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|The Most Powerful
Word in Creation
Once in a while we each do something that can only be labeled as – euphemistically speaking – “less than intelligent.” It has nothing to do with age or maturity. Knowledge of right and wrong is not the issue. It’s just that – well, at least for me - something shuts off my brain and drives me nuts. Even though I know I’m going to hate myself later, I accelerate over the cliff without regard for consequences.
Picture this day: You have a minor cold. Well, at least it’s called “minor.” In reality, it’s only “minor” when someone else has it. When it’s your minor cold, it’s a raging beast that invades your life and crashes though everything. Your nose is runny and you can’t stop sneezing long enough to get out a complete sentence. Your head is stuffed with cotton. Therefore you didn’t get any sleep and you’re tired - with an achy back. What you really want is to climb back into bed and make the world go away. Instead, being the good trooper you are, your day becomes a monotonous, frustrating, parade of annoying telemarketing phone calls, junk e-mail, late ap-pointments (throwing off an already tight schedule of other appointments), a broken dishwasher, a sick child (where do you think you caught the cold?), and three projects you’re trying to com-plete – all due yesterday. At day’s end (not soon enough), your spouse comes home, heads to the refrigerator and – innocently enough – asks, “Didn’t you go to the grocery store? I don’t have any beer.”
OK. Time to freeze the clock. In all honestly – and on a better day – wouldn’t your spouse’s question be looked at as relatively harmless – albeit insensitive? There wasn’t an ulterior motive, aside from what beer does of course. It’s a simple fact-gathering question dealing with the reali-ties of life in our modern times at the end of a hard day at work. However, as referenced, that’s on a better day. Antihistamines, lack of sleep, and sticky, stinky back rub medicine has clouded your judgment. You’re redlining and that seemingly simple question could be the final RPM to over-load the engine.
You are now faced with two choices:
1) Take a deep breath. Relax your muscles and tell your loving understanding spouse of 13 years that although it was your plan to get to the grocery store, life kicked in and you didn’t get a chance. You’re sorry. You’ll work it in at the next available opportunity – or provide car keys with directions to the grocery store tonight. And by the way, it’s been a long day and you could really use 15 minutes of solitude, a hug, and a hot bath.
2) You roll your eyes, exhale impatiently, and grit your teeth. Balling your hands into white-knuckled fists, you take a deep breath (sneezing during the process), and blast your partner with a string of words your mother taught you never to say. Moreover, you insult IQ, your spouse’s history, your lack of judgment when you decided to marry in the first place, the laziness of the opposite gender – as well as the results on your spouse’s waist-line already incurred by past beer consumed. Upon releasing this terrible, terrifying, tor-rent of temperament, you turn on your heels, sneeze twice, and storm into your room - slamming the door hard enough to knock paint off the wall.
Let’s analyze the results expected from each option. Number one gets peace and help – maybe even a little closeness. Choice number two has nothing going for it and will probably drive the two of you into four days of silence, solitude, and sleeping in separate rooms. The decision is obvious.
So why do you choose number two?
After several hours have passed and you’ve had a chance to think, you try to figure out “why?” The results were pre-ordained. It’s not like this is the first time this has happened. Yet, knowing what was going to happen, you still opted to jump in with both boot-clad feet and mix it up. All you really wanted was help, patience, and support. Now you have none. But you do have the house to yourself.
Without getting into a discussion about the selfishness of your spouse or deep psychological dis-cussions about anger really being a mask for an inability to ask for help, it’s worth understanding how to avoid this all-too-common scenario.
I direct you to the use of the most powerful word in creation. Granted, that’s a pretty strong statement. I mean it’s not like I called it the “second most powerful word in creation” or even the “most powerful word in several parts of East Texas.” This is one dang powerful declaration dressed deceivingly in the simplicity of three letters.
(At this point, trumpets blast and the clouds part.) The word is (are you excited yet?):
I know what’s happening right now. You’re scratching your
head, looking contemptuously at “WOW” thinking, “That’s
ridiculous. How can a word as simplistic as ‘WOW’ be that
powerful? It’s so, so, er, um, - anti-climatic. Where’s
the pomp? Where’s the drama? How can three letters (actually,
two with one repeated) change the direction of my domestic tranquility?”
Don't WEIGHT to live your dreams!