An open letter to ItsJerryAndHarry of 2019

Discussion in 'Server Discussion' started by MC_Scout, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. MC_Scout

    MC_Scout Fearless Leader Staff Member Manager

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    Dear ItsJerryAndHarry community of 2019:

    Another year has gone by. This means that I am writing another long, drawn out, melodramatic thread that most people will skim through and like.

    The past three letters had some sort of theme based on what I noticed from the previous year. The first letter was based on being patient and maturity, as well as keeping an open mind.

    The second letter was about owning your mistakes and taking responsibility. It showed the success I had in 2016 from the kick in the ass I got in 2015.

    Last year the letter was all about transition and change. I talked about being prepared. I also talked about how 2018 would be a critical year for the server and being complacent was not an option.

    The reason why I want to bring this up is because 2018 encompassed just about everything from these letters. It also introduced something new, which I will spend most of my time on.

    Starting with the old, and starting with last January: An admin resigned, Neslover.

    Seeing Nes resign was surprising to me, and a bit sad. Nes was a driving force behind alot of policy when no one else wanted to step up or do something.

    It also meant that there was an open admin position, and if you have read my info page you know how I feel about getting admin.

    I was already on edge, and what made it even worse is that someone credible hinted that I was getting promoted. I was not. I anticipated and was expecting to get admin. I didn’t.

    But I’ve also learned my lesson. I didn’t act desperate, I did the best job I could as a Mod+ and nothing more. I learned that from previous experience that patience and hardwork pay off, and in June it did.

    I’ve also had a bit of transition in my life too. The first year of college was a bit difficult but I was still living in a dorm. I never cooked, and had limited expenses. This year was different. I live in an apartment. I have to buy groceries, I have to pay utilities. I have to balance my expenses with income/money in bank. The course load was also much more difficult. The first year I knew most of the content that was being taught (I’m just a terrible standardized test taker so I could never test out). This year I knew close to nothing heading into last semester. The work was harder. My schedule was insane. And I had more homework. But I was able to adapt, and I worked hard for it

    This the first lesson learned: Old lessons come back, identify and act accordingly.

    Ok, let’s move on to the new stuff.

    After my second semester of college I returned to my internship that I held the previous summer, as part of the Java applications development team.

    One thing you should know about me: I hate doing something wrong, and I hate mistakes. I hate getting in trouble. I hate scoring low on a test. I really hate it when attention is drawn because of said mistake. I will try everything in my power to avoid it. I am often take an overly conservative approach to a task for the sake of not doing something wrong.

    This was no different at my internship. At my internship we use a variety of things that can and will go foobar if you so much as forget to type one letter or click one too many times. Once again I used an extremely conservative approach to things. I wanted to make sure everything was right before I did it. I did not want to fail.

    Now I should preface what I’m about to say by saying there is a time and place for this kind of approach. Driving is a perfect example. You want to avoid making mistakes while driving. There are many other examples too.

    The problem is that this was not the time and not the place. You see any company that does software development has at least one, usually dozens and maybe hundreds, of non-IRL (called non-production) environments. Almost always there are developer environments. These are environments that are strictly used for a developer to write and test code. If these break or as I like to say “catch on fire”, the customer is totally unimpacted. This is the perfect time to make mistakes, and that’s exactly what my mentor at the time told me.

    One morning I was working on something in a dev environment and I was, per usual, too conservative in my approach. I kept asking my mentor if this was right. Eventually he started telling me to figure it out. I responded that I would be worried that I might set something on fire (figuratively). He responded by saying “I would rather spend an afternoon with you rebuilding a dev environment then having to walk you through everything.”

    That made realize one very important thing, that I knew but did not really accept or subscribe to: it’s okay to fail.

    You see when you fail or make a mistake it sucks because you have to fix your mess and complete the original task you’re supposed to do. While this is true it also makes for a very valuable teaching lesson. The phrase “the best lessons learned are those in failure” is there for a reason. I have also found being willing to make mistakes allows you to be a bit more independent.

    This lesson helped me a lot. I have been willing to try a lot more things with this approach. I’m willing to do more. I also realize that there are very few situations were failure is unacceptable.

    To be clear: I don’t try to fail. I will always try to succeed in everything I do. However I have learned that you arguably become a better person when you fail. I am certainly a better developer from learning that.

    That is my challenge to you: Understand that there are lessons learned in failure. Understand that making mistakes and failure has value. You shouldn’t shoot for it, but you shouldn’t avoid it.

    You can even make the argument that this server has followed this. Last year I said this server cannot be complacent. This server tried something that could have backfired, but didn’t.

    2019 will be an interesting year for both myself and the server. I don’t know, and don’t have total control of what’s next, but I have enjoyed both so far.

    While learning to accept failure is important, but it’s not the only important thing that needs discussed.

    One thing I have not shied away from on this server is debating someone or a group of people. I am a firm believer that good conversation and debate is healthy and productive. Please note that this does not mean ad hominem like dialect. Debate can be intense and respectful at the same time.

