#11

“The wise prudent man will draw a useful lesson even from poison itself, whilst the precepts of the wisest man mean nothing to the thoughtless.” Lokman

I came across this quote in an excerpt from Yusef Komunyakaa’s journal in a book called “The Poet’s Notebook” (1995). I’ll claim ignorance on the Lokman-Aesop history, but reading about who they were has been interesting, enlightening, and entertaining. Learning is everywhere and the quote suggests that there are lessons to be learned if only we remain open to the opportunity to learn.

Given the present state of affairs in the United States (and I suspect the rest of the world…throughout all of history), I would hope the people are wise and prudent in the acceptance of the messages sent by:

Republicans-Democrats…
Politicians-Activists…
Special Interest Groups-Religions…
Foreign Governments-Our Government…

Unless we seek to understand the motivations and messages of those who control everything, they will continue to rule us in the hyperkinetic way that does nothing more than confuse us. That is their poison, know that and deny personal and collective thoughtlessness. Only through thoughtful action can the present turmoils be alleviated.

#10

“Don’t talk too much. Don’t pop off. Don’t talk after the game until you cool off.” Bear Bryant

Microphones are dangerous tools. They amplify everything that passes through them. Imagine being a jilted lover and then having the responsibility of praising the individual who ran roughshod over your trust. How awful would it be to have the duty to say something nice while knowing that the bully pulpit was just a breath away? How many of us could resist the opportunity to say something asinine, to keep from exorcising the demon of anger in a public forum with the loudspeaker that a microphone is?

It went just that way when a young man thought he could travel just a few miles down the road and taste joys of life in relative anonymity. He found delights with another while believing in the stealth that his professed love of another allowed him. He did not count on social media and the relative nearness of his dalliance to give him away. Now he stood before his angry ex while she looked at him with those scorned eyes, holding a microphone, and acting like she might say something nice about his sporting team.

She knew better. Her plan was to take her shot without making her pain too public. All who knew, however, would understand the violence in her words. She spoke with the glee appropriate for a pep rally and the anger appropriate for the wronging he had placed on her. But her little speech, one meant to dig and go for the gallows laugh, ran over the audience and caused collateral damage. Others felt her pain as their own without a bit of sympathy for her due to his original sin.

Pain gave rise to more pain. The microphone had been the instrument to cause the greater aches. Never again, never again…