ugly 80%

(by hannah)

Some one once told me that Confucius said, “80 percent of the things you do in life ultimately wont matter. But it is very, very important that you do them.” A quick google search didn’t reveal Confucius as the author of this quote, or really anyone else for that matter. Maybe my googling skills are getting weak. But it does seem like good advice, and it is something that my kids and I have talked about a lot lately. 

For example: “In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter that you didn’t do you second grade homework this week? Probably not. But it is still very important that you use this time to develop good habits, because in a couple of years, it WILL matter.” This is me speaking to my son who realized when he was four that everyone gets trophies, no matter how poorly or well they played. Translate that into a classroom setting where “everyone is special” and gets the same praise, prize, and grade, regardless of performance, and you have a kid who is not so inspired to do homework. Not because he is lazy, but because he is smart enough to realize that the outcome is the same, regardless of the effort. And frankly, he’d rather spend the effort doing something more rewarding. Like playing outside. Or having a wii-dance-off competition. Or making a sticky snack. 

Which brings me back to the main point of my story…. When I work nights, things don’t always get so, well, clean. Especially in the kitchen. And then I get up at 5 a.m., and find this:* 

Case in point. Perfect early morning reminder of why it is still VERY important to do those mundane tasks that fall into the 80%, you know, things like throw your apple peel away, and wipe counter. Because when you don’t, your mother’s first act of the day might just be murder. 

*Full disclosure, that’s not actually my countertop. Or my ants. I found the image on google. Because when I see ants, I don’t run and grab my camera; I grab a bottle of bleach, and I start spraying those suckers. But that’s basically what the situation looked like, before the ants met my bioterrorism. 


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