Things Nobody Should Have Ever Told Us
There are some wise-sounding sayings that are not as wise as they sound. It would have been better if they had not been said in the first place, or if they had been rephrased to make more sense.
Age is just a number. (Some anonymous old person). So is the daily Pick-4. Your chances of coming out ahead with that aren’t very good, either.
On the other hand, if anyone ever dares to call me old or suggest that I act my age, may all of their hair fall out, may they always smell like a field of dead cannabis and may they be ardently pursued by someone really ugly who only wants them for their money.
Follow your bliss. (Joseph Campbell). This sounds really good. The problem is, how do you define “bliss?” To some people, smoking a joint until their eyes glaze over and they become stupid is bliss. That’s an easy bliss to follow, too. All it takes is some Weed, a room with windows and neighbors who don’t mind the smell. Other blisses are not so easy to follow, such as a career as a writer.
Not only that, sometimes people think that a certain thing is their bliss when it really isn’t. If you are tone-deaf and your voice sounds like a goat, you will not be very blissful if you labor under the delusion that you were meant to be the next American Idol. On the other hand, the person who IS meant to be the next American Idol won’t be very happy following Dad’s advice and becoming an accountant.
In other words, this is open to misinterpretation.
The world is also full of other people who have ideas about their own bliss, and sometimes their perceived blisses compete with your perceived bliss. Two people can’t occupy a stage at one time, playing the exact same role. To follow your bliss you might have to fight someone else with the same bliss who is determined to knock your bliss out in Round 1.
Joseph Campbell never mentioned that.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry. (Oliver in Erich Segal’s “Love Story”). Anyone who has ever had any kind of relationship with anybody knows how idiotic this is. If you never say you’re sorry, even when you have been a total ass, your relationships won’t last long.
Sometimes we even find ourselves saying we’re sorry when we haven’t done anything wrong, just to avoid whatever is on the verge of happening. This isn’t much fun, but neither is a fight to the death.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. (Chuck Dederich, but who really cares?). I’m not sure if this is meant to be an encouragement or a warning. Enough said.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. (Some idiot). Yes … sometimes. But sometimes even the tough prefer to hide under the covers, eat three pints of ice cream every day and watch cable TV when the going gets tough. Sometimes they hide, eat ice cream and watch cable TV for a while, THEN get going. Sometimes it’s vice-versa. Whatever. There’s a lot to be said for being a cringing wimp when the situation calls for it. You avoid having to face unpleasantness until it turns around and bites you in the rear, at which point you’d better get tough or get out of town.
In the meantime, you have had a nice time of temporary denial.