It's been many moons since I posted, Blogger world, but my biweekly hour of meditation seems to have gotten a little longer than intended. Don't worry, though--I've been thinking about you...the whole time. Hee hee hee
I often sequester myself in one of those sticky booths at my local McDonald's and pretend like I'm not staring at people. My cover is maintained because this McDonald's boasts a unique feature: David's "Wisdom Wall," that is to say, the wallpaper is littered with these adorable little motivational adages. Among my favorite are "Don't get on the bandwagon until you can play an instrument" and "If something is wrong and you do nothing, you just created a new standard."
Phrases like these intrigue me. Do you know anyone that truly did anything amazing as a result of one of these quotes? In my experience, when I hear something like "The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible," (Arthur C. Clarke) my imagination sets to work for about 2-3 minutes on its practical application. Words like "clever" and "pragmatic" come to mind. I pour a cup of tea to appear more intelligent.
Then I forget.
The next time one of these adages will come to mind is when you are throwing it out at someone in a difficult situation, in an effort to be genuinely helpful. Nothing says "I care" like being able to tell your friends: "Don't take my word for it. Aristotle said that," or, even better, "Remember that scene in The Office that was just like this? And then Jim, who is clever, pragmatic and helpful said..."
The simple fact of the matter is that when people are faced with an opportunity for real greatness, or equally as likely great failure, they usually call on a fortitude within them worthy of a new motivational poster rather than relying on an inventive little zen phrase that has about as much philosophical sway as a Gummy Bear.
This is true for the brief moments of authentic opportunities to overcome, but for those day-to-day complaints, what are we to do for our loved ones that come to us for advice?
Simple enough. Merely bloat their situation out of proportion until they call on their fortitude muscle (allegedly between the third and fourth ribs). For example:
YOUR CHILD: I want to register for the Science Fair but I'm really nervous!
YOU: You pathetic ninny from Bogus-Town! I'd be nervous too if my science project and fashion sense were as lacking as yours! I would rather take on an army of crazed zombies trained in the ancient art of jujitsu and haiku! You would have to be Isaac Newton's elbow hair to succeed! You know, people have a name for someone like you. You know what it is? Fart-face! Ha ha! If you want to register for that science fair, you've got a battlefield of loneliness, isolation, and rejection ahead of you! Plus no one will like you!
YOUR CHILD: I...I...you know what? I can do this! (dramatic orchestra begins to play and child storms into lab)
YOU: Ok! Love you sweetie!
Whatever you're going through today, peeps, you can do it!
Oops, I mean...you smell funny!