Never count your cards at the gambling table. Don’t sit with your back to the door. Shake your boots out before putting them on; there might be scorpions.
I’m not sure where I picked up those words of wisdom, or how wise they really are in my everyday life. I rarely gamble and when I do, it’s most likely at a computerized slot machine with flashing lights and surround sound. I live in northwest Oregon; nary a scorpion in sight. Sitting with my back against a wall, as opposed to a door, makes good sense, though. I’m not so worried about getting shot in the back as I am about missing something I might like to see. It’s probably that cat curiosity thing again.
Then there are slogans:
~Never surrender; never give up. ~Spay and neuter. ~One day at a time. ~Live long and prosper.
Yes, two of those are Star Trek-related. Star trek is full of profundities: He’s dead, Jim – now there’s a little snippet useful in all sorts of daily situations.
And One Day at a Time is, of course, the mantra by which many an alcoholic has managed to outwit their nemesis. The twelve-step programs are rife with slogans: Live and let live; Let it begin with me; How important is it? When I first heard this plethora of catchphrases, I thought they were trite. Easy does it, I mean, really? How about a few hearts and flowers and perhaps a unicorn or two? But I’ve come to see they are actually shorthand, abbreviations representing a greater truth. If every time I needed to get my head on straight I had to recite an entire deliberation about the will and the soul and the power of God, I’d be shit out of luck. Much simpler to recall the slogan, Don’t believe everything you think.
Words are important; some are not to be forgotten:
I love you. I’m proud of you. Thank you. I remember. I’m sorry.
All have their place and time. If I had to choose one word to sum up the wisdom of the world, it would be…
Just kidding. But since there is no one word, chocolate or bacon or gratitude or hope or kitty may be as good as it gets.