More Expressions

Last month I shared expressions that have guided me over time, then invited you all to share with me.  Some interesting responses follow.

The “Bad”:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  From my grade and high school buddy, Joe Mahoney.  Joe added, “when I hear this, I just want to cringe”.

“Don’t get mad, get even” is from my daughter, Caitlin.  She says it’s distasteful and while I don’t remember talking about this with her before, I could not agree more.  Why in the world would one want to spend time “getting even”?  And what constitutes “even”?

Kim Cordell sent: “I hate the expression, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’.  What else is cake for?”

“It is what it is”.  My son-in-law likes to picture punching the people who say this to him.

The “Funny”:

“There’s nothing I hate more than liars.  Except for skim milk, which is just water lying around pretending to be milk”.  (from Keith Gallagher, my beloved actor son-in-law, who stole it from “Parks and Recreation”).

David Hickey sends this advice from Dermot Dunphy, which I find funny because it’s so true: “When looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: Integrity, Intelligence and Energy.  If they don’t have the first one, the other two are going to kill you”.

Unnamed (for reason that will become obvious): “I was twenty something and dating a woman that I was ready to break up with, and she had the audacity to break up with me first.  The conversation was as follows, ’Let’s just be friends’, my response was, ‘I have enough friends, if one dies I will call you’.  I can be such a jerk when I lose.”

The “Poignant”:

From Peter Benkendorf’s Mom (and Sigmund Freud): “The man who flung the first word of abuse rather than a spear was the founder of civilization.”

An original from my artistic neurosis and Raabstracts friend, Chris Raab, who spent many years wondering why people don’t love art: “You know, Tim, not everyone has to love something like we do”.

From Gerard Daher: “It’s not a contest to see how long you can live”

Note: For more commentary on Gerard’s reference read “Being Mortal”, by Atul Gawande, M.D.

Matt Kelley’s simple advice arrived via Tom Kroeger: “Our lives change when our habits change.”

Thanks to all.  That was fun for me.  Hoping you got a little entertainment as well.

I’ll end with an admonition about expressions that are general.  We all characterize vast populations by typecasting: “this generation”, “women/men” or “our employees”.

Most often, generalizations are made in judgment.  Judging individuals is dangerous, judging populations by type shows ignorance.

Ignorance by definition means: lack of knowledge or information.


Tim McCarthy

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