The annoying thing about truisms is that they are usually true. In spite of that, we usually dismiss them as so many meaningless words. This is often to our loss because we miss out on important truths that could help us. Here are a couple to consider:
Kids have more fun with the packages than the gifts inside them. This has become a joke. But it’s true. I witnessed this myself this past Christmas when, in spite of having gifts to play with, my great-nephew spent the entire day running around playing with a piece of tissue paper, holding it aloft like the Olympic Torch.
In truth, it was kind of weird, but who knows what was going through his mind? And that’s the point. Fun is in the mind, for kids more than most. It seems that the more expensive a toy is, the less imagination it requires. As a result, we actually pay a premium to stunt our kids’ growth. (See one alternative here.)
So who are we really buying these gifts for? Our kids or our selves? Or maybe our neighbors? Or is it all just the result of being brainwashed by advertisements, both direct and unconscious? It’s worth considering the question, for the sake of the next generation as well as our credit card balances.
Don’t keep making that face; it might stay that way. Another running gag. But that’s true, too. Not all faces stick, of course, but the big ones do. Spend enough time frowning and grimacing, that face will be your legacy. Wear a (real) smile often enough, you increase the chance of keeping it for a lifetime. The real deal isn’t so easy to pull off; it takes some effort. Grumbling and complaining come all too readily to most of us. The difference is worth the effort.
The most accurate and poignant depiction of this phenomenon was in a Twilight Zone episode called “The Masks”. Someone has helpfully (and probably illegally) posted the episode here. It’s worth checking out all four parts as a cautionary tale.
So next time you hear a tired, trite old saying like one of these, don’t dismiss it. It could be life-changing… or at least eye-opening.
If you’re aware of any others, please add them as a comment.