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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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In Search of the Truth: The Professor Porter Method

May 8th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, perhaps I can say thank you by paying it forward.

One of the few things I remember from my college days, 40+ years ago, is a concept learned in an Interpersonal Communications course. It describes three ways we view ourselves: 1( The way I see myself 2) The way others see me 3) The view I have of how other people view me.

These three views are concentric circles that overlap in one small area. The area of overlap is the true nature of who I am. That is a valuable concept in itself. But the value of the concept of concentric rings, and where the truth lies, became foundational in my life in a bigger sense.

Two years of college taught me some stuff and got my name on a diploma which indirectly got me my first job. But I felt dissatisfied with my education. I wanted to learn to think critically and analytically so I could make up my own mind about important things.

And so, after a brief time in the working world, I quit my job and enrolled at York University determined to train my mind. In those days, liberal universities like York encouraged and championed independent thinking. I fear that value has been lost.

In my second year at York, I took a literature-based Social Science course taught by Professor Porter. I am not sure what attracted me to the course. But I do know that it was the best decision I ever made.

Professor Porter assigned essays based simply on a few paragraphs from the book we were studying. Think about it. Wonder about it. That is all the direction he would offer. It was frustrating and many of the people in the class never grasped what he was doing.

But I did what Professor Porter asked. I dissected the passage line by line and word by word and, in so doing, discovered untold meaning in it. Professor Porter later remarked that what he was trying to teach us was a method of inquiry – aka developing our intellectual capacity to look beyond the surface and discover the underlying truth.

It was the most valuable lesson of my young life and became part of how I conduct my life. I am finding that skill to be particularly important in the circumstances in which we are currently living.

We are bombarded with information from many sources – particularly the media and social media. Concentric rings of reshaped information circling around the truth and obscuring it in the process. Other people’s version of the truth coloured by their wants and needs and sometimes greed.

If we want to find the grain of truth, we have to be prepared to pick apart the layers surrounding it using our God-given intellectual capacity.

Think of it like the Russian Nesting Dolls at the head of this post. The tiniest doll is the pure truth. The bigger and bigger dolls that swallow up the tiny one are the layers of biased interpretation, and sometimes manipulation, which hide the grain of truth from us.

In retrospect, Professor Porter was one of the most influential people in my life. I wish I could find him so I could thank him. Alas, that will not likely happen. But I can honour what he taught me by paying it forward.

Think about it. Wonder about it. Keeping going until you find the grain of truth. It is more than worth the effort.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week

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Random Act of Metaphor: Return of the Turkey Vulture

May 1st, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will the lesson stick this time?

Yesterday did not feel much like one day shy of May. It was cold, grey and blustery. But I went for my half hour, after work walk wearing gloves and a toque because it is part of my stay sane during lockdown routine. We all have our coping mechanisms.

As I was rounding the corner to my townhouse complex, I saw a Turkey Vulture soaring overhead – an unusual sight in an urban area. I reflected that hawks and vultures coast on wind thermals during migration to conserve energy. The high winds may have knocked it off course.

Memory then kicked in and reminded me that I had sighted a Turkey Vulture in the same spot several years ago around the same time of year. I even wrote a Random Act of Metaphor post about it. I checked my blog records and determined it was four years ago on a blustery Friday although three weeks earlier in the month. Quite a coincidence, all things considered.

I went online and learned that Turkey Vultures can live for twenty years. I could not help but ponder the possibility, however unlikely, that it was the same one I saw back in 2017. And if it was, was it looking down at me and thinking: Damn, I think I saw that human when I got blown over this neighbourhood four years ago. What are the odds?

In my blog post from 2017, I wrote:

It occurred to me that this Turkey Vulture and I had a lot in common. Life was knocking us around and testing our character. It was tempting to throw up our hands (or our wings, as the case may be) and surrender. But there was a lesson to be learned – the importance of staying the course when events seemed to be conspiring against us.

And isn’t that as relevant today, if not more so, than it was four years ago?

