Changing the world a few wise words at a time … and then some
October 28, 2007
“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” Aldous HuxleyI’m with Aldo. It is truly time for change, and I’ve decided that the change I seek must come from within.This is why I must learn to wink.Sure, I have the ocular dexterity to control each of my eyelids individually, so technically I already know how to wink. But I don’t “know” how to wink, you know what I mean?Like, I can’t subtly bat the lash of only my left eye as a way to accentuate my cheeky comment. While making an effort to flirt with someone, never once would it occur to me to flutter a solitary lid in order to drive home my lame attempt at double entendre. No, I’m still stuck in the rut of actually saying “if you catch my drift” or “if you know what I mean” and then following up with my tired elbow jab. Some people – and I can tell who they are right away – are turned off by the elbow jab. They are the ones who will probably most appreciate my soon-to-be-developed winking skills. They are the ones who most want to see change. “We must become the change we want to see.” Mohandas K. GandhiAmen, Mohandas. This is why I know that, in addition to winking, it is high time for me to get some new nicknames for people.”Slick” and “Slugger” have grown stale. Time to rotate the pseudonym stock, keep it fresh, make it now. I only need two or three that I can use generically upon first greeting friends and acquaintances. And, while I’m at it, it may be time to leave behind my intensely contracted “what is happening?” I’m not sure I have what it takes to pull off “‘sappenin'” anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.My current candidates are “Boss,” “Mayor” and “Hector.” What do you think? And instead of “what is happening?”, I’m thinking of starting a trend with “Who’s got it?”So, when I see someone for the first time that day, I exclaim, “Who’s got it, Hector?” And then I snap my fingers and point. “The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.” Robert M. PirsigThanks, Rob, I was just coming to that one, actually. Lately I’ve been accentuating my conversations with finger snaps – audibly underlining and highlighting words or phrases that I speak by rapid snapping. I’ve also taken to using this technique to spice up other people’s speech. The pointing that I do after the snap wasn’t part of my initial (and rigorously defined) course of change, it just kinda happened. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks and have definitely concluded that (based on reactions and feedback) people think less is more. Change is never easy, right?”The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” Nathaniel Branden Cool, Nathan. And if I may add a third step to that fine alliterative formula – one that I’m sure you would have gotten to eventually – it would be: “Albuquerque.” Not sure why, except that being in Albuquerque would be quite a change. At least for me.”There is nothing permanent except change.” HeraclitusHold up, there, Hercules. You’re just being cliché now. I was going to go into the importance of changing your inflection when talking to government employees and police officers, but now you’ve totally ruined my pacing.”We need to change so we can remain the same.” Dorothy SerrityWhat the hell, Dotty? That makes no sense. In fact, I think you’re just juxtaposing seemingly opposing concepts in order to get your quote mentioned in this column that is loosely based on change. Need to change so we can remain the same? Jesus, that’s the worst. Out! “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” Vince LombardiVinnie? Shut up.Barry Smith’s column appears on Mondays.