Category: Life Skills

When to Fight and When to Fold ’em

I’m not a fighter.

If someone were to attack me I would just curl up in a ball and try to protect my vital organs.  I tried Tae Kwon Do to remedy that back in high school but I still find it easier to curl up in a ball.  I’m not lazy, but I just figure even dirtbags would feel dirty if they were kicking a helpless man curled up in a ball and may stop sooner than wasting more time provoking them.  I never won arm wrestles either which was embarrassing, especially in front of girls and even worse when I was the one challenging someone.

I’m not a fighter – physically.

I learned early that the battles of this world are not fought physically but that there was a greater force at work that I could not explain.  First of all, why were they kicking me in the first place?

Let us turn for a second study someone who knows more about this topic than anyone else – God Almighty – Jesus the Lord.

One of the greatest battles of history (I almost typed ‘Epic Rap Battles of History… go to Youtube to figure out why that’s funny in a bad way’) was when Jesus defeated Satan on the earth in Round 1 in the book of Matthew chapter  4.  Here Satan tries to make Jesus fold ’em and take the bait with the hook.  Note that Satan didn’t sucker punch Jesus or beat him like a rented mule when no one was looking.  He leaves that kind of buffoon work for his underlings.  He used words.  He cut right to the core of the human vulnerabilities and used manipulation skills in an attempt to achieve his nefarious goals .

And that’s the battle we face.  Words and manipulation for selfish gain.

So our battles are, at the core, battles of the words (not much unlike Epic Rap Battles of History…. I really gotta stop promoting these guys but it’s hard)

Good manipulators don’t put anything in writing.

Companies hesitate to put in writing anything other than that which will benefit them.  I told my mom to call up her ISP and try to get a new modem and a better rate.  I told her to get them to email the quote to her and then she could forward it to me for approval.  When I asked her for the quote later that day she said, ‘They weren’t allowed to put it in writing but they gave me a faster download speed and bundled something with it.”  Not surprised I then asked, “And the new modem?”  She informed me that the company ‘doesn’t have new modems like the one she has but only modem routers’.  Gimme a break.  She ended up with a plan that will save her a bit of money now but, at the end of the fine print (and there is always fine print) she will likely pay more.

Lawyers know this, too. They are Wordsters.  They can word you into certain death or they can word you right out of a mess. They can outword anyone and using a language that only they know.

With that preface, now that we agree the battles are with words, what battles should we fight and which ones should we pass up?

I believe that if your battle is for selfish gain you won’t have any long term joy from the victory.  If your battle is just simply to take someone down that you will spend your energy and time and even when you are done, you won’t have made any great significance in the world.

If your battle is to pave the way for helping others in the same boat as you, and your victory will not only help yourself but many who come after you, then you must fight.  You cannot avoid your duty to put on the verbal gloves and wordcraft your way to victory.  So what do two examples look like?

The classic example of a battle not worth fighting is the divorce battle.  Obviously I’m completely against divorce from the get-go, but for those who have chosen this path, read on.  The sick stories that I’ve heard related to one ex trying to destroy the other ex seem like they are from a twisted Hollywood movie.  The only people who win in these stories are the lawyers.  And I’m not talking about a ‘fair divorce’ (if such a thing were possible) where both sides divvy up the bounty.  I’m talking about divorcing but then going that extra step to make sure there is salt in the other person’s wound.  Forget it! Move on.  Seek God and He will heal your heart, not auctioning off your ex’s motorcycle for a dollar.

I’m not saying that I agree completely with where many unions seem to have gone in the last few decades, but I think they are a good example of a battle that was worth fighting.  Unions formed because companies were abusing people.  Companies that have only their own selfish gain in mind are still very much present and, oh yes, right here in Canada, right here in Vancouver.  Unions used peaceful demonstrations, and words of negotiations.  No punching (well I’m sure a few angry union dudes lost their cool).  No beating of rented mules.

So, I recommend using a basic gauge for your battle.  Will others benefit from your battle?  Will you be helping others beside yourself?

If the answer is ‘yes’ then by all means go down fighting and die trying if you must.  Take a round-house kick to the head for the team.  Curl up in a ball and let them boot-smack you.

But if you are the only ‘winner’ in the battle, pack up, fold the cards and move on – your battle is in vain.

 

 

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Our Generation: Dude, somebody should probably go save her.

So I’m reading a news article (rare) when I come across this article about some chick (is that politically correct?) who got swept away (literally).

I think the point of the article was to confirm that the woman didn’t end up falling off the corner of the earth but it got me thinking about the true  meaning of this video.  You really need to take a minute to watch this. You can start watching at 30 seconds in to get the point.

At first I chuckled the same way as the 99% of the other people watching and filming and did a short belly laugh when the goofy sounding drunk college student said these words

Dude.  Somebody should probably go save her.

So I watched the video again and noticed that not only were there many people standing around on the other side of the torrent but there were a lot of voices near the camera too.

Nobody went to save her.

