Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today's fortune: May 26, 2011

Today's fortune: You have firm convictions - stand strong behind them.

I just got home from seeing Thor in 3D with my Little Brother. It's a good film, and you learn a lot about convictions by watching it, particularly about how if somebody goes against your convictions, you should murder them with a giant hammer.

That's exactly what I'd look like if I grew a beard.

You know, this fortune is kind of embarrassing for me. I've been searching my soul today, and I've had difficulty coming up with a single conviction. I even had to search Dictionary.com for the definition of the word ("a fixed or firm belief"). I couldn't think of anything.

And I don't know if that's bad or good. Standing strong behind your convictions can be extremely positive (see: Rosa Parks) or devastatingly negative (see: Adolf Hitler).

I guess the bottom line is, I share all the convictions I'm sure you do: help your fellow man, be kind to your mother, love and honor your spouse, fight oppression, stand up to violence and hate, etc. etc. etc. And I've been moved to stand strongly behind those convictions in the past.

But those are so common that writing about them here would be nothing but a huge cliché.

When I was driving my Little Brother home from the movie, we began talking about his school. Today was the last day for him, and he was expressing relief that he no longer had to deal with a particularly difficult teacher.

I felt moved to stand up for a conviction, and I tried to teach my Li'l Bro from my own experience.

"You have to learn to play their game," I told him. "This is not going to be the last difficult teacher you have. So what you must do when you encounter one is to find out what they want. Sometimes it's even helpful to ask: 'What are you looking for here?' I do it in my job every day. Once you learn what somebody wants, it's a lot easier to make them happy."

What I've learned in dealing with difficult folks is you have to whisper people, just like Robert Redford whispered those horses in that movie I can't remember the name of. (Just kidding. I know it was All The President's Men.)

So there's my conviction. Whisper people. Learn what they want, and give it to them. It's that simple. And it makes your life - and theirs - easier. I stand behind it, too.

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