The Ultimate Trade-off

During this HOLY WEEK 2022, I wanted to take time to share with you the LAW OF THE TRADE-OFF.  I cannot think of a better example of a “trade-off” than what Jesus Christ did for the world.  To give up His life for us is THE symbol of TRADE-OFF.

So, what is the Law of the Trade-Off?

I love John C. Maxwell.  In fact, I am a certified member of MAXWELL LEADERSHIP.  If you would like to know more about what that means, contact me.  We will refer to Dr. Maxwell’s THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH with this growth law:  THE LAW OF THE TRADE OFF.  The LAW says, “You have to give up to grow up.”  Didn’t Jesus Christ do that?  Didn’t he give up HIS life for US to grow up?  Answer:  YES!  Jesus knew His sacrifice of life needed to happen so His followers (including me)to grow!!

Therefore, for me to become a better man / a better Christian, I needed to give up being a public-school music teacher IN CALIFORNIA.  Again, the key phrase is for me.  I don’t hold the same expectation for anyone else.

I love the quote from Hoffer:  “People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse.”  THAT IS ME!  I understand that feeling.  My life was becoming unsatisfactory!  One of my former students said to me, “Mr. Everts, do you notice in the last five / ten / even the last twelve years, you were getting into more quote-unquote trouble for actions that you were being praised for during the previous – oh, I don’t know – 20 or so years?  You haven’t changed!  The world has changed.  You are not part of that world and that is why you are miserable!”

Why would anyone have a job that is causing them misery and call that life?

That wisdom from a former student hurt and so does hydrogen peroxide or saltwater when cleaning a wound.  Sometimes it is painful to clean a wound and being told, “you are not part of this world any longer” is the hydrogen peroxide I needed to get me to fully change.

When I look at March 13, 2020 – December 22, 2021, I see several moments that God said, “You need to accept the change, I (God) have for you.”  And frankly … those God moments hurt – A LOT!

October 2018 – “I thank God I am at Pinecrest High School and I know God has a purpose for me to be with you (my students).”  Yes.  I said that to my students.  Yes.  That statement led to me receiving a letter of reprimand in my file.

COVID19 – moving to a “zoom – world” Seeing how the students responded and how I responded.  I thought they would be okay, and they were not.  I thought I would be okay and I was not.   This was going  to be the year that would make the choice to leave “Killarney High School” to go to “Pinecrest High School” the correct choice.  NOPE!  God shut the door on that vision!  Hurt my heart.  To have the new “East Parkland High School” open and COVID happen at the same time?  “East Parkland High School” will end up having just over 800 students who would have attended “Pinecrest High School.”  Pincecrest High School (including the band program) lost a lot of students and the pain was difficult to overcome.

April 7, 2021 – I was told compliments for a students’ appearances is unprofessional and there would be a letter of reprimand in my file.  At that meeting, I was asked, ‘Paul you and I are Christians?”  I answer the administrator’s question, “Yes.”  His response was the first sign that I needed to seriously look at a “trade-off,”

“I hate to say this to you Paul.  You have to leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot.”  Looking back at that meeting now (April 12, 2022 (and many days prior), I know that (…have to leave Jesus Christ in the parking lot) was a huge message to me, “the longer you (Paul) stay at “Pinecrest High School,” the longer it will take to be the man and the Christian I (GOD) want you (Paul) to be.”

June 2021 – A new principal – A principal who was never a high school principal is not good for me.  I know who I am, and I need to have a “veteran” principal.  I do not fault her at all for how things ended.  She was overwhelmed.  I wish her and “Pinecrest High School” the very best.

October 6, 2021 – Make a long story short.  Administration directed me, “Do not tell your students ‘I love ya.”  Jesus Christ is all about LOVE.  How could I stay at “Pinecrest High School” or in public education in California where the word “Love” is now “sexualized,” when I know there are four Greek words that mean “love?”  The answer to that question is:  I CAN NOT!

So, what are the pluses and the minuses of the trade-off?  The pluses include giving me time to read / study my Bible.  Give me a chance to heal wounds.  Have weeknights / weekends with my beautiful wife, Diana (been married since March 30, 1991).   The minuses include, not being able to positively influence students.  Not to give the ‘conservative’ students a person they can talk to.  Not being able to stand in front of a band and get high school students to play their instruments together.

Will I go through this change, or will I GROW through this change?  Currently, I definitely feel the growth!  I am more disciplined.  I am more at peace.  I thoroughly enjoy my time with my beautiful wife Diana.  The growth is exponential!  There are people who are connecting with me.  Reconnecting with me.

A quote from the book THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH relating to this THE LAW OF THE TRADE-OFF:

“The value of trade-offs is not to endure them:  the good is to become better because of them.  When I go through change, it is because I am passive; I accept it as inevitable, so I sigh and say.  ‘I hope this comes out all right.’  When I grow through change.  I become active.  I take control of my attitude, my emotions.  Years ago, I determined that while others may lead small lives, I would not; and while others may become victims, I would not; and while others will leave their future in others’ hands, I will not.  And while others go through life, I will grow through it.  That is my choice, and I will surrender it to no one.”

The loss of trade-offs is usually felt BEFORE the win.  When you and I come up to a decision, we’ve got to trade something for what we’re going to get.

Almost always, when you trade something off, you let something go that is familiar, that you love.  The first thing you feel is not exhilaration; you feel loss.

Additional thoughts:  We want a change, but we don’t want to wait for the result.  How well we do will depend part on personality and partly on attitude.  You can’t change your personality but can choose to have a positive attitude and focus on the upcoming benefits of the trade-off.

Do I feel the loss of the trade-off?  ABSOLUTLEY.  I have lost being with students.  I have lost being with colleagues.  I have lost friends.  My friends (and family members) are not happy with me being so bold / brazen with my opinions on public education in California or frankly, many of my opinions on many topics.  Instead of my friends (and family members) being, “I am okay with Paul being wrong,” many of my friends are now part of the “tribe” that has voted me off the island.  I get it.  They are uncomfortable with me and yes, that is an example of when you trade something off, you let something go that is familiar, that you love.  The first thing I felt was not exhilaration.  I truly felt and still feel… LOSS.

It’s a lot harder to give up something than to give nothing.

“The price of anything is the amount of LIFE you exchange for it.”  – Henry David Thoreau

“Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more DIFFICULT problem.”  – Henry Kissinger

During this Holy Week – unlike any other Holy Week I have had since January 1989 – I am reminded of Jesus Christ’s Trade-off.  His trade-off was not what He immediately received from it.  In fact, for those who know the story (if you don’t – please consider reading it), Jesus endured many trials prior to His ascension into Heaven.  It took Him FORTY days following the Resurrection!  Let alone, all that led up prior to being on the Cross.

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you have a Glorious-Love-Filled Easter.

If you don’t celebrate Easter, I hope you will consider reading the story.  Look at the story as a parable.  A myth.  Something that can teach you about commitment / sacrifice / love … among many other lessons.

We could use your help with our April 29 / 30 seminars in Visalia.  If you are interested in helping with our “trade-off,” please visit this website