“There’s No Need to be Stupid About It”

“Trust people to be who they are, and not who you want them to be.” ~ Richard Templar

  The “period during which we function” known more familiarly as life, is full of contradictions. Richard Templar, author of “The Rules to Break” illustrates this clearly in his book. His Rule number 83 says: “Trust everybody”, while Rule number 84 on the very next page states unequivocally: “Trust no one.”

 Confusing?  On the surface, yes, but once he explains his concepts it makes sense.  He theorizes that, “Trust is a wonderful feeling, with all the love and security it brings, so why deny yourself? That way lies madness.” And who in their right mind would choose madness (although I have often thought of it as an interesting alternative to sanity.) But on the next page of his book, he says, “…I can contradict myself if I like”, telling us that “Trust is a personal thing, and it has a lot to do with nuances and intuition about the person in question. Trust people to be who they are, and not who you want them to be.”

 Templar argues that “The fact is that you must be a trusting person in order to feel at ease with yourself and life” BUT, and this should be the underlying advice to anyone who takes on life as a hobby: “…there’s no need to be stupid about it.” He says that he has friends that he would trust with his life, but he would not “necessarily let them look after my cat.”

  What is a contradiction? On one hand contradictions can be ambiguities and paradoxes; on the darker side, they can be inconsistent and illogical. Ambiguities are hard to define in that they express uncertainty—or “something that can be understood in more than one way”. Paradoxes are enigmatic, puzzling, even mystical. They can readily be defined by one of my favourite sayings: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Inconsistency and things that are not logical are harder to contend with and make trust all that more difficult.

 Templar is right on both counts—but I can simplify his wisdom down to a few words: Trust, but don’t be stupid about it.

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Something stupid…………

Scan of Bad to the Bone cigar band

Bad to the Bone cigar band (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 A favourite word of mine is “Stupid”. Not because I like being stupid, but because the word covers a multitude of things. I do not swear (often) so I use the word stupid instead. I use the word stupid like most people swear because I was once told that I could not pull off spouting swear words. I was told that I did not look like a person who drank beer either, but luckily I shrugged that one off.

            I purchased a birthday card for a friend (Rhonda if you are reading this you must stop now) that is really stupid, but I just love it. On the front of the card is a picture of a bull dog who is saying “I want you to have a Happy Birthday”. That is not the stupid part. When you open the card, the words inside say: “You got a problem with that?” Now I would have written “You got a bone to pick with me about that?”  But since I do not make my millions writing for Hallmark I will let that one go. That is not the stupid part either.

            Now here is the stupid part—it is one of those musical cards and when you open it, the song “Bad to the Bone” growls out melodically at you. I just love it. And admittedly it is stupid. And if we don’t get together for a birthday lunch for Rhonda soon and I give her the card, I am afraid that the song will be played out by the time she gets it. It seems I just cannot resist opening the card randomly during the day and listening to “Bad to the Bone.”

            If you happen to be interested, “Bad to the Bone” was written by George Thorogood in 1981 and performed by George and his mighty band, “The Destroyers”. For your further edification, here are the lyrics to the first verse and chorus:

On the day that I was born…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said “leave this one alone”
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
B-B-B-B-Bad
Bad to the bone

 Okay, enough of that stupidity. I have collected a number of “Quotes about Stupid” from the Goodreads site for your reading pleasure—hope one hits your funny bone (see what I did there—but if I have to point it out…):

  1. From that infamously wise man known as George Carlin: “Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.” (Now this may seemingly be politically incorrect, but hey, a man said it—and I don’t mind being called crazy.)

 2. Now this next one, attributed to author John Green, is a little more subtle, but stupid all the same: “I figured something out. The future is unpredictable.”

 3. Bertrand Russell made this observation: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser men are full of doubts.” Quite philosophical our Mr. Russell was, and I am certain he was not one to suffer fools gladly, but I could be wrong.

4. Victor Hugo said something I am not so sure I agree with. He said: “An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you are in hell, do you really care if it is intelligent? Just asking.

5. And my favourite is this one, by a man after my own heart, John Green (remember you met him in number 2?) who seems to swears like I do: “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, crap,….”

What is your favourite word you use instead of cursing?

Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm  Comments (25)  
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S is for Smart (it is also for Stupid ~ but we are not going there)

Einstein's high school transcript

Einstein’s high school transcript (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quote # 1: It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”~ Albert Einstein

Smart. It is something I have always wanted to be. I was pretty smart in school, except for when I wasn’t.

Actually, unlike Einstein, I have always thought of myself as smart ~ even that one particular year at school when I was trying to prove otherwise. It was pretty easy to do. I did not do my homework. I hid a novel in my math book and read during math class. I did not study. I missed my bus a lot. And then at the end of the year when I had to face the consequences—I was, of all things, surprised. Because I thought I was smart.

If I had followed Einstein’s lead and just stayed with my problems longer then I could be as humble as he was. It is easy to say you are not “so smart” when you are a genius!

Quote # 2:  “I wish my name was Brian because maybe sometimes people would misspell my name and call me Brain. That’s like a free compliment and you don’t even gotta be smart to notice it.” ~ Mitch Hedberg

Mitch is really on to something here. I have a friend whose name is Brian and whenever I email him, nine times out of ten I type Brain first.

Published in: on September 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm  Comments (47)  
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A Study: The Forehead

Let Thy Passing Breeze Leave its Coolness on M...

Let Thy Passing Breeze Leave its Coolness on My Forehead… (Photo credit: -RejiK)

This was a writing exercise for my writers’ group, which has been in existence for over fourteen years.  Our name is: the writer’s group, or more often we refer to it as “our writers’ group”. We could decide on no name any more creative than this, because really, doesn’t the name writers’ group state the obvious, without being too cute?

Cavernous horizontal lines were etched in her forehead.  Deep vertical lines delved between her eyebrows.  She smoothed them with her hands, but even flattened, they did not disappear. She liked to think that they made her look intelligent, like some deep thinker. That is what she liked to think.

Her favourite quote of all time came from Gene Fowler, whom, she supposed was trying to knock down that fortress called  writers’ block when he came up with this gem:

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

She had friends who botoxed their forehead lines; others who wore bangs. She did neither, defiantly baring her forehead for all to see.  If truth be told, she did not really mind the lines—they were well-earned from years of reading, writing,  and studying, sometimes in poor lighting, sometimes not.  She liked to think they made her look serious.

Anything examined by itself becomes an oddity. That space between the eyebrows and hairline is generally not given a lot of attention, unless the hairline is receding.  She had read that a wide and deep forehead meant that the person’s brain was big. Her forehead was neither wide nor deep, so she decided to put little store into that  piece of wisdom. Her forehead was narrow, which was one of the reasons she did not wear bangs—there was not much room there for more than a bit of fringe.

She was not the type of person to bang her head against the wall literally, but figuratively was a different thing. People told her she thought about things too much– quantifying them, then qualifying them.

She decided to think of her lined forehead as merely the exterior of a labyrinth of unknown potential. That, or she was stupid.

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm  Comments (8)  
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