Shticky Matters

Posted on February 21, 2012. Filed under: language | Tags: , , |

Naked and clueless — we all started that way.  Next time you see that authoritarian figure telling you how it should be, pop that little picture into your mind.  It might be better for your mental stability to age-regress the individual as well, since not all authoritarians are physically attractive.

Pick Up Sticks.  There is a children’s game called “Pick Up Sticks.”  It consists of a packet of 8″ long toothpick-like sticks that you stand vertically in a bundle, then you release it.  The sticks fall into a heap in various orientations.  The object of the game is to pick as many of the sticks as you can without disturbing a neighboring stick.  The more sticks you collect, the higher your score.

That’s kind of a metaphor of my point here.  In this game of LIFE, possible choices are heaped in a pile and we go about picking up what works for us, holding on to them sort of like crutches that ease our progress toward…  well, you know what is ahead.  Let’s call these acquired choices “shticks.”  We all got ’em, choices of various kinds that let us meet LIFE on our own terms — or someone else’s  terms if we’ve bought in to their shticks.

And that’s what happens when you show up unexpectedly sans clothing and instruction manual (see previous post).  Teachers, supervisors, advertisers, soul-savers, pharmaceutical companies, cosmologists, cosmetologists, astrologers, astronomers, and even that high-chair baby selling stocks, all are eager to fill me in on what that elusive manual says.  They don’t even bother to provide a bibliography of their sources.  Each condemns me if I do not accept his/her/its way of seeing things.  Every single one of them entered LIFE’s  lobby the same way we all did:  naked and clueless, sans instruction manual.   Soooooo…

What makes their shticks so much better than mine?  I say, “Nothing!”  In fact I think my shtick is better.  Anyway, it works for me, and, since so many of you out there are slightly out of step with me, my shtick is to recalibrate the way you see things, starting with the most basic level — WORDS.

Next up:  Words.  We Live by Them

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