The Kindness of Strangers

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Blanche Dubois, final line of A Streetcar Named Desire: Tennessee Williams

Well this came as a little surprise to me. My website sent me a message to congratulate me on my 50th post two weeks ago. Doing simple math I concluded that in two weeks I would have posted 52 blogs. That was two weeks ago therefore what we are currently celebrating is my one year anniversary. This statistic also confirms that often effort is far more rewarding that results. For the skeptics and the analytics I offer the science (math below) to support this outrageous claim.

3x X 4.72 (x\y) + π/4 = 3 tan^-1(1/4) + tan^-1(1/20) X .736% = 52 weeks

For those who need more evidence I have this thing called a website.  https://breakingwell.com

As a person of questionable integrity, I feel it is time to share some painful truths about my weekly compositions. I begin each week by jotting notes down on my hand with a ballpoint pen. Four days later I transfer those ideas onto a piece of paper using the same pen. After that transference I shower. After I shower, I dry myself off. Feeling very refreshed I take a nap. After a nap I tend to wake up and because I am still a little drowsy during the early awake phase, I take another shower. While showering I review my notes. The paper gets very wet, so I use a hair dryer to stop the ink from bleeding. I place the paper in the microwave to remove any remaining dampness.

Recalling a project from grade five, I sprinkle some lemon juice on the paper place it in the oven at 300 F, for seven minutes and take it out. With the edges slightly burned, my document looks a bit like the Magna Carta or if I leave it in the oven for one extra minute, The Declaration of Independence. This connection to antiquity inspires me so I find those two documents and read them for further inspiration.

It becomes apparent to me that the old scholars were brutal bloggers, so I desist from reading anymore of their unbloggy stuff. Feeling more than a little unconstitutional I empty the dishwasher. Now the knife somebody used for peanut butter, never gets clean so I hand wash the utensil quietly so I don’t insult the my sensitive dishwasher’s performance. The dishwasher does notice my hand cleaning because is sits so close to the sink. The dishwasher pouts for hours. After I give the appliance a little pep talk, all is well and it releases its emergency lock.

Returning to my burnt document, it appears the idea of writing a blog about the intricacies of stock market investment is really a lot less interesting then it first looked on my hand.

My weekly ritual of sheer panic occurs, with hours left before my self-imposed deadline, I take another shower. Because I do my best thinking near faucets, I come up with three new brilliant topics for the week.

I go to the library, and review a lot of books, to ensure I am not stealing someone else’s idea. The librarian asks me if I have ever heard of the Internet? I show her my library card, hoping that will answer her question. It doesn’t so she asks me again.

Upon returning home, I go on Facebook to see if there are any suggested posts from companies who have had social media strategy meetings. Because those companies couldn’t afford to advertise during the Super Bowl at 5 million dollars, for a thirty second commercial, I feel I must support the underdog.  These company’s CFOs presumably had their marketing budgets slashed, and their reaction was to put their entire future success in the hands of Mark Zuckerburg. I don’t read the suggested posts, because the message never indicates who suggested posting this. My sneaky suspicion is the company who posted the article is the same company who suggested the post.

With the clock ticking loudly, I edit my three bad topic ideas down to one bad idea. Experts would call this triaging. I look up the word triaging, and realize once again the experts got it wrong. Once I have committed to an idea, I review my notes. The overwhelming aroma of this lemon stained document distracts me so I find the Lemon Pledge, and start dusting the antique table in the dining room.

With a smile of great satisfaction merged with table hygenity, I place my burnt notes on the beautiful shiny surface. I put music on to get me in the mood. The party shuffle setting reminds me that I haven’t updated my music in years, and who wants to hear Alone Again Naturally when they are at a party?

The next phase is the painful transference of illegible scribble to computer. This is what Malcolm Gladwell would call the “Tipping Point”. I remember reading this book years ago, hoping I would get solid strategies on the proper percent of tipping the waitress at breakfast. I got very little insight from his writing, so I just left her the book.

I review the comments from previous posts, to seek guidance and direction. Let me get a little serious here. I am more appreciative than you will know to the folks who have taken the time to make kind comments about my attempts each week. You all know who you are, and I must thank each of you for taking the time to accept my weekly imposition. Some of you are relatives, some of you are dear friends, some of you are old friends and a few are all three. Most of you are just people I have bumped into during years of life and we made a simple connection that a weekly annoyance can never break.

I am going to single out one person here, because I have no idea who that person is. Jon Lynne-Davies CMPP on January 23, 2016 typed a one word comment “brilliant”. I was stunned for a couple of reasons. First, I was not prepared for this. Second, it was from a total stranger. Jon whoever and wherever you are, thank you. I may not be as crazy as Blanche Dubois, but I sure support her sentiment. Kindness travels much farther than criticism. That single word will keep me doing this until somebody else agrees.

The penultimate part of this weekly routine occurs with a violent clash, where my benevolent nature battles my ego. My ego tells me it is my duty as a decent human being to share wisdom for generations to pass on to their children. For those who are currently updating their will and are now  planning to leave nothing for their children allow me to help. Leave your kids copies of my blogs as a little inheritance. They will resent you for this but fortunately you will not be around to observe their anger and confusion. As I explore my benevolence, I quickly discover that it is telling me the exact same thing… You must share your ideas immediately, so I guess it is not really a violent clash at all. It is more of a violent agreement.

The final act is the easiest. I sit and stare at the send button. I stare at it for a while and rely on involuntary muscles to take over.   Because my volunteering history is not as strong as my resumes indicates, I regain control of my voluntary muscles, focusing on my index finger and complete the action.

The opinions of my public presentations are placed firmly in your discerning hands.

Handle with care.


Cue the Blong:  Everything Counts     I wish this wasn’t true.

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