breast bone, along with a rightward cocking of the head) even I have used it. So (upright and pacing) go ahead! Don’t listen to me! Do it your way! But if you’re smart (the pacing stops, the volume lessens, eye contact is made…and held) really smart…you’ll listen to your old man on this one.”
It’s tough growing up. Depending on your disposition (remembering that “pride” is part of the hardware) your little world expands, you become the master of it, and then extrapolate to assume the universe. Reality, when not softened by a timely (heeded) word, can be a cruel taskmaster. Yes, the “hard way” is an excellent teacher...one that needs to be avoided, if at all possible.
You know, looking at our current conditions (economic, social, spiritual) it appears that we, since we are hell-bent on ignoring the warnings of the past, are destined for a very hard teaching. And it’s a shame. So much pain to be avoided. But, perhaps, pain will be the best teacher. It is, after all, traditional.