I will always remember Mark Haines as one of the few individuals on television who, just when I was thinking "I wish someone would speak up about fill-in-the-blank," actually did speak up about just that. He made me laugh, he gave me hope that not everyone on television was a marketing automaton, and I will miss him.
Below is a link to Forbes' Eric Jackson excellent blog entry "Why Mark Haines was Special."
In any given time, there are numerous platitudes peppering the white noise of our lives. They come from religious leaders, philosophers, famous athletes, song titles and all sorts of popular culture sources. They shift from the ones in vogue in your parent's lifetimes to the ones that are sick in your children's. What doesn't change is why they are there. Like metaphorical Burma Shave signs, they hang out hoping the viewer will take action. Most of the time, other than a small laugh or acknowledgement of a saying's "correctness;" we don't take action. Most of the time, in fact, we do the exact opposite.
"That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger"
"Don't worry, be happy"
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"
"Time heals all wounds"
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
"Success is the best revenge"
How many times have you watched someone cling to one of those, almost like a life raft, only to need it once again just a short time later? If they actually work; if they actually have power; should we need to repeat them again and again like a meditative mantra?
It's because we simply pay lip service to the platitude and focus on the problem that led us to the saying in the first place. Whatever unhappiness, inadequacy, pain, suffering, lack - whatever unpleasant truth we have encountered; we clutch it to our bosoms and keep it alive much like an addict who promises himself he will seek help: tomorrow. Instead of embracing life and fighting for our happiness, we revel in sad songs, complaining about nearly everything and no matter how many bumper sticker self help sayings we know, we secretly believe this IS the best it can be. Most of us are so negative that we don't even recognize it when we speak it.
So how about this?
Whatever platitude is currently stalking you, whispering to your subconscious for you to take action; why not follow the advice? Just like we know that if we actually DO floss, it is better for your teeth. Your mouth feels better, your breath smells better and your teeth last longer. So what if an apple a day actually does make you "healthy, wealthy and wise?" What if all of your combined suffering actually has made you like Captain America in a crisis? What if the pain you feel from the boyfriend who dumped you really won't even be a blip on your radar next year?
Think about it.
If you knew that everything will work itself out and this too shall pass; if you really knew it like it had already happened; would you bother wasting your time grousing about it today?
Hell no. You'd go out and enjoy the beautiful day with a song in your heart and a smile on your face.
So why not?
Go out into the beautiful day with a smile on your face.
I'm going to.
Of course, the platitude that has been dogging my footsteps?
"Be the change you want to see in the world . . . . "