Friday, February 13, 2015

Feats of Strength

Shallow men believe in Luck. 
Strong men believe in Cause and Effect.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is Friday the 13th.  For those of us with a superstitious bent, today's appearance on the calendar (and the first of two in a row to boot - Friday, March 13th I can see you from here!) can serve as a tailor-made excuse for failure, frustration and squandered opportunity.  But it can only do so if we allow it to do so.  

Here's the thing - and it is a simple thing.  And being a simple thing, it is the sort of thing that simple-minded rubes such as me cling to, because we can understand it.  I like things that are readily understood.  A reflection on my own under-developed mental acuity no doubt but I do not seem to run into as many of those types of things as I wish I did.  You, perhaps, suffer from the same sense of loss.  

OK, back to the simple thing.  Ready?  Here it is.  We can all serve ourselves and each other better if we just take Emerson's words to heart.  For phuck's sake, all he is requiring us to take to heart is one dozen words.   Two of those twelve are "in".  One of the twelve is "and".  Two of them - "men" and "believe" - are repeated.  Upon further examination, Emerson's Dozen can be pared down to nine different words.  Only nine.  If you have ever kept score at a baseball game, then by filling out the lineup you have already mastered the art of keeping track of nine different words.  

Now that we have established the universal truth that each of us possesses the ability to read and to comprehend Emerson's Dozen, all that is left for us to do is to put those words into action.  Contrary to popular misconception, it is something that can be done as easily as it can be said: 

Luck is, after all, a home-cooked meal.  We make it ourselves.  And you have me to help you.  At the beginning of this piece, I provided you with a dozen words to live by, courtesy of the great Mr. Emerson.  At its conclusion, I reduced your burden by two-thirds.   You only really have to remember four.  

How lucky can any one person get? 


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