My family welcomed a puppy into our home and our hearts this week! It’s been wonderful and challenging.
Also this week, I heard for the first time Michael Franti’s newly released song, “This World Is So F*%#ed Up (But I Ain’t Ever Giving Up On It).” Like puppy rearing, this song’s lyrics are wonderful and challenging too.
Although puppy training was probably the last thing on Franti’s mind when he wrote this song, some of the lyrics apply to the task brilliantly.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to hear the song to understand the link; the connection is all in the parentheses. That is, the latter part of the song title, “(But I Ain’t Ever Giving Up On It”) is EXACTLY how we approach puppy training.
Our new fur baby is picking up on all that we’re training him really well, but there are times when he regresses. In those moments of regression (READ: frustrating moments) we never consider giving up on his eventually “getting” it.
We just continue to love him and stay diligent with his training.
I believe this is the same message that Franti wants us to take away from his powerful song, albeit in reference to how we treat each other and the planet (which of course includes puppy training ;).
Interestingly, despite the strong language and emphasis on the first phrase of the this song title, I think the more potent part is the second phrase, marked by parentheses. (And not just because it reminds me that we refuse to give up on set backs with our puppy’s training).
The structure of this title made me wonder, “Where in life do we bracket or make secondary what is most important while we put great emphasis on things that can easily capture our attention but may not be where we should focus our energy?”
Hmm…. Food for thought.
Whether or not you like Franti’s new song, or challenging things like puppy training for that matter, I hope you will tune into this song title and challenge yourself to question whether the first phrase or the parenthetical phrase resonates with you more.
It’s a relatively simple exercise; however, just like puppy training, the aspect you choose to emphasize versus what you make parenthetical can yield very different outcomes.
Go out and punctuate wisely…it makes a difference! Our puppy is proof.
If you or someone you know would like support with discerning how to punctuate certain aspects of your/their life, contact me! There’s no better time than before the holidays to clarify what is parenthetical.
Together, we can make challenging experiences as wonderful as a well-trained puppy.