A V-formation flock of geese seems to have one member of the group as the leader, but each member takes its turn at the point of the V, leading the way as the others in the formation honk in encouragement. The geese stay together, even when one becomes sick or injured; the group stays with it until it is well enough to continue the journey at its regular pace.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
A BIT OF ADVICE
My sessions with the physical therapist always start with
twenty minutes in a darkened room with a compression ice machine attached to my
knee.Other than feeling like I'm in a
refrigerator this is a relaxing time to just think before I begin a rigorous
physical workout to strengthen my knee and relearn how to walk.During my last session my thoughts turned to
some of the advice my parents and others have given me through the years.Much of it was in the form of clichés, but
over the years I've found truth in some of their advice, sometimes humor, and
I've even found myself repeating these cautionary words of advice to my
children and grandchildren. Though some of this advice has proved helpful, I've
also found some well meaning advice to be completely useless, but memorable.
More and more I find truth in the advice my dad gave me when
he taught me to drive."Every other
car has a drunk behind the wheel and the one in between is driven by a fool,"
he advised me as he attempted to teach me caution.And "Never argue the right of way with a
truck; there's no value in being dead right."
When I used to run and was feeling badly because I'm not a
fast runner, my brother gave me this bit of advice, "You don't have to be
the fastest runner.If a bear is chasing
you, you only have to be faster than one other runner."
I overheard a son-in-law giving this advice to a nephew just
before his nephew's wedding."There
are only two rules you have to follow to have a good marriage. Rule one--she's
right.Number two--refer to rule
My mother always cautioned me to like and respect
myself.She said if I didn't I couldn't
expect anyone else to.
Whenever I tried to rush through a task, Mama always asked
me, "If you don't have time to do the job right, when will you find time
to do it over?"
My Grandpa Snowball was an interesting man who led an
interesting life and built many of the dams and bridges in Idaho and
Wyoming.He was seldom without a thick
wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth.He
also had a parrot that knew every swear word ever invented.He advised me to eat pie and ice cream for
breakfast so I'd get the milk, eggs, and fruit I needed to grow strong. Grandma
advised him to keep his vulgar-mouthed parrot locked up when the grandkids
A classmate in high school advised me to take up drinking
since I planned to be a writer.He
assured me that only alcoholics who live in unheated attics become successful
Somewhere I picked up some sound advice against becoming a
know-it-all or paying too much attention to opinionated people: "Those who
know the least know it the loudest."
I've been told by more than one person in the
writing/publishing field that a writer should pick one genre and stick to it,
"establish your brand as one particular type of writer".I haven't done this and I'm glad.Writers who follow this advice may achieve
more fame and make more money than I have, but I've had a grand time writing
for every section of the newspaper, dabbling in magazine articles, delving into
short stories, and researching and writing novels in half a dozen different
When I was a college student someone gave me a little framed
motto for my birthday.It said
"Anything worth doing, is worth doing for money."At the time I thought it was very clever and
hung it on my wall.Now the motto that
graces the door to my office is one given to me by Cheri Crane, a fellow
writer.It reads, "I'm a woman of
many moods, and they all require chocolate."How my understanding of great advice has
changed over the years!
There is some advice that seems to be timeless and we're all
familiar with "Don't start a trip without clean underwear for in case
you're in an accident" and "If your friends jumped off a cliff, would
you jump too?"Cliché, but they
still provoke thought. I've shared a small part of the advice I grew
up with.Now I'd love it if you'd tell
me of the memorable advice you've received.