The return of the Turkey Vulture – a random act of metaphor to reteach me a lesson I did not learn well enough the first time.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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End User Revolt: Time for a Universal Platform

April 24th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will you join my end user revolution?

In the last year up to and including the next month, I will have been compelled to learn no less than 10 new web-based programs including half a dozen virtual event platforms. Some of these involve modest learning curves while others are mind-bendingly complicated. My brain is overheating, my reserves of patience run dry and my repertoire of four letter words is growing.

Enough is enough! I am hereby issuing a directive to developers around the globe. All of you are to gather virtually and develop a universal platform on which all your programs will run as distinct but compatible modules. This universal platform must be dead simple to learn, use no confusing terminology and be 100% bug free.

I anticipate a number of objections arising which I will address here at the outset.

OBJECTION: What you are asking for is not feasible. Our programs are proprietary and inherently different. They cannot have a universal platform.

RESPONSE: Overruled. Your problem, not mine. Your job is to make my life easier, not more difficult. That is why you are paid the big bucks. Figure it out.

OBJECTION: We have invested large sums of money developing our program. Recouping our investment in a cost-sharing model with a universal platform is difficult if not impossible.

RESPONSE: Overruled. Your problem, not mine. Your job is to make my life easier, not more difficult. That is why you are paid the big bucks. Figure it out.

OBJECTION: There is always a learning curve with new technology. Inventing new terminology is what we live for. We see no possible way to make the learning process dead simple.

RESPONSE: Overruled. See above.

Furthermore, I will be retiring in just shy of two years in early April 2023. Between now and then, I am instituting a moratorium on any new programs that I might conceivably be required to learn. In addition, you are not to change the interface to your program nor issue any major updates that require me to relearn the 10% of the program I have occasion to use.

Once I have retired, the moratorium expires and you can knock yourself out with new tech.

I anticipate an objection arising which I will address here at the outset.

OBJECTION: Our business model is based on issuing new versions of our program every six months with assorted bells and whistles. The model does not work under a moratorium.

RESPONSE: Overruled. See above.

Web-based technology is a wheel that never stops revolving. I am throwing a wrench into the spokes of that wheel. You may ask: How are we supposed to continue to generate income? My response: Figure it out.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Charge of the COVID Brigade

April 17th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Half a league, half a league

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward the Light Brigade…”

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Hmmm, is the solution to the problem a kick-ass leaf blower?

Earlier this week while I was working from home, I heard a loud noise outside in my townhouse complex. I went to the window to investigate. It turned out to be the landscape crew who had arrived for the spring cleanup. Four men with industrial-strength leaf blowers at full bore.

Ordinarily, I would be annoyed at the disturbance. But this time was different. Why? Because it was an annual activity happening at precisely the time it should – a triumph of normalcy when most of the world around me is turned upside down.

It occurred to me, in one of those inspired leaps of insight, that perhaps here was a solution to the pandemic that has twisted us out of shape. I sense you frowning, but hear me out.

I propose that we assemble all the landscape crews across the country with their mighty leaf blowers. We can supplement the ranks with those thrown out of work by the lockdown and eager to be productive again.

The assault begins in the middle of Manitoba. Two lines of leaf blower warriors stand back to back. At the sound of the horn of battle, they fire up their blowers and start marching forward side by side blowing all the COVID virus molecules ahead of them. Every file miles they hand off to another crew who continues the march.

At the Manitoba border east and west, crews await from the neighbouring provinces to take up the charge. The Eastern Brigade swings around Hudson’s Bay, loops down through Southern Ontario, expands north and south through Quebec and presses forward to Labrador. Simultaneously, the Maritime Brigade sweeps through the Atlantic Provinces.

The Western Brigade crosses the flatlands of Saskatchewan with ease and into Alberta while a Northern Brigade blows it way through Nunavut, NWT and the Yukon. An intrepid team of mountaineer landscapers will be needed to cross the Rocky Mountains into B.C.

