Take the Free Lunch

There is a common thread of belief in our society that if you work hard, you will get the results you want. While the converse is often true - that getting results often requires paying your dues - just working harder is not a free ticket to success. Often it works against you.

The problem is that we've been systematically programmed to believe that there is "no such thing as a free lunch". You have to earn everything. Nothing is given for free. But in the 21st century I believe we are waking up to the reality that this is simply not true. I certainly didn't do anything special do deserve my youngest son having an amazing hockey coach last season. Or for our local Scouts to have such a strongly dedicated group of leaders that have made such a difference to the youth they work with. There are free seminars, free software (though admittedly sometimes there are strings attached), countless free services online. Free lunch is everywhere. You don't need to sweat to earn everything you have.

When we started our ABA program back in 2000, I tried at first to do everything I possibly could. I wanted to be part of the therapy team, until I realized that this would only hinder the efforts of everyone else. So I settled into a routine of transcribing the hand-written notes of our team into a format that would be acceptable to our New Jersey-based consultant. This was a lot of effort but I knew it was the right thing to do. I was doing something to help and I felt good about doing it. I knew that I would be rewarded in some way for my effort.

Only now, looking back, I realize that all that effort was really unnecessary. Of course that's the reason David and I started the ABAKiS project - to provide an alternative. It's not an attempt to take anything away from parents who want to be involved with their child's intervention program. It just makes things simpler to do so.

If you're busy doing clerical work, sure you're working hard, but wouldn't you rather be spending that time with your child? Take the free lunch. You deserve it.

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