Then I started thinking about his words ‘somebody’.

Who is somebody?  Isn’t the goofy voice guy somebody?  Oh… I get it.  It’s the ‘general somebody’.  It’s the same ‘somebody’ we blame for all of the mishaps and failings of the world.

“Somebody should run for politics who isn’t corrupt.”

“Somebody should really come up with a win-win way of doing business.”

Somebody‘s best friend is ‘they‘.  They and somebody are clones – one and the same person.

“They should really do something about the government wastage in this country.”

“They should really create legislation to stop large corporations from ruining people’s lives.”

“I heard that they‘ve found a cure for cancer.”

“They should really come up with a kind of computer that has higher security and doesn’t violate you privacy and get lots of viruses.  Oh wait.. they did.”

It’s also interesting to note the use of ‘dude’ in this video.  Is he speaking to his friend, a ‘dude’?  No.  He’s speaking to the ‘general dude’ which in turn means that he’s speaking out loud to himself and anyone else who might like to hear his thoughts.  Here are a few more examples of such usage of ‘dude’:

Dude! Check out that couple tongue wrestling by the mailbox.”

“Oh, dude.  I can’t believe I forgot my textbook.”

Dude…. *tokes reefer*… I’m like so stoned.”

So, in a complete sports-commentary-style analysis of Goofy-Guy’s statement:

Dude: I’m now vocalizing and pointing attention my internal thoughts so others can hear and discuss them

Somebody: someone other than myself, the general somebody, the un-faced somebody upon whom I blame for the bad things of the world

should: a word that removes certainty, a conditional recommendation, a suggestion to be considered but not necessarily acted upon

go save her: the command given to go and save this woman from a frozen posterior and possibly death

Why didn’t Goofy-Guy just turn to his friend and say ‘GO SAVE HER!’  It’s obvious she needed saving.  She was rocketing down a street in frozen water, unable to stop, freezing her butt cheeks off.  He didn’t say this because it would project the responsibility and guilt of not doing the right thing onto someone else.  That might make them feel uncomfortable.  And making someone feel uncomfortable in Canada is akin to genocide.

Why didn’t he say “I’M GOING TO SAVE HER!”  Because he didn’t care enough.  The empathy level towards this woman was enough to vocalize concern but not enough to take action.  His conscience at least recognized he should do something but he was more concerned about staying warm and hanging with his friends, while assuming that Mr. Somebody was already taking care of her salvation somewhere down this newly-formed river.

Dude.  Somebody should probably go save her.

Just when you thought Goofy-Guy and Torrential Tracy had been analyzed enough, I started thinking again.  The image of this woman standing strong, yet in an obviously stupid position of risk, and then being swept away to possible destruction stuck in my mind.

Why was Torrential Tracy standing there in the first place?  Why was she trying to cross?  Was she showing her bravery?  Was she late for her class?

And where were her friends of reason standing on the side screaming at her to stop being stupid and come back to safety?  Maybe she was alone.

I started thinking of the foolishness of youth.  We put ourselves in obvious risk of danger every day.  Where are the wise elders to stop us from wading out into the torrents?  Where is the voice of reason?  And when we slip and foolishly get swept into the sea of sin and destruction, where are the people to reach out a hand?

I’m guilty.

I’m the proverbial Goofy-Guy in the video who said:

Dude.  Somebody should probably go save her.

And I’m sorry, Torrential Tracy.

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Why the Crapital Letters?

So there I am typing an email to someone who sits somewhere between a friend, an acquaintance and a business partner.  I had begun the email typing very quickly, not even taking the time to hit the shift key to capitalize his name.

At the end of the email, as is customary, I nailed the shift key and typed my ‘W’.  That’s short for ‘Wayne’ if you are curious.  Just before I pressed send, I realized that my recipient’s name was underlined by the browser’s spell check feature, but my ‘W’ wasn’t.  Immediately, I thought ‘This will look bad if my name is capitalized but his name is not.”

Then the real thought struck me:

Why are the names of mortals like us capitalized at all?

I did a search in a major search engine and to my surprise, I couldn’t find an article on this topic.  I could find many articles about how and when to use capital letters, but not why we use them.

I can understand capitalizing God’s name because God is God – He is worthy of a capital letter -He created the heavens, the earth and all that is therein.  But not me.  Nope. I’m not worthy of a capital letter – my poop stinks and I talk too much.  I’m not worthy of having my name distinguished as if I have done some great thing in this world.  And even if I had done some great thing in this world that some human thought was important, did that warrant a capital like God?  Did I create flowers and DNA and the stars and the moon or a newborn babe or the eagle soaring in the air? Methinks not.

Don’t get me wrong. I think people are important.  I think they are so important that God sent His own Son Jesus to die for them, for crying out loud;  You don’t see Him doing that for pigs or cows – not that they don’t have their place in creation.  So people are dearly important. However, I think it’s arrogance and ego that started the capital letters on people’s names. Let’s humble ourselves a bit and not think of ourselves as so great.

