Available for purchase – Original Napkin or Print
Knowing the Future
How many of you know the future? I bet you are all right now are saying, ‘of course I don’t know the future!’. But then, why do you act like you do? You are convinced you won’t find love, convinced you won’t get that job, convinced you won’t ever be happy or have money or be healthy or a million other things. Isn’t that a version of supposedly knowing the future?
I have already picked out what I want on my headstone. I want it to say ‘Life was much more unexpected…than I expected.’ It’s my favorite quote (I made it up too). Why do I like it? Because it tells the truth for almost every single human on earth. Of course, in some areas of the globe there are fewer opportunities for a life to go in an unexpected direction than in other areas, but even in the most restricted part of the world you still can’t control the future. What will your child or children be like? When will you get sick? What will you end up being really good at? None of those things are known in advance, even if you live in North Korea.
Love Can Find You
Have you ever played hide and seek so well that you weren’t ever found? That isn’t much fun, is it? The idea is to make it hard, but not TOO hard, to be found. The same is true in love. If you want love to find you, you can’t hide so well that it gives up. You have to be out in the world where it is looking. I mean, don’t go standing on the street corner in short shorts. The wrong type of love will find you if you do that. But by all means let yourself be known, be seen, be heard.
If you do that, it doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by concrete or redwoods. Love will find you, just as grass finds its way through the most inhospitable of circumstances.
Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“If grass can grow through cement, then love can find you at every time of your life.” – Cher Sarkisian, 1946 – not dead yet, American singer and actress
buy the original drawing | buy a print
As some of you know, I have been heavy into a new app called Periscope. It’s live video with chat interaction. One of the first people I followed was Sara Haines, the weekend Pop News Reporter on Good Morning America.
One of her early broadcasts outside of the studio was a thoughtful reflection on how she works constantly to not be judgmental of celebrities she covers, especially ones like Kim Kardashian, who engender such hatred from so many. I did a blog post based on that for my Shame series. Here is the link to that. – ‘Sara Haines, Kim Kardashian and the Power of Empathy‘
Sara as Kim
A few weeks later Sara did a segment on GMA where she actually made up, haired up and dressed up to look as close to Kim Kardashian as she could. She did a periscope during the transformation and asked someone to take a screen shot. I took a few and sent them to her via twitter. Here they are.
Sara Haines in Kim Kardashian style makeup
Sara Haines in Kim Kardashian style clothing and shoes
In the meanwhile this is what she usually looks like on camera, not at all like the pics above.
Sara Haines as herself
The interesting part of this story isn’t about her physical transformation into a KK type look. That was fun to see but it became interesting and insightful the next day when she went for a power walk and talked about what happened when she dressed up that way. She took the walk while it was raining. She had on no makeup at all, the exact opposite of the day before. Here is a very small and blurry screen shot I got during that walk. My apologies to you, Sara, that it isn’t better.
Here is what I heard her say she discovered. First, many complimented her, saying she looked better than Kim. The compliments were appreciated but they also started her thinking about why they were being given in that way. Why didn’t they simply say “You look great in that style.” if that is what they thought. Why did they feel it necessary to say she looked better than Kim? Was it that they felt Sara needed to know she won a competition? Was that what it was about? While she was saying this I thought about the ‘who wore it better’ segments I used to see on Fashion Police (before I stopped watching it due to it being negative, gossipy and hurtful). It wasn’t enough to just give the compliment. Sara had to be propped up above the competition. In Sara’s mind that wasn’t true and it was a side to the experience she didn’t really like. It made her sad to think people had that need to compare and judge and that they felt Sara needed it.
An even more disturbing discovery was how many didn’t just stop with the compliment of how she looked better than Kim. They went on to rant about Kim, cutting her down for her lack of talent, her exploitation of her body, her media overexposure, her big butt, her husband, her lifestyle, her TV show, her this her that…on and on and on.
This made Sara sad as well. It made her sad that so many of the people she came across, including friends, co-workers and family, spent so much time hating someone they didn’t even know. She said some of them seemed to be way too happy hating Kim. And then she said this to the camera, “Don’t love hating people.” and I had my quote for my next napkin.
Getting Smaller, Not Taller
It comes down to something we all started experiencing and doing as children, that is the cutting down of someone so you feel higher. It’s an immature and insecure reaction to life, to other’s success, to other’s looks or lifestyle or preferences, etc. And we all have moments where we do it or are tempted to do it. But when we are tempted remember what it really is we are doing. It’s the equivalent of cutting off someone’s legs so you can be taller than they are. You aren’t really any taller. All you have done is hurt someone else so you can grab hold of an illusion of tallness.
But really only one thing grows when we do that, and that’s hate. And when you fall in love with hating people, judging people, you become smaller. Much smaller.
