In our bumper sticker mentality society, we love those quick and witty sayings that stick with us and bring us ever closer to feeling much wiser and in control of our lives. A while back, I saw this posted by a Facebook friend (ah, you know who you are...not sure you'd want me to say your name, BR):
"Dentists make money from the treatment of bad teeth - why use the toothpaste they recommend?"
You know...that's a good point. There's not an abundance of altruism floating around. Add money, and there's even less. Professional people will always be given the benefit of the doubt, but nothing makes them more honest that the average guy.
Be paranoid with me for a minute: would a dentist actually avoid recommending a really great toothpaste because it cut in to his/her bottom line?
Shazzbatt, now I'm questioning everything.
"A bird in hand is worth two in the bush."
Is it? See, I have a bush and it may or may not contain two additional birds, but I'm not sure I could satisfactorily establish the monetary value of each bird without reliable information, thus allowing me to prove that they are, in fact, of equal value.
I'm wondering if anyone actually did the math here; in fact, it seems more like Algebra, because I'm inclined to assign the unknown birds in the bush an X value (or 2X). Either way, I don't feel this statement can be an absolute.
bird in hand = two birds in bush
Naw, the only thing I see going in there is a big, fat zero for X. Nobody gets the bird, just hand.
"Always follow your dreams."
Again, not specific enough and full of potential problems. Always? That seems to be more often than necessary; how can you know in advance that you should follow a dream? People dream about a lot of stuff (perhaps you read my take on A Nightmare on Elm Street? Don't, I repeat, don't follow that one).
If we're talking about a goal, well that's different. A goal is defined, and if you're wise you have a plan with steps that lead to attainment of your goal. Follow the steps that lead to your goals. You'll accomplish something.
Dreams are a little more fluffy...ill-defined. I dreamed I was a princess once; I even dreamed I could fly. In fact, if I told Hubzam that I thought I was a princess, he might respond, "In your dreams!"
If I want to fly, I just set a goal and save money for a ticket. Yep, that sounds do-able and rational.
"Good things come to those who wait."
Two words: Death Row.
"That's the best thing since sliced bread."
Let's put this on a timeline: I say sliced bread appeared a few minutes after the first bread.
A quick google tells me that Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, invented an automated bread slicer in 1912. Granted, that was pretty cool.
But the cliche doesn't mention automation, just slicing. If bread was present and someone had a knife and someone else wanted some, I think they'd figure out the process of slicing bread. Based on the absence of reliable information at my fingertips, I'm going to go with The History Channel's date of 30,000 years ago as the beginning of bread baking. Ironwork was prevalent around 4000 BC; I'll bet they made knives.
So, even if they had loaves of bread that were unsliced for 26,000 years and when they finally made knives, they celebrated the ingenuity of slicing the bread with wild abandon and festivals, are you telling me that nothing better has happened in 6014 years?
What about toaster strudel? Wasn't that great?
"Shoot the breeze..."
Nobody does that. It's a waste of ammo and pointless.
Every now and then, it's a good idea to step back and question things.