Precisely one week after it all began, the final Eastern, Western, Northern and Atlantic teams reach the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They blow the wall of COVID-19 out into the ocean where pods of whales gorge on it like a feast of Krill.

I think it could work. I really do, if we just believe! It surely cannot be any less effective than what we have tried so far. A clean sweep from coast to coast like a through spring cleaning.

With apologies to Lord Tennyson, we will call it The Charge of the COVID Brigade. Are you with me?

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Deja Vu All Over Again: Round Three

April 10th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, haven’t we been here before?

Lockdown. Stay at Home. Physical distancing. Groceries and medical appointments only. Round three of being handcuffed to our homes. Does that mean third time lucky? I wish I could be that positive. Optimism is a scarce commodity at the moment

Figuring out how to get some enjoyment out of life for the last year has been akin to assembling a million piece jigsaw puzzle. Pun intended.

I read today that hot tubs sales are booming. Makes sense. If you have to be stuck at home, lounging in a hot tub is not a bad way to go about it. But if you do not have one, good luck. Orders are backlogged. April 2022 is the delivery date if you order now.

Gardening is also growing rapidly as a hobby – anything from growing tomatoes on your balcony to volunteering in community gardens. Seed purchases are blossoming with some of the highest sales ever. (Insert your own pun here.)

I do not own a home so buying a hot tub or gardening is not in my future. Instead, last night I cooked a big steak, which should have provided me with two meals, and gleefully scarfed it down in one sitting.

We have vaccines now which could be seen as a reason for optimism. But I will confess I am puzzled by all the Facebook posts on the subject. Booked my vaccine appointment for Friday! Or the Just got my vaccine shot selfie.

It seems like getting your shot is a badge of honour. My apologies if you find this offensive, but I do not see that way. It is either a necessary obligation or a Band-Aid slapped on a problem that should never have unfolded the way it did.

For the record, I had my first vaccine shot yesterday and have the paperwork – and the sore arm – to prove it. It also occurred to me that if you wanted to catch COVID-19,a mass immunization clinic would be a good place to do so. I have not been in proximity with that many people in quite some time.

On a related note, can we please cease and desist with the social media posts blaming it all on the bad apples that are not following the letter of the law. Asserting that the current state of affairs is all their fault is naïve, to say the least. The post-mortem on the pandemic is yet to come and the causal factors may surprise you when they are revealed.

But returning to the initial discussion, how do we go about squeezing a little pleasure out of life when we are handcuffed to our homes? The trite phrases that got us through rounds one and two – Be patient, Enjoy the little things, Better times are ahead – are wearing thin.

Perhaps Vietnamese Monk Nhat Hanh has the best advice on that question.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile,

but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Recalibrating Our Truth Meter

April 3rd, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, does it only compute through the lens of fear?

The question of whether it is valid to compare our brains to a computer operating system is often debated. There are obvious similarities as well as differences. Our brains cannot process large amounts of data as efficiently as a computer. On the other hand, computers cannot make the creative leaps that our brains are capable of achieving.

Yes, I know that we are only just tickling the surface of artificial intelligence and what its’ horizons may be. But that is a debate for another day.

What I am pondering today is a comparison of a different sort. The IT world appropriated the term virus from medical science. There is an entire industry built around detecting computer viruses and protecting our operating systems from them.

It occurs to me that the metaphor can be turned around and pointed back at us. New considerations arise when we allow ourselves to conceive of our brain as an operating system with its own inherent vulnerabilities.

A fundamental difference between a computer’s operating system and our brain is the variable of emotion. It is what makes us human. But emotion does not always adhere to reason. This is not by definition a bad thing. But it is a source of vulnerability.

If you feed false data into a computer, it simply will not compute. But if you feed false data into our brains and attach it to emotion in the process, our brains can be tricked. Emotion becomes a catalyst that blurs the line between truth and deceit.

In the same way a computer virus can disable an operating system, information wrapped in negative emotions like fear becomes a de facto virus which can compromise the brain’s operating system. We lose the ability to objectively evaluate information and detect inherent inconsistencies in it.

