Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Second Chance

I have been an amateur radio operator for a little over 13 years. it is a wonderful hobby and also affords the opportunity to provide community service in the area of emergency communications, and community events such as marathons. I am also fortunate to have received VE (Volunteer Examiner) credentials that allow me to help administer the amateur radio tests for people to receive their amateur radio licenses.

Recently, at one of our testing sessions, a father and his young daughter came in to take the exam. The daughter was around 8 or 9 years old. The father finished taking his test in about 20 minutes and passed. He decided to take the next level test while his daughter finished. It took her roughly 45 minutes to complete the test; she handed in her test and headed to the rest room. When we graded the test, she missed passing by one question. 

As we were discussing who would deliver the news when she returned, her father said, "I'm not telling her." When she came back into the room, we informed her that she did not pass. I was impressed with her reaction. She smiled, and said, "okay, what do I do now?" We offered her the opportunity to let her take the test again. She got a big smile, and asked her dad, "can I?" He said, "absolutely." I didn't think it was possible, but her smile got even bigger. 

We gave her another version of the test, and as she sat down to take it, her dad suddenly looked at his watch and informed her that they had to leave in 15 minutes. She finished the test in about 18 minutes and this time she passed.

Needless to say, I was impressed with this young lady. I should mention that this test is not too easy. There are many study aids, but the test includes questions on FCC regulations, frequencies, electronics, antenna design and includes mathematical formulas.

Too many times, I had seen people not pass the test and get upset and storm out of the room. They never even got their second chance. On other occasions, I've seen people get upset and then try to take the test again. This is not a good combination, and the negative emotions usually keep them from passing the second time as well.

We learn a great lesson from this resourceful young lady. Her initial response was to smile. By choosing a positive response, she gave herself the best possible chance for her second attempt. Her question, "what do I do now?" was an exceptional response to this. How many times do we ask this question when things don't go our way. We usually ask, "now, what do I do?" and ask with negative emotions. Her question was worded differently and with positive expectations. This is so powerful. We can all learn from this. 

Kudos to her and to her parents and mentors for teaching her how to be so resourceful.  When things don't go our way, first, we can choose positive attitudes that will open opportunities to us. Next, we can ask better questions in the right way, to get better results. Don't miss your second chances.

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