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Here are a few off-hand, real-life quotes that found a target with me. Don't leave home without them.
The first is about "challenges". When we go for a job interview, or meet with the boss for a "career objectives" talk, we are obliged to put on a song and dance about how much we love a challenge. "Yep... keeps the ol' body, mind and soul in tip-top shape! Give me a good half a dozen or more challenges per day, yessiree!"
A former co-worker, Rob Myhre, uttered possibly the first-ever honest words on the matter:
"I say the feeling of not knowing if you can really do what you have to do is vastly overrated."
And when a job doesn't go smoothly as we'd like, we find ourselves nagged with the question of whether we "did our best." Once again, our pal Rob Myhre laid this one to rest with the logically indisputable:
"I know I did the best I could because, if I could have done better, I would have."
The most succinct statement explaining, well... everything, in this crazy world we've cobbled up is credited to another former co-worker, Bruce Allen, a.k.a. Claude. He said, and I quote:
"Life . . . is a shell game."
Here are some quotes from people I don't know personally. Sorry about the oppressive negativity but, in my experience, they are right on target.
The first relates to the supportiveness (ha!) we shower upon each other nowadays. Bob Dylan said this in a radio interview from the early 1980s:
"Man, if you ever don't want to do somethin', just tell somebody. They'll give you a thousand reasons."
Padded out version: "Man, if you ever don't want to do something, just tell [people about your idea.] They'll give you a thousand reasons [why not to do it.]"
Translation: If you ever have in mind to do something, keep it to yourself. Just do it.
My own corollary: Man, if you ever don't want a little sympathy, just tell somebody [about your problem(s).] They'll give you a thousand reasons [why it's all your own stupid fault, anyway.]
Along the same lines as Dylan's quote above, here's one from a Church of the SubGenius sermon (I guess you'd call it):
Any idiot can find something wrong with anything. That's what makes them idiots!
David Boaz delivered this zinger when apprehended by the D.C. police in April 2001 for driving without a seat-belt:
There are 300 murders a year in the District, but at least you got me.
Karl Hess was a "quintessential conservative" from the years 1948 to 1964. He was an advisor on Congressional politics to the Eisenhower Administration; principal writer of the 1960 and 1964 Republican national platforms; and ghostwriter for most major conservative politicians, including Goldwater, Nixon and Ford. In the 1970s, his political ideas shifted to anarchy. His July 1976 Playboy interview is an invigorating romp through the mind of a free thinker and political insider. The thing drips with great quotes, but most power-packed for me is where Hess defends Gerald Ford's intelligence. To get the full effect, you have to understand that Hess is not being a jokester or wise-guy; he speaks completely matter-of-factly.
PLAYBOY: How about his intellectual abilities? Johnson is quoted as having said, "Jerry Ford is so dumb he can't walk and chew gum at the same time."
HESS: Although Ford is not a terribly bright man, his intellectual ability is sufficient for a relatively unimportant job like President. However, I don't think he has the brains to be a truck driver.
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