Getting Taller, Not Smaller
So, if you feel you suffer from this, here is an exercise. Take a celebrity you hate and say five positive things about them. Now evaluate what happened. Did that celebrity suddenly feel empowered to do something bad? Did they feel justified about something? No, they didn’t. Why? Because they didn’t hear you. Only you heard you. Now do that same thing of saying something positive about that celebrity you hate in front of someone else. Was the celebrity affected? No, they weren’t. Just you and your friend. And how were you affected? You said something kind or nice or insightful instead of ugly and mean and gossipy. You aren’t approving of them or their lifestyle, you are simply choosing to find something kind and positive, just as you would if the person was a close friend of yours.
That sounds like a win to me.
I have written another blog post about Sara and Kim. You can find it here: Sara Haines, Kim Kardashian and the Power of Empathy
© 2015 Marty Coleman / napkindad.com
Quote by Sara Haines, 1977 – not dead yet, American TV Reporter specializing in Lifestyle and Pop Culture
I have been trying to think this quote through to see if it is true. I am not sure yet. What do you think?
Drawing by Marty Coleman
Quote by Nikki Giovanni, 1943 – not dead yet, American writer and activist
We often hear about the terrible domestic tragedy where a wife is slaughtered by a hate-filled spouse. It happens way, way too often (once is too often). At least one of that couple had a deep deep hatred for the other. It was a hatred harsh and bitter enough to lead someone to murder. It always astounds me to imagine someone actually doing that, but it happens all the time.
But while those violent acts get the attention, the vast majority of relationships that break up don’t end in hatred and violence in the long term. They end in indifference. The end with a ‘meh’. When we cease to love someone what usually happens is we jettison the feeling. We temporarily have other feelings, including hate, for the person we are breaking up with. But long term we end up shutting down the love and replacing with nothing. No feelings, no emotions, no travails. That is why people say it is hard to love again, because they’ve hardened themselves with indifference.
Outside of a Relationship
The danger isn’t that we reel in a bit after a relationship. It’s that we may reel in all our feelings for everything. For our neighbors, our friends, and our city. For our society, for our culture, for nation. We just don’t care much anymore because caring, and the loving that comes from that caring, is too hard a task. It has too many dangers, too many risks.
As a result we stay in a cocoon of protection. At least it seems like we are protected. But in truth we endanger ourselves. Just like the person who thinks if they do no physical exercise then they won’t get an injury. That is likely true, they wont get an injury. But they will atrophy. And guaranteed atrophy is much more dangerous than a possible injury.
Watch out for wrapping your love into too big of a cocoon. We all have been hurt, but those who heal and go back out onto the field are the ones who will keep their strength, and their love, strong.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote by Elie Wiesel, 1928 – not dead yet, Jewish writer and activist. Holocaust survivor
For Your Better
There’s part of me that disagrees with this. After all, don’t we want to be in a relationship where the other person is encouraging us to be better than we are, to change for the better? I know I am not perfect and could be better so why not have someone who wants that for me as well? Don’t I want to be in that sort of relationship?
For Their Better
But we know this is not what this quote is talking about, don’t we. This quote is warning against, not the person who wants the best for you, but the person who wants the best for them. They don’t want you to change for the better because it’s your desire. They want you to change to meet their desire. They want you to be prettier, or have bigger boobs, or make more money, or be more of a do-it-yourselfer, or more religious, or a million other things. But they want it to make their life what they want, not what you want for your own life.. They want the hot wife or husband, or the bigger house or the greater religious reputation. Maybe they want life to be easier for themselves and it would be if you didn’t annoy them so much with your hobbies or your style or your habits or, or, or….the list goes on.
Who to Avoid
If someone see and hears from you that you want to be this or that in the future, then of course we want that person to be supportive and encouraging about that change. But when we don’t initiate it, but it comes from their desire to control you and turn you into who they want? That is the person to avoid at all costs.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote by Quentin Crisp, 1908 – 1999, English raconteur. He lived a very interesting and unique life, well worth reading up on if you are worried about your individuality being too ‘individual’.
This is one of my favorite lines from a song. The moment I heard it, I believed it was good and true. Years later I became familiar with Jesus’ teaching of “Love your neighbor as yourself”. When someone questions Jesus about exactly who is his neighbor, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. The point of that story is that everyone is your neighbor and should be treated as such.
In other words, you never have to question what it is you are to do. You are always to love the person in front of you.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote are lyrics from the song, ‘Love the one you’re with’ by Stephen Stills.
Most people think it is a ‘Crosby, Stills and Nash’ song, but it was actually written and performed by Stills on his debut solo album in 1970. It was later recorded live with C S & N and that is how it became thought of as a C S & N song. The line was not made up by Stills. He kept hearing a fellow musician, Billy Preston, say the line in daily life and asked him if he could use it in a song. He agreed.
For those of you who either had a bummer of a ‘Love Day’ or had a great one but now it is back to the grind, may this quote help you sing rather than pout.
What do you do to get out of the pout?
For ‘Love Day’ I found a quote that distills it all down to the basics. What are your basics of love?