See that light, that beacon, that lighthouse, that’s the Protocol and Preparation Lighthouse of life, vocation, relationships and faith. For all the free spirits out there, those who chafe at the mere thought of protocol as I use to and really wanted to always wing it in life, and be a free spirit, now that I have actually grown up, realizing free spirit still needs some kind of boundaries, but why? The inner child is throwing as does the inner child in all of us the preverbal tantrum jumping up and down and screaming “why why why!” As one whose greatest strength is to be an improvisational speaker, poet, songwriter-singer, right there on the spot, free spirit, go with the flow, with the moment, don’t plan or worry so much seems like a really awesome thing, live in the moment. I pretty much did that most of my life, lost in the maze of figuring out my way out of the confusion and crap borne out of my childhood, my parents’ tug of war and mess with me in the middle, and my mom’s bitterness about the divorce, my dad’s family, all that jazz. It didn’t work out well for me, not even as an artist. Recently in my capacity as Music Associate and Coordinator for Most Precious Blood in organizing a benefit concert my colleague and I had a meeting with a group that was supposed to perform for us, as a service to the community, however, there was not enough preparation, not for lack of trying for the event and the meeting. The first impression made on the person who came for the meeting was not a good one and they backed out, but we have managed to secure other talent and I will be meeting with them this week, so all is not lost. However what it did teach me is what life has been teaching me and that is that while you can be a free spirit within your artistic framework and your work to an extent, there still has to be protocol, coordination, excellent preparation in other respects. Let me address that.
When you are dealing with others, if for example you say you are going to be meeting and for whatever reason that meeting then is not going to take place, you communicate that to that person. If you do tell someone you are going to have a meeting with them you hold yourself to that, you keep your word, you don’t then suddenly change your mind and just not show up or not have the meeting with them after you said you would. Common courtesy, common protocol, common sense and manners. When you are going to meet with someone, be sure you know their background if it’s a professional meeting, that you have looked over what they have send ahead of time, make the time. Have that info with you or take highlight notes with you and be able to access the full files if necessary.. Be very well prepared, as first impressions will make or break you, your team and your organization. If you are organizing an event, for friggin goodness sakes, do not put your team or colleagues in a position of having to rush through planning, plan all events at least 8-12 weeks in advance, including promotion and ticket sales, if not 12-16 weeks. Lots of good planning, coordination and communication, you and your team, no exceptions or excuses. Be sure you communicate and if you say you are going to meet for a meeting an introduction etc.. and you can’t or there is a change, you let people know, you have that courtesy. Common courtesy protocol. This is also true for any relationship. If you give your word, keep it, barring a medical or other emergency, keep it. This is why being a busy bee butterfly is problematic, quite problematic and being someone who can’t say no who feels they always have to say yes, can’t turn anyone down can be problematic. Who and what to say yes to has to be carefully determined, schedules carefully worked out, one can’t say yes to everything and everyone or one will end up breaking one’s word to everyone or a number of people. This is one reason I have withdrawn from most of my meet up groups and even Israel support groups because I know I want to dedicate my time to the church, Hadassah and the Petrosino lodge, so what is the point of trying to commit myself to a whole bunch of other things if my heart is with these groups, these people? I will end up having to break my word, back out of things when their schedule conflicts with events at the church, Hadassah and Petrosino, so what is the point? The artist and minister who always rebelled against protocol, wanted to be a purely free spirit know realizes there is not such thing and that protocol, coordinating, planning are essential to life, though we can within the framework of our vocation be free spirits in some way and that is a good thing.