Stupid is as stupid does
Highlands TodayForrest Gump faced bullying and ridicule with his mother's words: "Remember Forrest. Stupid is as stupid does." There is enough stupid to go around, so unless we want to be covered by it, we must think for ourselves.
Published: June 12, 2009
Published: June 12, 2009
Thinking works best behind a poker face. A doctor rose to the position of chief medical officer for a healthcare corporation. Someone would watch for her arrival at administration headquarters. If her eyes bugged out and her cheeks flamed red, our messenger would yell, "Look out! She's about to blow!" Forewarned was forearmed.
Let's start with a KISS, i.e., "Keep It Simple, Stupid." In August 2008 family relations experts declared a new housekeeping standard called "clean enough." It may be new to them; but smart, busy women figured out a long time ago that no matter how perfectly they cleaned, by the time they finished, it was there to do over again. Something had to give, and most men didn't. We organized the home for safety, happiness, and health, wiped off the tops of things, and went on with more important matters.
Common sense ought to be embraced, cultivated, and used. Ped Egg is mailing checks for $8.25; however, cashing that check means we've joined something called "Complete Home." Read the fine print. No condo seller really gives a free weekend at the beach with no strings attached. Internet scammers, taking advantage of innovations and the economic downturn, are increasing in number and cleverness. Anyone can be fooled, but part of the problem is our own greed and belief in "something for nothing."
Not only are social networking sites fodder for scammers, but they are also creating a new disease. Given today's reality-world obsession, "sociability fatigue" is the inevitable result of spilling our most personal life details to virtual strangers. Its victims agonize over disconnecting, afraid they will miss something, while desperately yearning for a break. Craig Kinsley, a neuroscience professor at the University of Richmond, says our brains are starving because "there is not much substance" in this kind of interaction.
Gullibility feeds off fear, grief, and ego. New companies offer virtual cemeteries, death anniversary notices (so no one forgets), changes of virtual scenery for the departed, even Rapture alerts. For $14.95 yearly, YouveBeenLeftBehind.com detects the Rapture, if and only if its patrons log on daily. The baby boomer of the "Me Generation" discounts funerals being comforting for survivors; he/she wants an online, after-death life.
So many place all their means in what they call the "here and now." Yet, they will do almost anything, no matter how stupid, to buy some kind of "hereafter." In his 1964 book, "The Cart Before The Horse," Louis Kronenberger wrote: "Succeed we must, at all cost, even if it means being a dead millionaire at fifty." Jesus warned against this type of acquisition, letting us know we miss being "rich toward God" (Luke 12:21).
Virtual worlds are on computer life support. What if someone pulls the plug? Stupid is as stupid does. Gump-like simplicity recognizes the reality of Jesus: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1).
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If you are a seeker of simple truth, we can find it together - side-by-side.
Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at lindadowning.com.