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Friday, January 2, 2015

Humanity's resolution: opine less, compliment more


The deluge of resolutions are flooding the national psyche: Lose weight. Get a new job. Spend more quality time with the kids.

All are aimed at making individuals and the world itself a better place.

As that’s what I’m all about, let me offer humanity a collective resolution that will  do wonders to improve our each and every day:

Preempt every outloud opinion with a distracting compliment.

So, for instance, if Burt from accounting tries to goad you into an argument about politics, race or any of the hot button issues of the day, disengage and instead tell Burt his new haircut makes him look years younger.

Same goes for Suzie from marketing. Don’t allow yourself to get dragged into an argument about climate change with her. Instead ask if she’s lost weight and tell her that dress really flatters her figure.

The compliments will sweeten their whole demeanor.

See, I’m one of those believers who thinks man is the cause of global warming. There’s simply too much hot air.

And most of it is coming from me and you!

We live in a time when our ardor to express our opinions is surpassed only by our ability to shout them around the world. On the racetrack of understanding, opinion has now lapped fact.

I’m all for exercising our First Amendment rights, but there’s such a thing as too much exercise.

As proof, I offer the example of the late running guru Jim Fixx,  author of the 1977 smash, “The Complete Book of Running.” It was maybe the only book in publishing history you could describe without exaggeration as a “runaway bestseller.”

People cited Fixx as the inspiration for a healthy lifestyle that would better the whole world. It launched the fitness craze that persists to this day.

Devotees of ironic tragedy remember Fixx for a different reason.

Yes, the man who said relentless jogging would lead to longer, healthier lives died at the tender age of 52.

Of a heart attack.

While jogging!

I fear we’re exercising our Free Speech rights to death.

It’s driving me crazy.

I’ve tried reasoning. I’ve tried arguing.

Our opinions are so set there’s no way to crack all the concrete — and I’m talking about the all concrete between the ears of those who think differently than I.

And the stupid arguments just escalate.

I got into one last week with one of my racist friends. 

I wish I didn’t have racist friends. But if I confined my conversation to only enlightened thinkers it’d be a very lonely existence and I’d have to stop talking to even myself.

He’d previously made some racially inconsiderate remarks about Steeler coach Mike Tomlin. 

Now that Tomlin has the Steelers in the playoffs and looking like Super Bowl contenders, I reiterated my opinion — and it’s just my opinion — that he was a racist, blow-hard, raving idiot.

Within seconds we were in each other’s faces.

As I knew it would only get worse and that he was probably packing, I decided a new debate tactic might be wise.

“And I’ll tell you another thing!” I shouted.

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah!”

“Well, what?”

“I don’t know what you had for lunch, but your breath smells extra fresh!”

So that’s what I’m urging all America to do: Opine less and compliment more.

It’s a fine resolution that could make the world a more civil place.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Next year we’ll work on a resolution about the brazen hypocrisy of a guy who intends to blog his opinions more than 250 times in 2015 lecturing the world about too many opinions.

And, by the way, I’d be remiss to let this go without mentioning how great you look in those jeans.

 Have you lost weight?



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