Monday, March 27, 2006

Scary moments

It’s ironic how so many of the “scary” moments in life turn out to be not so scary. There was this time when I first came to Dogpatch that I came upon an idea (I know, doesn’t seem too likely but I swear, it did happen.) that I thought was pretty grand but I knew there would be folks in Dogpatch that wouldn’t cotton much to the idea.

I sweated and fretted about how to present the idea to them in a way that would be convincing to them that it was a fine and dandy idea, but would also cause me the least grief. For me, it was a scary situation.

Since Mammy is a natural-born leader, I went to her first. Even though that ended up being less scary than I anticipated, I was still scared out of my britches about presenting it to the main citizens of Dogpatch. Well, when all was said and done, it seems I had got myself all worked up for nothing. Next thing I knew, we were shooting the breeze and relaxing outside the post office.

I guess what I am trying to say is that many times, we tend to blow things out of proportion and assign reactions to people even before they get a chance to hear us out. More often than not, their reaction is much different or at least calmer than we expected.

So, my advice, the next time you’re faced with one of them scary moments, take a deep breath and just forget about the possible reactions. You’re probably exaggerating them anyway and in the end, you’ll find yourself dipping your legs in the cool stream with those you figured would be most opposed.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Those despicable sales tactics

It seems that no matter what situations you encounter in the world of doing business, there are going to be some things that remain constant. One I find particularly interesting is that regardless of good intentions, everybody has sales tactics they use to ensure their success.

For instance, Mammy and I have been looking for a new house here in Dogpatch. We had employed the services of a good detective to root out the best buy for us. Well, as we came near to deciding on the house and our good friend saw us begin to waver, he immediately set out to demonstrate all the reasons we should buy the house. He didn't cajole or put any pressure, just gave us little hints about why this house would be so good for us - better than any of the others. He also put fear in us of waiting anymore because someone could come along and put an offer before us and then we would be out.

Well, I'll be hornswaggled if it didn't work! Next thing you know, we are making the offer. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling foul or anything like that. I just find it interesting in hindsight. Now, we are in the process of pressing hard to sell our own house and guess what - we have used the same tactics on people looking at our house. Funny how that works. So, just remember, the next time you want to poke fun or complain about the sales tactics used against you, you are probably just as guilty.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pappy’s freedom of speech

I don’t know about you but I love the US Constitution. It is a truly inspired document meant to protect freedoms and promote the continued prosperity (and I don’t mean riches) of our country. Well, here in Dogpatch, there was a time when ole General Bullmoose made a statement about whatever was good fer him, was good fer the whole country. Well, I never did cotton much to that and I still don’t. Seems to me that there are going to be times when someone doing their thing is going to end up being wrong against everybody else.

There are some that say that freedom of speech gives a person the right to “express” themselves in whatever manner they please. Well, I’m agreeing until you start trodding on someone else’s rights. When downright filthy stuff comes across to innocent computer users, then the line has been definitely crossed. But, it goes deeper than that. How many millions of victims, how many billions of dollars in law enforcement, counseling, and government assistance does it take before we recognize that by allowing such “freedom of speech”, we are actually taking the rights away from others?

We have laws against illegal substances but ignore one of the worst – no, not just ignore, encourage. All in the name of “freedom of speech”. Well, I want my freedoms and those of my family to be protected too and yet by statistical calculations, someone in my family will someday have their rights violated because someone else gets to exercise his/her “freedom of speech”. I respect your true God-given rights, just don’t trample mine while your exercising yours.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pappy learns a lesson

There was a time when my Lil Abner (ok, not so little any more) wanted so bad to make a choice all on his own. Well, as a "wise" parent, I could obviously see where that decision would take the little tyke. But, we also knew he needed to make choices so that he could grow as aperson. So, Mammy Yokum and I, being the devious, yet caring parents, devised upon a scheme to cajole poor Abner into our way of thinking.

Our plan was to just leave little hints here and there about the value of making the choice our way. However clever this may sound, what it has done is produce the feeling in Abner that his only option is to choose our way - anything else will bring disappointment from his parents. Now, what kind of choice does he really have? In our efforts to help Abner develop his decision making skills, we have instead taken away his agency to choose and forced our own agenda upon him.

Freedom of choice is one of the most important of God's gifts to his children. Pappy Yokum's advice is that you do your part to ensure that your own children get to properly exercise that gift.