Was it Winston Churchill? Rahm Emmanuel? Another pundit? Whomever first offered “never waste a serious crisis” raised an intriguing point. Our ~ 70 lockdown days since March mornings in America have offered some things NOT to waste. This CoVID-19 lockdown has impacted millions of our countrymen in unhealthy and unwell ways. That is certain. We may never account for all objective and subjective losses endured by individuals, communities and our great society in these most trying of months.Stay tuned…
Platitudes, like my title line, can weave their way into Americans’ survival creeds. You know some of these listed platitudes which linger in tough times, and around commencement dates too:
- If given a lemon, make lemonade.
2. It was meant to be. Or, c’est la vie.
3. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.
4. What didn’t kill me mkes me stronger.
5. After a storm the sun will shine.
6. What’s done is done.
7. Life doesn’t give you things you can’t handle
8. We’re all in this together
9. Just think about how much worse other people have it, and
a fave of mine from Admiral McRaven:
10. Make your bed.
If folks are like me, platitudes are powerful. They have clout because they are simple, memorable and get repeated often. I rarely find platitudes boring, trite or lightweight.
Students of mine have mentioned that David Letterman resembles me, or vice versa. We are boomers. We wear eyeglasses. We are fairly tall. We make and share Top Ten Lists. Sure, he gained a few more followers than me in his heyday, so I’m not his doppelganger.
Letterman’s September 7th, 1993 list is germane for KABOOMERS and perhaps for laughing in the future face of death:
September 7, 1993
Top Ten bad things about living longer
10. Seems like every time you turn around that damn Halley's comet is back 9. Would see great, great, great grandchildren marry moon men 8. (See Richards, Keith) 7. Shoulder-length ear hair 6. If you're a Mets fan you'd rather go early 5. More fantasies about Buddy Ebsen 4. Every time you sneeze, you break your hip 3. Eventually it's your turn to marry Zsa Zsa 2. While you grow to love Beavis, Butthead becomes almost unbearable 1. All the shoes.
And, now to my own Top Ten List why my CoVID-19 clampdown wasn’t 100% sucky:
10. I learned that I didn’t get bored with board games
9. I don’t read about the NY Mets or any other Sports team, becuase there isn’t a sports page in my paper
8. I may rise in the amateur rankings for Word Jumble solutions
7. My epidermis endured my protracted Effudex applications for pre-cancerous skin damage
6. My Church attendance (though virtual) improved
5. I learned that I can do pretty well at slower clock speeds or RPMs
4. I re-learned how to write cursive
3. I read CAMUS for the first time
2. I’ve learned how to meet our grand-kids on CARIBU
- My wife doesn’t think that I’ve gotten any weirder during this “BIG WEIRD.” And, I do make our Bed!
I haven’t wasted this Crisis, though some of my “efficiency” has been plain ‘ol Lady Luck.
I hope that you too have been able to laugh in the face of future death.
Live long and prosper,