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Order of Operations

Putting your underwear on after your pants is not good planning and is next to impossible. (This is not meant to be a challenge.) The fact is, there is an order in which people should do certain things. This does not mean there is only one way to do any particular something. This means certain things have to be done in a specific order or the result is often smoother when done in a particular order.

An example of "have to" is the order of operations in math. This rule must be adhered to when completing a mathematical equation; the order is Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division (from left to right), Addition/Subtraction (from left to right.) This is not open to debate. It is the rule.

When cleaning, it is best to dust first and then vacuum. This is not a rule, and if you vacuum or wash the floor first, that is well within your right to do. The logic behind dusting first is when dusting; the small particle will drop to the floor. (Gravity is one of those pesky things we cannot change.) If you dust after vacuuming or mopping, you spread dust onto clean floors, making them dirty. Now you will either live with the dirty floors or have to go back and clean them again.

If you are working on a task for the first time, you can use trial and error to find the best method. The other possible choice, ask someone who has done the job before to show you how they perform the task. As you watch, you may realize their way is efficient and productive. Or you may recognize other forms or orders that would make the job easier.

Suppose you are showing someone how to perform a task. In that case, it is good to be open to another way of doing that task; being open to someone's suggestion shows growth and intelligence. "Your way" is not the only way. Even a job that must be done in a particular order might have nuances that could make the task faster, easier, or more efficient.

Nothing can ever progress when we close our minds to the possibilities or fight any change. The mentality of the "if it isn't broke, why fix it" can negatively affect progress. The other problem is a particular task or process may not seem "broken" from your perspective. Yet, there may be many problems from someone else's perspective. At the very least, we should all be open to the conversation. Trying to do a task differently will be uncomfortable at first, in most cases. You may learn very quickly that the new way is so much better. You may even wonder why you had not tried a new way sooner.

Openness, learning from the older generations, as well as learning from younger generations, should not be considered taboo. We would do ourselves and society a favor if we started looking at one another as a resource of information regardless of age. Also, opinions or traditions should not be confused with rules. The order of operations does not change and must be accomplished accordingly. There are no exceptions.

Start this week with an openness to change and to learn. Allow yourself to understand that life is not a competition in which each generation must fight with the one before. We are all here together and would do well to learn from one another. Learn something new or learn a new way to do something old.

Love Lots: Smile Often MommaHattie #LLSO

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