I don’t know if I ever did the math to figure I’d be alive in 2022 . . . but here I am.
What did I ever learn that prepared me for staying alive in 2022?
Understanding What My Father Used to Say
Well . . . I remember my father telling me the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line. He was right in more than one way.
It made no sense in the 1950’s; it sure does now!
Sometimes a better way to get to my goal, is not to go straight at it.
Being then so full of myself, I dismissed it; decades later, as the years add up, I understand the wisdom of manners — a way to zig and zag in uncertain times.
Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best. Robert Heinlein* *Christians Quoting
In 2022, remembering what my father used to say
Another spot-on observation my father often made that drove me nuts, but now I get:
“There’s nothing more interesting than people.”
Fast forward a few decades I appreciate his point.
And it’s a handy observation I can make when what people are doing leave me speechless.
Of course, being speechless isn’t always a bad thing; that goes along perfectly with one other bit of advice my father often offered:
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.
I recognized the value of that nugget later than I should have. (Because I Don’t Know What to Say )
One final proverb my father repeated back then that is especially cogent for staying alive in 2022 :
We all put our pants on one leg at a time.
He said that so that I might not be over-awed by important people; Isaiah warns me about the same propensity. (Isaiah 2:22)
However, in these bitter times, when fewer and fewer remember to ask God for a guard over our lips, remembering how we all get dressed — powerful or needy —reminds me to quit judging. (There is No Right Person to Hate)
After all, we just may find ourselves in boats together while watching for whales.
Saying Alive in 2022 Means
Happy is she who does not condemn herself in what she approves. (Romans 14:22)
It also means understanding:
What is a human being but a private soul hiding behind a public mask, asking for a little understanding.~Robert Brault
Just like me. And remembering:
Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world. ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Kind people are the best kind of people. ~Author Unknown