Wrong. Practice makes permanent. For those of us who have driven a car for a number of years, including those who drive for a living, if practice made us perfect there would nobody speeding, or driving dangerously, and we would all know the Highway code from cover to cover. Anyone who has tried to learn a language – other than our own – will know that only with practice can we fix that language in our minds, students of those languages often travel to the mother country to make permanent their new found skill, what you don’t use you lose. Further, ask anyone who learned their times tables in ‘the good old days’ what 7×8 is and they will probably respond immediately with the correct answer, all of those mind numbing times tables learned by rote truly did become permanent for many of us, to the astonishment of our younger family members.

However, it can also be said that people who practice bad behaviour also make their selfish behaviour permanent too. When we see the children of Stanley Crook Primary School petitioning for drivers to slow down because they want the chance to live it is a sobering thought that some people choose their own ‘urgency’ above the safety of school children. Can anything be so urgent that it is worth putting another human being in danger? Surely not. Selfish behaviour is a choice that we make, or not.

Behaviour is a matter of choice for people who can work the most amazing miracles in life through skill, devotion, and practice. People can also choose to be more responsible, surely? One only has to consider the fine example of our nurses and doctors, police and all of those folks who practice daily to save lives to see the truth in this. Wringing ones’ hands and weeping after the terrible event is a welcome sign of remorse, but would it not make more sense to practice being perfect every time one starts the car? The children of Stanley Crook Primary School would say so.

Having trained many people in a career spent working with people who found themselves out of work, through no fault of their own, it occurs to me that the human spirit is a profoundly impressive thing. Many of the characters, and there were some wonderfully colourful characters along the way, taught me about resilience, determination, motivation and many more emotional drivers that make us tick. With a bit of common sense and the right outlook the world is great big opportunity for those who never stop practicing to succeed.

Practice does not make perfect, it does make permanent, and hope does spring eternal.



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