Sunday, October 23, 2011

If you can read this, teach a thanker!

Paul Harvey, radio newsman, used to include his favorite "bumper snicker" of the day on his broadcasts.  "Drive like hell and you'll get there" was typical of the genre, although he might have said drive like "heck," as repressed as he was.  

Anyway, I come today to speak of slogans and mottoes and saying of this sort.  I feel that sometimes they are funny and useful, and sometimes inspirational, and sometimes they will cause a person to stop and think.  Facebook status messages are like electronic bumper stickers, a way to let the world know what we think of something in a short catchy phrase.

And that's good.  Most all forms of self-expression are good, except for purely nasty spiteful ones.  "Don't follow me, I'm lost too" might have been carved onto the back ledge of a oxcart in Bible days for all we know, and "Eschew Obfuscation" was funny when I was in high school reading the "Saturday Review" on Tuesdays. Today on FB you can see "DEE FLOWER knows what flavor milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" and you laugh while looking for her address and heading for her yard.  

But I saw something on tv, one of these weight loss shows, and a trainer was meeting a new client and he told her "Pain is weakness leaving the body."  I have to say, this might be a little hard to take for someone who is in constant pain from, say, rheumatoid arthritis or something like that.  Not all pain is good, nor should it be disregarded.  In 99 out of 100 cases, our bodies are smarter than we are, so they send us pain signals to tell us to stop sticking our hands in flames or stop pouring so much alcohol down our neck or stop lifting sofas, lest more damage result.  

But do we listen?  Not always, and sometimes it's because we hear exhortations like "pain is weakness leaving..." A physical therapist once told me that "no pain, no gain" is not always a good rule to go by, because pain can be a signal of doing too much.  It's not so good to parrot out slogans like that, to my mind, when they might not be right for everyone's purposes.  As a matter of fact, some of these sayings give me a royal pain in the you-know-where.  And it's not leaving, either.

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