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Category Archives: Oh The Things We Say

The things we say

“We say to the confused, Know thyself, as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations, we say to the apathetic, Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head, we say to the indecisive, Begin at the beginning, as if beginning were the clearly visible point of a loosely wound thread and all we had to do was to keep pulling until we reached the other end, and as if, between the former and the latter, we had held in our hands a smooth, continuous thread with no knots to untie, no snarls to untangle, a complete impossibility in the life of a skein, or indeed, if we may be permitted one more stock phrase, in the skein of life.”

José Saramago (The Cave)

 

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Forgetting: not just for old people anymore.

A few years ago I accompanied my grandma to one of her lunches with her friends. My grandma was 76 at the time and all the other ladies were either 85 or 86. They said my grandma was the baby of the group, since she was so young. The lunch was very long, with each of them taking their time to chew their food and still manage to tell stories, but it was a great time. Mainly because of the stories, I didn’t care much about the chewing.

One of them started complaining because her son wanted to hire a maid to help her out during the day. How dare he. She was incredibly upset about that. She said she told her son that was not an option, because if she didn’t have the work around the house to do, she wouldn’t have enough things to occupy her throughout the day. Then another one started talking about how she had a maid and she’d send the girl to wipe the leaves of her plants. She’d send the girl to the porch (apparently she had a lot of foliage there) and give the girl a tiny cloth to go wipe the plants. This way the girl wouldn’t bother her and she could cook as she pleased.

That lead to the cooking topic. They all shared how much they loved to cook. Then one of them started saying she liked to knit while she waited for the food to be ready, but it was hard but she’d go sit down to knit and forget about the food. So one of them said “You should do what I do. Put a chair in front of the stove. This way you won’t forget about it.”

I just remembered all of that because I was sitting on my couch and though “Something smells good,” and after a second I thought “My food!” and ran to the kitchen to rescue my lunch.

Maybe it’s time for me to start putting a chair in front of the stove.

 

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To condone, or not to condone: that is the question.

To condone means to overlook and accept as harmless a behavior considered immoral or wrong. It means to make allowances for a bad behavior without criticism.

When someone behaves in a certain way, a way you do not approve of or you feel it’s not appropriate, and you do nothing about it, you’re allowing it to happen. You’re looking the other way and pretending you didn’t see it. Therefore, when you’re lenient with objectionable behavior, you condone it. When you condone bad behavior, you allow it to take place.

If you condone dishonesty in the company you keep, what’s to stop you from becoming untruthful yourself? After all, we are known by the company we keep. And nowadays, with technology and all, we’re also known by the ones we choose to follow or befriend online. If you choose to follow a certain twitter account or a certain blog, and you allow that person to behave a certain way and say the things that person wants without doing anything about it, what does that say about you?

Be careful what kind of behavior you condone. Because that shows your character. And character is everything.

Be careful what you think…
Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your character
Your character is everything

 

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Drinking the Kool-Aid isn’t that cool, you know?

Let’s talk metaphors, shall we? And what is a metaphor? It’s a figure of speech, it’s making a comparison using two things that are otherwise unrelated. It achieves its effect via association or resemblance.

Take the phrase drinking the Kool-Aid, for instance. What could it mean? Well, if you think that’s what all are doing, you’re wrong. It’s actually a blind, uncritical acceptance or following. It’s doing what others are just without actually questioning it or critically examining it. And the phrase actually carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or a group.

The term is a reference to the 1978 Jonestown cult massacre, where people were given a cyanide-poisoned Flavor Aid (similar to Kool-Aid) to drink. Over 900 people drank what was given to them and died.

Honestly, I prefer to question what’s given to me. No, I’m not a sheep. No, I won’t do or say something because others are doing or saying it, or because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m NOT drinking the Kool-Aid, thank you very much. So, no, I’m not an instant fan of something just because. I have to see it with my own eyes and listened to it with my own ears. And most importantly, analyze it with my own brains, thank you very much.

 

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Biting the hand that feeds you is never a good idea.

I love sayings, proverbs, and things like that. I like knowing what they mean and where they come fromThey are full of meaning and seem to survive the centuries. Like biting the hand that feeds you, for example. was first used, at least that’s what the records show, by the Greek poet Sappho around 600 BC, and it was first recorded in English in 1711.

The metaphor of a dog biting its mater’s hand is used to talk about a person repaying support with wrong. It means to turn against a benefactor, a supporter, or a friend. People forget that the hand that feeds them, or has fed them in the past, may still one day be needed. But that’s not even the biggest problem here. I think the worst thing is to see the lack of respect this person shows for someone who was once there for him/her.

It is sad to see such thing happening. But if this has been happening since Sappho was alive, what does that say about us, humans? Collins is right. “We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.

 

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Of being stabbed and learning lessons.

When people say they felt as if they were being stabbed in the back I tend to say “I know exactly what you mean.” People say that when you consider someone a friend and that person does not consider you one it’s like being stabbed in the back. And although I’ve been betrayed before, I’ve never been stabbed in the literal sense of the word. Not once in my life I had a knife puncturing my body in such a way, so I can’t really compare. So here’s a comparison I know:

I lived in an apartment on the 12th floor. Pretty high and with a great view of the city. At night I liked to sit on the window and sing my heart out. I was convinced no one would ever know I was the crazy girl singing on a window, since it was dark and they wouldn’t see me. I’d even turn my lights off, just to be sure. And I’d sit there, with my head immerse in the darkness singing songs I’d improvise on the spot. I’d keep my legs inside, of course, so my body had to be a little twisted, but it worked out fine. And I always kept the windows just open wide enough for me to fit in, so I could hold onto the wall on one side and the glass on the other. Because I was that smart.

But one day I lost my balance. My hands immediately glued themselves to the wall and the glass. I panicked. For the few seconds that took me to get my body all back to safety I thought I was really going to die. The air left my lungs, my heart was slamming hard against my chest, my palms were sweating like crazy, blood was pumping in my ears, and the air felt suddenly so heavy I wouldn’t dare to breathe it in. I finally pulled myself inside and just kneeled on the floor, trying to get my head to stop spinning.

I want to say I never sat there again, that this was enough of a warning to keep me away from the dangers that a window on the 12th floor without a security net can offer, but I can’t. The truth is that we are human beings. We make mistakes, and keep making them until we’ve learned whatever lesson we have to learn. We just have to hope we’ll learn them fast, before we actually fall from a window.

 

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The Hunger Games – Mich’s review

Ever since I posted my review on this book I’ve been searching around for other reviews. I even talked about a really good one I read and re-blogged a post about the whole dystopian trend. Then I thought people would get tired of reading my posts if I started posting links to other blogger’s reviews, so I stopped. But today Mich posted hers, so I just had to share this with you.

Now I’ll stop. Probably. Unless you want me to talk about the movie. I’m thinking about writing a movie review. We’ll see.

 

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