Thursday, October 15, 2020

To Write with a Broken Pencil is Pointless

Throwback Thursday

Over the course of a lifetime I've found it handy to keep a handful of pithy sayings in the back pocket of one's mind. You never know when they might come in handy.

Here are a few that I've found myself repeating over the years, primarily because they are a little less common than "it is what it is" which I also use a bit too frequently.

"Everything is easy for the one who doesn't have to do it."

This one is readily available for any number of situations, especially in the world of work. People often give advice to others and wonder why it isn't immediately jumped on and appreciated. Well, that's because everything is easy for the one who doesn't have to do it. Whether it's meeting deadlines, managing multiple projects, overcoming addictions, or saving for retirement, everything's easy for the one who doesn't have to do it.

This doesn't mean we can't ever give advice, but we ought be sensitive when we're dishing it out. As Eleanor Roosevelt put it, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

"The butler who folds his hands spills no tea." 

This one is fun because it takes a moment to process. Bosses generally do not like mistakes, though generally they readily admit that mistakes come with the territory when you're attempting to accomplish things. A batter who fails to get on base six of ten times is considered great. Strikeouts are part of going up and taking your swings. 

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." 

My mom frequently recited this and I know why. She's from Scots heritage and this statement's origin is Sir Walter Scott from one of his novels. With a handful of words it says plenty.

Life is complicated enough without trying to cover our tracks and be deceptive. Sooner or later, it's going to get you. How many times we read stories about people caught embezzling or evading paying taxes.

If you need to arm yourself with some new quip material, there are plenty of websites devoted to collecting these kinds of pearls. Here are a few from a website called Quips, Quotes & Pithy Sayings, which apparently no longer exists.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake every time you repeat it.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

Profanity is the effort of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully.

America is one of the few places you can say what you speak without thinking.

Unless you have never been tempted, don't pass judgment on someone who has yielded.

Don't mistake activity for achievement.

Or you can simply quote lines from Dylan, like I do. I used to rely on this one:

"Meantime life goes on all around you."

 But for 2020 my new go to is:

"People are crazy, times are strange."

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Photo at top of page is Lena, my 5 month old granddaughter.

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