Lighten Up A Bit

One of the people who was visiting the zoo that day was an old buddy who had seen me at the bridal show earlier that year.

“Hey, Ciancutti, you don’t know what the heck you’re doing these days, do you?”

I was simply ashamed. Truth was I really didn’t know, but I thought it was best to follow the rules and respect those who had authority over me.

I returned to my desk about three hours later, sweat making my white shirt cling to me tightly, my tie rolled and balled in my hip pocket.

I came home from work and my parents saw the look on my face. I explained my dilemma.

My mom then said these very simple words: “Son, there is never any shame in a full day’s work, no matter what it is.”

I felt a little better about things when I heard that, and it made me willing to try a few more things and be a little more tolerant of people who didn’t immediately recognize my obvious CEO talents that were merely hiding in my 19-year-old body.

I stopped taking myself so seriously and began to look at life like one giant overall experience.

That was 29 years ago, and I sure am grateful to this day that I lightened up a bit and didn’t hammer on myself everytime I was a little less than sure footed and properly pointed. I mean, God bless those who know what they want their whole life, but the fact is that most of us don’t.

Most of us need to try lots of different things and stop being so worried about what others think.

When I finally let my defenses down and just filled what was empty and emptied what was full, life lost a lot of its anxiety.

Microsoft pioneer Bill Gates once said that our grandparents had a different name for flipping burgers: “They called it opportunity.”

So well said. Maybe Gates should have been a writer…or something else.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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