    I have found that in today's society we are so focused on surrounding ourselves with like people I think that we have been so divided that the left and right have a hard time speaking to each other. We only want to speak to like minded people. People tend to get offended or angry when their opinions are challenged.

    In my opinion this has been a big weakness of this community. Everytime there is a debate about something we always go “this is going to be a flame war, someone should lock this thread,”

    This solves nothing. Neither side changes their course, and the collective whole becomes weaker.

    My second challenge to you is this: try to have a conversation with other people you maybe don’t agree with. Try to understand where the other side is coming from, even if you disagree.

    This can be done. One of my friends at college is profoundly and unapologetically conservative. Despite that we have excellent conversations. We respect each others difference. Just like what I said in my first letter, keep an open mind.

    This sounds elementary, but I think it’s necessary.

    That’s this year’s letter. 2018 was a solid year for me. I am interested to see what 2019 is.

    Thanks for reading, and happy new year,

    Bruhtrash, Slevin, Ezzerland and 20 others like this.
  2. FuegoeZ

    FuegoeZ [God] Donator

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    I really read them all. I mean, I mean. Together with many years :).
    MC_Scout likes this.
  3. Soap

    Soap Think I gotta rewind. Staff Member Moderator

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    This was incredible, Scout!

    From past experiences I think we can both agree that failing sucks. Not only does it suck, but people want to avoid it entirely.

    I completely agree when saying failure should not be avoided, but accepted. It’s when we learn from our mistakes we are at our greatest.

    Learning to accept failure is very important especially when your higher ups expect much from you.

    Thank you, Scout. I give you the best regards coming into the new year.
    Aran, MC_Scout and FuegoeZ like this.
  4. Aran

    Aran Donator

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    I can honestly fully relate to the whole subject of this post and your statements. Just an example: If I could get a dollar for every single mistake that I made during the time that I've been a part of this community, I'd definitely be rich by now. But instead of that, all my mistakes and moments of failure all together, have made me rich in terms of life experience, knowing way better how to deal with certain situations and just knowing which choices are the best to make in general. This strongly benefits me on both the server and in real life nowadays. It's safe to say that making mistakes have made me become the person who I am today.

    One precious thing I have learned from making mistakes is that you must fail in order to succeed in life. We go to school, we get taught manners by our parents and once you get older, you start being able to see the positive effects of making a mistake.

    I admire the fact that you've come to realize that you become a better person when you make mistakes. Mistakes are just moments in life that you can learn from. If you're willing to accept the mistake that you've made and just keep it in mind for next time, it'll be way easier to do things better and achieve the things that you want to achieve.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    trin, Soap, Skillz and 1 other person like this.
  5. hmj

    hmj Donator

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    Thank you for making this thread. This was an amazing read as always.

    In the past, I have always been a person who has failed rather than succeeded, which led me to be the exact opposite than what you mention in this thread: I would not give a single shit about mistakes. If I can somehow get to my goal, it doesn't matter what I do or how many mistakes I make.

    2018, however, has been a year where this unconscious philosophy of mine has changed, and this may sound funny, but mostly thanks to the IJAH staff team.

    As a matter of fact, earlier on, I would've considered myself a "bad helper". I was a toxic person, I eventually even started some major drama with someone else in the staff team that lasted for several days and even got myself heavily warned by the administrative team. In the beginning of this incident, I found myself to have been a bitter person about the staff team as a whole, especially the person directly involved in this drama and the administrative team. I took some time off to think about what happened better and reflect on my place as a staff member. After not too long, I realized that this situation was exactly the kick in the ass I needed to show improvement to the administrative team and prove myself as a good helper in this workplace. I also realised that I should strive to make lower mistakes instead of just letting things go as they are.

    While I am obviously still someone who makes mistakes and I do not complain about that, I am happy that I have become someone who believed in the importance of improvement more than before. This goes to say that the first thing you mentioned in this thread can really go both sides.

    While 2018 might have been arguably a terrible year emotionally for me, it has obviously been the most influential. In early 2018, I was a very lazy and boring person. I felt very depressed because the only interesting thing I did was theatre, the rest of the time I would just sit around practicing speedruns all day. I realized that this, in itself, made me a rather grumpy and uninteresting person. I didn't realize that until I got a huge kick in the ass: my girlfriend left me in April. This has been the most emotionally challenging event of my life so far. However, it is truly what motivated me to become a better person. I initially began to try working out at the gym, didn't find that fun. I then tried photography, didnt find that fun. I had tried several ways to become a more interesting person and to try to enjoy my hobbies more and it took until October of this year, when I started learning bass guitar. I then proceeded to form a band with my friends. I don't think I've ever been this happy: I now enjoy listening and playing music much more than beforehand and I have truly found another of my passions beside theatre. If you are feeling bored or depressed or grumpy, try to find new passions. There will be several failed attempts but you will eventually find something you enjoy.

    2018 was also the year where I cut off toxic people from my life. I stopped hanging around with my old squad that I found to be toxic and mean with me and started hanging around with people who I truly love. This has made me feel so much better too, because I dont have to worry about my friends backstabbing me or developing a toxic relationship. I truly realized the importance of cutting out toxic people from your life.

