Monday, April 22, 2019

Change Your Life: Second In A Series--Because It's There

As dejected as we all are by our lives remaining Unchanged from last week's first Sentence that was supposed to Change Our Lives For The Better, here I am with Sentence #2. Do get strapped in, put down your beverage lest any harm come to your Electronic Device, and let's prepare for Metamorphosis.

One never knows, does one? And at least we can chat about the Sentence should our Lives stubbornly remain the same.

Here is Life-Changing Sentence Number Two:

Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.

Sigh. I really hate these Poster-Worthy, precious little metaphors. But that's probably just me. You go ahead and take a moment to reread it, and then we'll apply our test.


Firstly, is your Life Changed? Mine is decidedly not. Did this Sentence give you an Aha Moment? it did not. As I said, I became unreasonably annoyed by the metaphor for some reason, even though it is perfectly acceptable, but I guess I'm just being a snot.

Overall, the Sentence provides some valuable advice. You should, in Life, strive to accomplish some difficult things, reach some important goals, broaden your perspectives in order to build your own character and satisfy your inner self, not to gain attention or extrinsic rewards. And by doing so, you will (hopefully) have a wiser, more mature view of the world around you.

I prefer poet Pablo Neruda's quote, "You have to climb the mountain in order to see the view." Not only is it simpler, but it has a clearer message: don't expect a reward without putting in the work.

(Wise, but alas! still not Life-Changing. We all learned this stuff years ago. Even the colonists of Jamestown had a No Work, No Food law.)

We've discussed the self-obsessed nature of people due in part to technology and social media. We agree that the world is a much smaller place now, thanks to both. We can both see the world and be seen by the world now, thanks to the internet. Sadly, so many people forget how big their audience is and how widespread their impact is.

Every day, men and women--children, too--climb their own mountains. They're not doing it for attention, either. They're not doing it to build character or even to figure out more about how the world works. They're merely living their lives despite whatever obstacles block their paths: chronic illness, discrimination, hunger, poverty, disability, guilt, or loneliness.

So, here it is again, our Sentence To Change Our Lives For The Better: Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.

Did this sentence, as the article promised, "give you the power to go on"...and "change your life for the better"? Let's talk about it in Comments.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Change Your Life: First In A Series, A Public Service Brought To You By The Dept. Of Nance

About a hundred years ago I found an audaciously titled article online that I read immediately, despite the fact it was so obviously clickbait that I felt outraged and insulted. It was right up there with the headlines that used to scream out from that grocery store tabloid The Weekly World News, which used to print things on its front page like HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DOG WORSHIPS SATAN and BIGFOOT KEPT LUMBERJACK AS LOVE SLAVE.

Those are real headlines, by the way.

But I digress.

This article promised that within its contents were 10 Sentences That Could Change Your Life. I scanned it quickly and added it to my blogfodder folder (my life remaining unchanged; can you believe it?).

I'm a bit stuck for a post at present, so I'm going to pull these Sentences out, one at a time, one per post, and see if they are worthy of at least a bit of discussion, Life Changing notwithstanding.

Here is Number One:

People aren't against you; they are for themselves.

Firstly, is your life changed? Did this give you an Aha Moment? Nah, me either. I feel like this is a terribly worky way of saying Don't Take It Personally. I learned this Life Lesson a bit late, perhaps, during my teaching career and from the best possible of all teachers--teenagers.

Don't misunderstand me; I love teenagers as a group. They are a great deal of fun, very warm, intensely loyal to people they respect and care about, and when their fire is lit, it is remarkable to watch them take off on an idea. Having said all of that, they are also ruthless when they have an agenda, and if you are an impediment to that agenda, you are merely that--a roadblock. They will forget that you once sneaked them a Diet Coke from the staff room vending machine, helped them through a breakup, or did not bust them when they were late to an exam. Their hearts will turn to stone, they will lie to their principal, and they will swear up and down that they did/did not do whatever it was in order to help themselves. I can remember being wholly devastated the first time this occurred in my career. A wise assistant principal talked me off the ledge by saying, "Nance, don't take it personally. It's not about you. You could be anyone. It's all about what he wants and what's in his way, and you just happen to be standing in his way. This time." I'd like to say that I learned it right then and there, but I'd be lying.

It would be nice to think that, in this age of social media, people are never against other people, but we know that's just Not True. Bullying is real, and thanks to the ease of online accounts, it's easier than ever to victimize others and to even do it under assumed names. Hell, even the "president" does it, and with impunity. (Although he is the epitome of Being For Oneself.)

Perhaps there is room for some complexity to this Life-Changing statement: some people are against you because they are for themselves. It makes some people feel bigger, more important, and better about themselves when they act out against others. Again, 45* comes to mind--the perfect example. It doesn't make the victim feel any better, however, even though small-mindedness only captivates other small minds.

So, again, the Life-Changing Sentence was People aren't against you; they are for themselves.

Did this sentence, as the article promised, "give you the power to go on"...and "change your life for the better"? Let's talk about it in Comments.


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Sign Language Wednesday: Try Not To Lose Any Sleep Over It

So much is...happening here that I can't even talk about it.

But it's real, and it's astonishing, isn't it?

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