Monday, May 21, 2007

Where to start?

Oh, my gosh. This is one of those random days.

One of the online topics du jour continues to be The Secret. Slate posted a sort of rebuttal against the trend toward rosy-colored glasses and asked for anecdotes from people who tend to view the worst case scenario.

I am a past master at the worst case scenario. However, I use it as a comfort. It's like Linus's blanket. After I figure out what the worst possible thing is, I can work back to more likely possibilities and create Plan Bs. Thus, the worst case scenario ceases to be a prophesy of doom and becomes a tool for creative thinking.

I remain convinced that the move away from creative thinking, and thinking in general, is a key component in the current situation inside these United States.

Next on the list: Currently, there is a trend to kid-bash and to fault parents for heaping piles of undeserved praise upon their progeny (this link is the second or third story that I've seen on this trend). I was explaining this to one of my sons, and he said, "Are you kidding? In this family, you have to hit your parents up for sandwich bread!"

I brought home a new loaf for him—but my concern lies in the currently promoted advice to praise your children only for specific things that they do—only when they do something really great. Grades and sports come up.

Enough already! Why can't you just tell your kids when you think they're being really good people? Why do you have to limit praise to what people do, instead of expanding it to who they are?

All vehemence aside…

What does all of this have to do with writing or poetry? Nothing, although if I had a secret, I would tell you. If you want a worst-case scenario, I will tell you. I like to tell my kids when I think they are being good people, because the rest of the time I have to carp at them about their grades.

And my poetry group meets this Thursday, so I had best get busy.

I'd love to hear what you think.

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