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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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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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