MY THEORY OF EVERYTHING
(Originally published 12/31/2015)
One of my favorite authors and speakers is a man named Michio Kaku. He is an astrophysicist that often speaks on a unifying theory of physics commonly referred to as The Theory of Everything. While advanced theories of physics are far beyond me he is able to describe complex concepts of physics in terms that I can understand. While learning about physics is enjoyable for me, I understand that I will never be able to contribute to this body of knowledge. While thinking about this the other day it dawned on me that I have my own unifying theory of life. My theory doesn’t simplify the competing theories in advanced theoretical physics, but it does simplify being a Dad. My unifying theory of life is simply “7”.
Let’s start from the beginning. When my two children were young they did with most children do and that is to ask a million questions. For the first few years of their lives I dutifully answered every question as every father should. As they got older communication with them became more difficult – especially when my answer to their question was “no” or “I don’t know”. I don’t know when it happened but at some point along the way I just started answering those difficult questions by just saying “7”.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
The key to using this type of reply with your children is to look earnest, keep a straight face, and to act like this really is your best answer to the question. Kids are smart and they quickly caught on that when Dad answers a question with “7” he doesn’t want to talk about it.
The tradition has continued to the point that I answer “7” without even thinking .
Dad, can I have $50? “7”
Dad, can will you buy me a bullet bike? “7”
Dad, what time do I have to be home tonight “7” Okay, wait, that one actually works.
Because both of my children are bright they adopted new tactics to get around my stupidity hoping that I wasn’t paying attention to the actual question.
How many more rides can I go on before we have to leave the amusement park?
What time in the morning do I need to be home by?
How many of my friends are you going to fly to California for graduation?
A WORD OF CAUTION
While answering “7” to everything with my children has been fun over the years, my wife does not find it nearly as endearing. Do not try this at home. I am a trained professional.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Recently one of the women I work with pulled me aside and was expressed her frustration with her teenage son and intimated that maybe I had something to do with it. Her son is a class member of a local volunteer youth group that I teach and when I arrive for class and they ask if I have treats with me I always answer “7”. Her son was especially amused by this and for 2 solid weeks answered “7” to every single question she asked him. I was so proud.
7 – THE NEXT GENERATION
The most you can ever hope for while raising your kids or teaching youth groups is to be able to pass on a small tidbit of knowledge that is going to help them be successful in life. Instead, I have taught them how to avoid difficult conversations with a stupid answer. If you asked me if I feel guilty about that my answer would be “7” of course.
For more on Michio Kaku please visit: www.mkaku.org
For more on the number 7 please watch Sesame Street
Bob Edwards is the Founder and CEO of Comm One LLC which develops and sells Call Accounting Software for tracking telephone calls for business. You can contact Bob directly at 801-523-9797 or firstname.lastname@example.org