    In good old MC_Scout fashion, I will now give all of the 0 people who read through this post a challenge: find greater balance in your life. One thing that is most important is balancing your life activities to prevent burnouts and simply to feel better. It's very important to balance these activities and it will truly help you feel better.

    Thank you again for writing this thread scout. It was truly an amazing read. As I told you on discord at midnight, keep up the good work on the server. I truly and genuinely appreciate you and the work you do, Scout. You're a very inspiring person.

    Happy new year!
    FuegoeZ, Soap, Netherr and 1 other person like this.
  6. Acepilot092

    Acepilot092 youtuber

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    I highly agree with what you said on this thread, because I have had many failures in my life, and they've all made me a better person. I've made mistakes in my high school football career, but every mistake made me a better player. I've made mistakes in my programming, drafting, and art classes, but once again, they all made me better at all of those. I have also made low grades on some tests, and quizzes, and they just taught me that I need to study harder on those subjects. Like you said in the thread, it is okay to make mistakes, because they are the best way to learn, and many people tend to take that the wrong way, because they believe that they should be the best, or they say "I shouldn't fail, I should be the best"(technically that would be the same). I personally have never had any serious debates, but I do have my opinions on stuff, but I tend to keep those opinions to myself, because I don't want to make the debates even more intense, and that's mostly because I can be shy at times, and because I am an introvert. But all these things make us better people, because we should try and be open to the world, and let out some of our opinions on things around the world, we should strive to be better from the failures we make, we should strive to work hard, both physically and mentally, because the things that we accomplish in life can be rewarding.

    I don't know you very much on the server, but you seem like the person that would make a great leader for many people around the world to follow, both because of how smart you are, and because of your wisdom.

    This is an amazing thread, keep up the hard work, and good luck in college.

    Happy New Year brother.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  7. Embracive

    Embracive Former Мod+ Donator

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    Through multiple talks with you, be it because of staff business or just someone to talk to as a friend, the words reflect and show off in this thread.

    How you perceive mistakes and errors which we will all encounter within our lives is accurate. We, as people, just seem to blow it out of proportion. You did bad on a test? Anxiety floods in and, well, it cuts your flow and way of thinking. All you can think about is letting the people you care about down. Because of this, we get worried and act on impulse.

    This is something you've taught me to avoid. While anyone can be negative and everyone does get upset every once in a while, what separates those who want to aspire and those who choose to be passive is their control of the situation. Ask yourself this; what's stopping you from taking a step back, analysing your situation, then make a decision. If that decision is wrong, then learn from it. At least you've pit in effort to try to fix your current situation up.

    You've also taught me something which has stuck by me for quite a while; "lessons are best taught in pain" I can't agree with you anymore.

    Here's to a 2019, Scout.
    Aran likes this.
  8. thesaber903

    thesaber903 ~ || Helper || ~ Staff Member Helper

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    I never liked 2018, I suffered too much pain and I wish I could go back and prevent it.
    My 2019 is already gone wrong and there's not much I can do about it.
  9. Muffin_Mobber

    Muffin_Mobber Reality Surfer Donator

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    I don't know what it is that you're going through right now but what I do know is that people who say they aren't able to do something are usually correct. Alternatively, people who say that they can do something are also usually correct. That being said, I challenge you to change your mindset about your problem.
  10. thesaber903

    thesaber903 ~ || Helper || ~ Staff Member Helper

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    If you want I can tell you in a conversation.
  11. RockoR

    RockoR new bagel

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    Seem's like you've grown a lot Scout - both as a person and as a leader. Hope the server's still doing well ;)
    MC_Scout likes this.
  12. t3mptr3s

    t3mptr3s ~ Spectating Mom Extraordinaire ~ Staff Member Mod+

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    I don't know how I missed out on this thread usually I read when it's first posted. There are so many things in this that I love. If you don't make mistakes, you don't grow. People who are successful (even if it's in small things) only get there through making mistakes. I also agree on having conversations with people that have differing view points. Some of my favorite people to talk to are people who have different religious and political stances. As long as you're respectful towards each other so many amazing conversations can be had.

    I have so much respect for you. You have grown so much since I first met you. I remember being really happy when you were promoted to Admin. You deserved it. I've told Rob that you are the one person I'm afraid to disappoint.

    During like-spam fest, I saw many of your posts on some of those profiles. The jokes and goofing around, I laughed hard at a lot of the things you said. The way you clicked with other people was so nice to see.
  13. Slevin

    Slevin Donator

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    I knew you were a really hard worker when you did your best to report hackers to us all those years ago. When you used to record your pc screen using your phone. It's nice to see that your determination is still there after all this time because a lot of us, including myself just couldn't hack this gig anymore. It's nice to see that you have established a balance between the things that mean the most to you and have used that to motivate yourself when you wake up everyday and to motivate others who also are struggling/don't want to fail. These experiences only make you stronger and you should continue to use the platform you have built to help others.

    Oh and congratulations on Admin by the way.
    Skillz, Evence, Dohe and 5 others like this.