Truth, like so many things in life, truth is not an absolute. The same can be said of deceit. They sit at opposite ends of a sliding scale which is constantly shifting. We are all gifted with a truth meter. But it can lose its calibration when emotion gets pulled in where it does not belong. Unfortunately, there is no diagnostic program we can run to determine if our brain is infected.

What can we do?

We can be on our guard when we are fed information cloaked in fear. Filter out the fear before you evaluate the integrity of what you are being told. If the data only computes when viewed through the lens of fear, chances are good that it is bogus information served up by someone with ulterior motives.

Our truth meter is always engaged. My request is simply that you make good use of it.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Taking Leave of the Bogeyman

March 28th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, is there anything as futile as trying to outrun our shadow?

The five year old girl tugged on her mother’s sleeve to get her attention.

“Mommy, I’m scared.”

“Scared of what, Sweetie?”

“The Bogeyman.”

“Oh, there’s no such thing as the Bogeyman.”

“Yes, there is!”

“Let’s look under your bed and in your closet. You’ll see that there’s nothing there.”

“That’s not where the Bogeyman lives.”

“Where do you think he lives?”

“I think he lives in the TV and on your computer.”

“Why would you think that?”

“Because whenever you watch the TV or look at your computer, you have your upside down smile on. You used to smile all the time. But now it’s always upside down.”

“I’m sorry, Sweetie. I’ll try to smile more. It’s nothing you need to worry about.”

“But it’s why you wear that thing on your face when you leave the house, isn’t it? So the Bogeyman won’t know you’re you.”

“No, no. It’s just something we need to do for a little while until… Well, just for a little while.”

“Until you get the special medicine?”

“Yes, that’s right. And it won’t be long now.”

The child thought for a moment – her brow tightly furrowed as she puzzled and puzzled.

“Mommy, I think the Bogeyman lives in our shadow.”

“No. Our shadow is just what happens when the sun shines on us.”

“But it’s a dark thing that follows us always. I tried to run away from it, but I couldn’t. The Bogeyman can run as fast as I can.”

“No, it’s true. You can’t outrun your shadow. But it’s not the Bogeyman. The Bogeyman is just make believe.”

“I don’t believe you, Mommy.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re still wearing the upside down smile on your face. I think you should stop watching the TV and stop looking at your computer. I think that’s the special medicine you need.”

The mother was caught off guard by this wise counsel. A smile came across her face.

“You may be right, Sweetie. You may be right.”

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Going Old School with Clouds When I’m Put Out to Pasture

March 27th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, would you rather be in the cloud or gazing at it?

I am now a little under two years away from the eligibility to retire. It is not yet a countdown. But there is a glimmer of light at the end of the long, long tunnel.

I will concede that there are days, when things at work get hectic, that it seems like that light is on the front of a locomotive hurtling toward me and it is too late to get out of the way.

That disturbing picture notwithstanding, I feel I can legally permit myself to contemplate the things I will not miss when I hang up my keyboard and wave a final farewell to my colleagues.

I will not miss being compelled to learn new, cloud-based applications every six months that are guaranteed to make me more productive. (It may be sacrilegious to state it, but feel neither the need nor the desire to increase my output.) I will particularly not miss having to invent new four letter word combinations to vent my frustration.

When I retire I will take great pleasure in spending hours contemplating real clouds and what their shapes call to mind, instead of wasting 15 minutes trying to find the damn logout icon which they keep changing and moving around.

I will not miss trying to decide which messages I should read first – my e-mail messages, my Skype messages, my chat messages or my text messages. I particularly will not miss receiving a Skype message asking me if I received the e-mail message that I saw an hour ago and chose to ignore because I do not like the sender.

When I retire I will take great pleasure in being unavailable for electronic messages in any medium and delivering an implied message by this very behaviour.

I will not missing scouring the Outlook calendars of half a dozen people searching for that elusive one hour time slot when everyone is available. I particularly will not miss one of those six people responds with a counter proposal for a meeting date for a meeting I no longer have the desire to attend.

