The other day Abbie and I were walking down an alley and I was, as usual, trying to keep her from eating gross things she found on the ground. (Note to first-time readers: Abbie is a dog).
The alleys around here are wonderlands of disgusting items, so
yanking guiding her away was keeping me busy.
“Why,” I thought, “Are alleys so foul?”
The answer came to me quickly.
Because nothing faces the alley.
MAJOR METAPHOR ALERT!!!
NOTHING FACES THE ALLEY!
See, it’s just like us – the things we don’t want to face up to are where all the detritus gathers, where stagnation happens and trash piles up!
Dude, I have to write a self-help book. This is the kind of thing every team-building off-site needs!
Or maybe not. The other day I witnessed the work of a corporate speaker-type, a hired gun motivationist, brought in because the troops were flagging.
Her topic was laughter and how important it is. Overworked? Managed by incompetents? Working with outdated computers? Laugh your troubles away!
I wasn’t terribly annoyed until she gave this advice: If you aren’t happy, pretend to be happy! Soon, you will feel better.
I almost came unglued. Fortunately for the listeners, I was on mute.
PRETEND! Ignore your real feelings!
If you want a culture of addiction, illness and fear, this is great advice. If you want any kind of real life with connection and growth, it’s a bad idea.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It seemed so anti-everything I believe in. I think you’ve got to go out into the alley and take a look around. Take inventory. See whether you need an emotional Haz-Mat suit, or just a broom and dustpan. Work on it. Clean it up. And then keep an eye on it, because it can fill right back up again.
Thank you. You can mail the check for the speaker’s fee to my office, or send via Paypal.