So, starting today, I encourage you to start removing the capital letter from all these people’s names.  If they would allow you to put their thoughts and the rotten condition of their heart on a big screen, the world would quickly see (in HD quality) that they do not deserve a capital letter.  So, backspace, type your boss’ names again without the capital.  Be sure to include a link to this article so they don’t blame you for this act of what they will probably consider defiance, rudeness or lack of English language proficiency.

If you don’t buy into the theological reasons for killing the crapitals, at the end of the day, think how much faster you could type if you didn’t have to hit the bloody shift key for every ‘proper name’.

-wayne taylor, december, 2012

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How do you pronounce the word Ubuntu?

First, why does it matter?

One time a woman named ‘Pam’ got very angry at me for calling her ‘Pamela’.  It didn’t matter to me, but it mattered to her.  It’s kind of like when you’re talking on your phone really loudly but don’t realize it until other peoples’ eye daggers start piercing your vital organs.  It’s kind of like putting your dirty feet on someone’s chair. If it negatively affects others, it matters.

What about foreign words?  Well, there are three choices:

  1. Say it right or do your best trying and continually try to improve towards the correct pronunciation each time you try)
  2. Make a word for it in your own language (like how the Americans changed ‘croissant’ to ‘crescent roll’)
  3. Shut your pie-hole

Number three is hard if you need to talk about the subject, and number two makes you look culturally arrogant. Option number 1 is the best way to win friends and influence people – say it right or die trying.

Let’s run the scenario with a name.  Let’s choose a Korean name like Eun Kyung Shin.

With option 3 (above) you will have to forever avoid talking about poor Ms. Shin.  You’ll have to use words like ‘you’ and ‘her’ and ‘your friend’ and ‘your wife’.  Eventually she will figure out you don’t know or can’t say the name and this will usually happen down the road and make for a more difficult recovery.

With option 2, after she says, “My name is Eun Kyung Shin” you say ‘So what’s your English name?  Annie?”  Enough said.

With option 1 you will embarrass the snot out of yourself trying to learn the name, but a breakthrough will eventually come and that person will love you for trying and finally getting it right.

So how is this related to Ubuntu?

It’s OO-BOON-TOO.

It’s an African word.

It matters.

Stop saying it incorrectly and demonstrating your ignorance.

Quit saying “That’s how we say it down here.” and showcasing your arrogance.

Learn it.  It’s super easy.  It’s easier than the version you are working so hard to defend.  They are long vowel sounds that a baby can slobber.  It’s all the same long u sound as in ‘cartoon’ or ‘soon’ or ‘He mooned me’.

OOOOOOOOOOOOO-

BOOOOOOOOOOON-

TOOOOOOOOOOOO

So if you ended up at this post, don’t be offended.  Just learn it.  Thank the person who sent you here to get schooled.

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Your Feet Were Made for Stinking, Not Sitting

feet_on_Chair

I’m baffled that this topic has been so discussed in my circle that I had to write an article to direct people to in the future.  I hope that this article will save you a lot of time and energy should you have to deal with these people as customers in your food establishment or as friends in your living room.

The only tricky part will have to figure out is how to deliver this post to them without offending them.  It’s the same dilemma we face when we need to let our colleague know they have something between their teeth or sewer breath. If you are like me, though, you won’t worry about offending them but will revel in the fact that you have helped them on their journey to becoming a better human.  You have not offended them, you have helped them.  You have added value to their life.

The discussion started between BitBar (Bitter Barista) and a customer.  BitBar pointed to a lady who was sitting cross-legged on one of the chairs in his cafe.  She had removed her shoes completely and was sitting on her bare feet which were in full contact with the chair.  It looked as if she was in her own living room.  Here is approximately how the dialogue went:

BitBar: Look at that.  Isn’t that disgusting?  Would you put your stinky bare feet on someone’s chair like that?

Customer: I wouldn’t do it personally but you have to let it go because that’s what girls in Vancouver do.

BitBar: Are you serious?  You think it’s ok that her stinking bare feet are on my chair?  Would you be alright with that if I did it in your living room?

Customer: Well, I wouldn’t do it but I’d probably accept it.  I mean at least she took her shoes off

BitBar: So the dirt from the road is better on my chair than the fungus-stench from between her toes?

And the dialogue went on like that.

Let me conclude the matter for you all.

Like Public Display of Affection (PDA) (ie. french kissing, fondling, etc) some people (most) don’t want to see it.  It’s simply not for public.  Keep your tongue in your mouth and your hands out of other people’s pants when you’re not in a hotel or the privacy of your own home.

Your feet are no different.  They are gross.  They are both sick and wrong.

Look how angry the disciples got when Jesus asked them to wash His feet –  And those were divine feet.  Last time I looked at my feet, I felt nauseous.  The last sock that was near my nose made me want to hurl.

So keep those beasts on the floor and locked safely in your shoes until you unleash them in your own home or at the beach.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Your friends, family and baristas sincerely appreciate it.

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