Filed under: 1, 2, 3, 4... Lists, Cabbages and Kings, Oh, Mother ..., Take It Or Leave Me | Tags: armchair psychology, bond between parent and child, change, change is coming, change is in the air, common phrases, common sayings, common wisdom, dying for your child, i live for, i'd die for, i'd kill for, i've got a feeling, loving your child, motherhood, ominous words, the everyday, the mundane, the thoughtless, travel, wisdom
I feel a change coming.
What ominous words.
But it’s the truth – there’s something – is it internal, or external? Or existential? Or… what? I don’t know. But I feel it. It’s one of those feelings – the invisible tremor, like the beginnings of an earthquake. The tension right before a volcano erupts. It’s big, whatever it is.
I lay in bed trying to fall asleep at night, and most of the time I’m thinking about things I want to write about. Or I’m waking up, laying there thinking about things I’ve just dreamt about, trying to make sense of them. Either way, I should be writing more. As usual, I scold myself aloud for not doing so the moment I actually decide to do it. What does that do? Except remind me each time I read something that I’ve written that I always wish I wrote more.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about wisdom, and how there is so much of it. Most of that wisdom is recited like… a national anthem or something, or the Lord’s prayer, and not really relied on or thought about. And some sayings, well, people should just feel stupid using them when they don’t actually mean them. Like, “I would kill for that”, or “I’d die for that/him/her/one of those”. Or, “I live for ___”. Or, “I’d die without _____”. Shut up. Would you really?
Let me tell you something. There is very little I would kill or die for in this world. I guess I used to think there was a lot I would, like a stranger or whatever, but who has the luxury of dying in such a heroic manner? That’s selfish, now that I have a child. Everything’s selfish. I wanted to go to the Congo, live there, work there, advocate for women and against sexual violence. But I don’t want to die there, which is a possibility. If I were a woman, married or otherwise, but didn’t have a child, I’d be there right now. I’d be in Cambodia teaching ESL to young girls rescued from brothels, or assisting however I could with teenage childbirth in Africa or survivors of honor killings in Yemen – but now, I can’t. It’s selfish. Priorities change. I’m not willing to be the ones willing to sacrifice the happiness of one child – mine – to save a trillion more. I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t.
She is what I would kill for. I would put a gun to someone’s head, a knife to someone’s throat – I would pull the trigger, I would sink the blade. I would do anything – kill anyone – if I had to, if my child was in danger. I would even kill myself, if allowed to trade my life for hers. That is what it REALLY means, to say you’d die or something or someone. I would die for my daughter. I would die in her place. I would die for her safety, I would die for the most significant, most important, most magical, most EVERYTHING in my life. My child. I would kill for my child. I would kill and kill and spend the rest of my life in jail if need be, to keep her safe.
She is the reason. Here’s another one. “I live for ______”. I don’t live for ice cream, or trips to Europe, or watching the Olympics, or the best Thai food in the world, or Jodi Picoult books, or whatever other cheesy fluff one might fill in that blank with. How can you say that? THAT is what you LIVE for? What a sad, sad existence. I live for my daughter. I would die without her. I live for her – because I’ve fought debilitating depression, because I’ve endured abuse, because I often feel like a failure with nothing to live for – wait – no, that’s not true. I LIVE FOR HER. I wake up, I try to better myself, I do the things I don’t want to do, I push myself, I strive to find happiness in whatever form it will take me. That is called living. And I do it for her. I’d die without ____. I’d die without her. Gun in my mouth, knife at my wrist, noose around my neck, 30 story building. I. Would. Die. Without. My. Child.
Does that clear this up for you? The absurdity of the way we use words so carelessly? How do you use yours?
Forgive and forget. A house is not a home. A penny saved is a penny earned. All things come to those who wait. All that glitters is not gold. You reap what you sow. Better safe than sorry. Better late than never. Birds of a feather flock together. The early bird gets the worm. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Don’t burn your bridges behind you. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Learn to crawl before you learn to walk. Easy come, easy go. Fight fire with fire. Faith will move mountains. First come, first served. Fortune favors the brave. Great minds think alike. Honesty is the best policy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If the shoe fits, wear it. If you want something done well, do it yourself. Beggars can’t be choosers. Ignorance is bliss. It is better to give than to receive. It’s never too late. There’s no use crying over spilt milk. The squeaky wheels gets the grease. Less is more. Let sleeping dogs lie. Like father, like son. Love is blind. Many hands make light work. Misery loves company. Money talks. No news is good news. No pain, no gain. No rest for the wicked. One good turn deserves another. Practice makes perfect. Pride comes before a fall. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Seek and ye shall find. The bet things in life are free. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Safety in numbers. There’s no smoke without a fire. Walls have ears. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Wonders never cease. Enough, is enough.
Have you heard one or some or all of these common sayings? These ‘jewels’ of common wisdom? There you go. You know everything you need to live a long, happy life. Congratulations. Now try thinking about what they actually mean sometime, how they could apply to you, and go from there. You might be surprised at what you find – hidden in the obvious.
1 Comment so far
Leave a comment