apple peachAug 16, 2023

“Yes, young girls need role models. But whether these are male or female is irrelevant. We admire other people for certain qualities. For me, these are honor, courage, talent, kindness, intellect. Decency.” Claire Lehmann

This quote got me thinking about what other simple truths we are reluctant to voice out of fear of offending an un-navigable sea of sensibilities that seem to shift daily.

The key line in that quote is that we admire people “for certain qualities.” Gender and race are not qualities–they are characteristics over which we have no control.

Individuals who achieve success–in any area, whether wealth or talent or creativity or compassion–should be celebrated. We should study them and figure out what they did to achieve their success. Then copy them, not tear them down.

This put me in mind to state some other beliefs out loud, although they may be perceived as politically incorrect:

  • “Speak truth to power” should be “speak truth to weakness” because it is the weak people in our lives and weakness in ourselves that we allow to do the most damage.
  • Men and women are different. If that were not true, none of us would be here.
  • The secret to parenting, sales, and leadership is simply this: always give two choices, with either choice being acceptable.
  • You can control someone’s behavior through fear. But once the fear is past, the control is gone. Which is why those in charge try to keep the fear going.
  • No matter what you do for a living, pursue some type of art or music. These are the only activities you’ll do in which the “doing” is the reward.
  • If paying higher taxes does not affect business, why do sales go up on tax-free weekends?
  • I’ve noticed people are less invested in doing a thing, than in telling everyone that they’ve done a thing. Why? Because when the thing is done, it’s done. But you can talk about it the rest of your life.
  • No one is ready for their new job, until they start doing it.
  • As school students, we were taught to never judge people by skin color, gender, wealth, or IQ. As school administrators, we were asked to make decisions based solely on those factors.
  • Picking your nose is natural and therapeutic. Why are we ashamed of it? After all, if we weren’t meant to pick our nose, why is the nostril conveniently finger-sized?
  • The best therapy I’ve ever found is going for a walk.
  • Why do we like our apples crisp and our peaches mushy? When those traits are reversed, the fruits are inedible.
  • I don’t want to own pets or plants that need to be brought inside.
  • I’m tired of the trope “I don’t want you solve my issue, sometimes I just need you to listen.” Sorry. I have better things to do than sit around while someone whines about something they have no desire to fix.
  • Memes are cliches of the illiterate.
  • More and more, crawling onto an ice floe seems like a viable retirement plan.
  • Everyone gets fatter.
  • Unless you are a meteorologist, stop talking about the weather. Why describe what everyone already knows? Create your own weather.

It’s fine if you disagree with any of these–I hope you do. But we should never feel intimidated to state our beliefs out loud. Then debate them.

Sometimes I wonder if excellence is worth pursuing at all. Instead of being a great teacher, could I have been just as happy as a mediocre doctor?

Can I say that out loud?