Somebody Say Something

It was absolutely critical to the story that we knew which day of the week this story was based on. No, it wasn’t. Why do people have to do that? Is it some sort of inferiority complex where they have to show they have better command of their memory or something?

Let people talk and let them be responsible for their own details. I can’t tell you how disturbing it is to hear someone “correct” someone else as if it’s their job to monitor truth and accuracy. Don’t teach your kids oneupsmanship by being that way. Kids that were raised with that kind of pressure make such irritating adults. Do the world a favor.

Most of us have an inner voice that tells us what’s really important and what’s not. However, all day long other people will try to tell you what you should think is important and what you should immediately improve upon or address.

If the personal filter that you run these thoughts through doesn’t kick out an urgent response then tell that person to take a hike. We all have family, friends, supervisors, and peers that will gladly pressure us into things if we are always willing to react to their priorities.

Find your own and let them react to you. Thrust: “Better get your storm windows in before this weekend!” Parry: “I have weeks before the cold weather gets here. If I don’t get to it this weekend, I will probably next. Thanks for the tip, but I got it covered.”

Don’t make scenes in restaurant or banks or places where the person you are yelling at is simply a server or a teller. The victim of your heat is likely a minimum wage worker trying to earn a few bucks. They didn’t screw up your kid’s happy meal or erroneously charge you the bank’s late fee.

When you go off like that you make everyone uncomfortable. There are ways of asking questions and making inquiries that are not nasty or attention getting. Remember that old Golden Rule thing about doing unto others? Put it in play here, bubba.

Stop worrying about what they guy in the next car thinks of you. Turn up that radio and sing, man. Let ‘em hear you outside. Is there anything wrong with enjoying a song so much that you drop you inhibitions and go with it? I love seeing people playing air drums or belting out that last high note while they sit at a red light. Let it flow baby; just let it out.

And while we’re talking about music, it’s a fully baked fact that today’s music cannot even hold a candle to the love songs, ballads, and stirring melodies of the years that preceded the ’60s. Don’t even try to challenge that.

Every time my kids play rap I ask the same question, “Is that a song?” “Of course,” they say. “Okay… then sing it,” I finish, as they realize that noise can’t be sung. Then I return my lance to the scabbard. “Ha!” I bellow. They simply shake their heads.

Here’s a big one. Stand and deliver when your turn comes around. When the cards deal you an opportunity to maybe deliver a speech, introduce a guest, etc., rise to the occasion and do a good job. Don’t be weak and cop out. Suck it up and sell it, man.

Be yourself, but put it all out there. “Please forgive my nervousness, I am not used to public speaking but tonight I have the honor of introducing our special guest lecturer and I am just proud to share the stage with such a distinguished professional. Let’s all give a big round of applause for…”

Do it big. Sell it. Have fun with it. What are you so afraid of? Take a bite and be bold. Afterwards you’ll feel so good about it and people will respect you for being yourself. C’mon, open those wings and get a little air under ‘em.

Finally, use every opportunity you get to tell the people you love and care about that they are important to you. You don’t have to be schmaltzy and use the big L word that guys struggle with all the time, but you can let people know you care and that they are important to you without turning it into a love fest. It’ll be ten years this month that I lost my dad to a sudden heart attack.

The week before he died I happened to be near my parent’s neighborhood after attending a meeting on that side of town. I thought it had been too long since I stuck my head in and said the kind of things you should gratefully say to your parents once in awhile. You know, those people that gave up their lives to give you one?

So, on a whim, I stopped in for lunch. Nothing like mom’s cooking. My folks walked me back out to my truck after we’d eaten. I hugged them both and they said something about being proud of me and I recall leaving with just the warmest feeling.

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