Life is a series of metaphors. One that has suited a large portion of my life has been juggling. Juggling is like a dance, you learn the moves, and anticipate your partner, but in the direct physical style of juggling, your partner is inanimate and always behaves as expected. In the real world, juggling responsibilities or issues, your partners have a mind of their own and seldom cooperate. Kind of like juggling parakeets, it looks easy until they try to fly.

I’m pretty good juggling scarves, they hang in the air and you basically just move them from place to place. I can do a couple of rounds with bean bags or other soft objects, but hard objects have always been a little more difficult, which is why people get nervous when I pick up three items in the produce section.

There’s a High School teacher in Dallas, Texas who tried to juggle the expenses of going to college with the responsibilities incumbent to the degree she was working towards.

Cristy Nicole Deweese posed for Playboy when she was in college. She’s a pretty girl, and was featured as “Coed of the month” and then “Coed of the year”. At the time, she acknowledged she wanted to be a Spanish Teacher, and found a job at a magnet school in Dallas after graduation. She is an excellent example to her students of “once it’s online, it never goes away”.

A few parents are upset. Here’s the next example of juggling. While some parents chose to “speak out”, they did so anonymously. Assassins prefer the dark. Cristy didn’t hide anything, both literally and figuratively, but these parents are asking “what will the students think” and portraying the fact there was another woman in the photo-shoot as “a lesbian scene” without showing anything of themselves except their ignorance. Regardless of your stand on nudity, questions about personal responsibility cannot be addressed by someone who is not taking personal responsibility for their attack.

Student, both male and female, stated she is an engaging teacher. This is a magnet school, typically the standards are a little higher, so she must know her stuff. I can’t fault her for expecting people to be better than they are, humans rarely go beyond expectations, so setting the bar a little higher is a good thing. Maybe this is a lesson her students will learn as well.

Another example of juggling is professional endorsements. Back in the seventies, there was an issue about endorsements from people who had not actually used the product, so Joe Namath did a commercial for pantyhose while wearing a pair. Today, the issue is athletes, who have made their fame through physical prowess, endorsing less than health diet choices. The National Institutes of Health published a study indicating that choice of products is influenced by endorsements, even when the endorsement is countered by information on the label. So if Serena Williams endorses Oreos, kids are more likely to eat them, even after they read the label and find out they’re not health food. Lebron James didn’t get to be a basketball star by chewing bubblegum, he just got five million dollars richer by it. Peyton Manning doesn’t endorse Pap John’s pizza because it’s training food, but because he owns twenty one Papa John outlets.

Most people juggle priorities or morality. Is it better to lie or hurt someone’s feelings? Is it more important to “get the job done” or follow the rules? Juggling is about balance, balance is the key to life. Zero tolerance makes juggling difficult if not impossible, so juggling teaches acceptance and flexibility. Physically and emotionally.





2 comments on “Juggling

  1. Mike Reith says:

    Thought-provoking blog entry, Blake. And juggling is a great metaphor, and I very much like the very human stance that you take on it. We know from the Bible that we are broken creatures and that none of us are righteous, or perfect, if preferred. And we know that pride is our crowning sin–we are selfish and see ourselves in a better light than others. Worse, we are prone to attack our fellow man much like chicks will be begin to peck to death another chick that has a spot of blood. Our morals are always flawless; their’s are flawed. We all juggle, and we all drop things. Worse than that, we sometimes drop everything, breaking things and hurting people in the process. Should character be an issue in life? Of course. And repentance and humility concerning our past mistakes should rank much higher than a high school teacher never being found in Playboy. Life places us in positions where we must sometimes judge our neighbor, be it in the process of choosing an employee or a spouse, yet Christ pointed out the enormous history of failed juggling that we all have. We need to remember that when we look upon the same history in others.


  2. V.E.G. says:

    Cristy Nichole DeWees is a direct descendant of Adriaen Hendricks Dewees, a friend of Rembrandt. Very ironically, There is a young girl, Sally DeWees had a baby at 10 years old!


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