When I retire I will take great pleasure in adopting a new outlook on life in which I am unavailable for meetings of any sort whatsoever regardless of whom else may or may not be available despite what their calendar indicates.

Retirement is often referred to as being put out to pasture as if that is a scary thing. It does not scare me in the least. Please, please, put me out to pasture. Make me redundant.

I will take great pleasure in not being needed and being able to devote my time to cloud-gazing and writing metaphorical stories about what I see.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week

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For Better or For Worse, Your Time Will Come

March 13th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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I am no bird, and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.

~ Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Hmmm, when your time comes, will you face into the wind?

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you are challenged to come to terms with who you are. It is not simply about understanding how all the pieces come together although that is a part of the equation. The bigger step is when you decide, or decide against, saying and meaning: For better or for worse, this is who I am. Take it or leave it.

Taking your stand will not sit well with everyone. There will continue to be people who will want to mold you into what they want you to be so you will follow them. These people will take an active dislike to you and you must be okay with their discontent.

There will be another category of person who will preach to you that must continually step outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself. You must be okay with telling these people to piss off and leave you alone. They will be persistent. You must be equally persistent.

I am not saying that you can give yourself carte blanche to thumb your nose at anyone you please. Discretion is the better part of valour and of common sense. There are times when saying nothing is the most appropriate response and speaks for itself.

I am saying there are also some tough choices you will need to make.

You will need to decide that it is better to be alone than to be with someone who does not respect who you are. The state of being alone is neither a penalty nor a trial if you actively chose it. Learn to enjoy your own company.

You will need to find the courage to stand on principle which can come with sacrifices attached. It can mean the end of some relationships. Sometimes you will do this publicly and sometimes privately. There is a time and a place to speak up, and a time and a place to hold your peace but also hold your ground.

You will need to cultivate the ability to think for yourself. This means listening to that innate sense you possess regarding truth versus lies. If alarm bells ring in your head, listen to them. Examine the evidence for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Facts can be easily misrepresented. The truth remains to be found, but only if you seek it out.

You will need to be prepared to go against the flow of the group or against the general consensus. Make no mistake. This is not easy to do. You will be an outsider. But know that there are always others on the outside with you even if you cannot perceive them.

You can be blown by the wind of opinion or face into the wind. Choose wisely.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Fable of the Lion and the Frog

March 6th, 2021 by Michael Dyet
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The lion, hearing an odd kind of voice, and seeing nobody, started up. He listened again; the voice continued, and he shook with fear.

At last, seeing a frog climb out of the lake, and finding that the noise proceeded from that little creature, he spurned it to pieces with his feet.

Hmmm, how will you react when the gas pedal is pushed?

Fear. It is perhaps the most powerful of emotions. Fear triggers what is known as our sympathetic nervous system which has been likened to the gas pedal in a car. It provides us with a burst of energy so we can respond to perceived danger.

This burst of energy fuels the fight or flight response – a deep seated, survival tactic in which we choose how to respond. Stand our ground and fight, or flee the scene. Neither response is by definition right or wrong. The circumstances dictate which we choose to exercise.

But fear can be used as a weapon. It can be misappropriated and turned into a phantom that invades our psyche. Once it finds a home there, we become vulnerable.

Fear when used as a weapon is cumulative. It feeds on itself and spirals. Looking for new parts of us to infect and paralyze. It gets stronger the longer we let it hold court.

Fear turns us into something less than. Less than what we are capable of being. Less than we aspire to be. Less than we were meant to be.

In the fable, the lion, a noble beast, has been infected by fear and becomes less than what creation intended it to be. So much so that the croaking of a creature it would normally not deign to notice strikes terror in its heart.

The lion eventually realizes how foolish it has been and reasserts its rightful place in the pecking order.

It is not hard to see the morale of the fable. But it is one we need to take to heart in the times in which we are living. Fear is not bad in and of itself. But it becomes insidious when it is used against us.

You were meant to live with courage. I was meant to live with courage. It is a choice we both can make.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week

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