Political pundits and candidates have often spoken of the "definition of insanity" as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Mostly, the words are used to place an opponent in an unfavorable light. However, I feel it is a better description to what we are as voters.
We fall for the same tired slogans. We believe a candidate is going to "fight for us" or "protect seniors" or "stand for veterans." Each time we believe and each time we are let down.
A lot of people in my acquaintance gave up certain things for Lent this year.
One friend focused on sugar. That's admirable and healthy besides. What happens after Easter is anyone's guess.
A relative periodically forgoes soft drinks during this period leading up to Easter. Every year she says she won't resume drinking them, but so far this hasn't held true.
Still, she makes a valiant effort for the 40 days. That's certainly more than I can boast of for even a single day.
I don't drink coffee. I don't drink alcohol. But I do drink caffeine-laden diet drinks.
Thoughts on discipline have changed drastically since I was a child.
I managed to get all the way through childhood and my teenage years with no form of punishment meted out by my father.
This isn't to say I didn't deserve it. I probably earned it more times than I ever dreamed possible, but Honey was such a kind, gentle soul that he simply couldn't bear to inflict pain, physical or any other kind, on me.
This isn't to say that I escaped the early years unscathed. In the picture also was my mother, who did not shy away from discipline.
Mark Twain is credited with saying: "If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man but deteriorate the cat."
The master storyteller/author/humorist is high on my list for many things, not the least of which is his admiration for the feline.
Cats have many attributes that I find intriguing, such as their curious nature. The adage "curiosity killed the cat" obviously has merit.
If you doubt this, throw a paper sack on the floor of a room where there are several cats and watch how many try to get inside it. It can turn into a competition in a hurry.
My mother-in-law's philosophy was basically this: "If you can't say something good about somebody, don't say anything at all."
The worth of this concept becomes especially significant during political campaigns. It would be a giant step for mankind if all candidates were to embrace the thinking of the late Winnie Hollenbeck.
She truly practiced what she preached. Once when a ne'er-do-well died in her hometown, someone pondered what words of kindness might be said at his funeral.
Winnie offered this suggestion: "Well, he was the best whistler in town."
Remember when "doing one's colors" was the big thing?
Personally, I thought the concept was ridiculous. Who in her right mind would actually give money to somebody to drape a bunch of fabric in varying shades around her face and say "you're a spring" or "you're a summer"?
This would be followed by such commentary as "you can wear red (or blue or yellow or purple, etc.) because it's in your palette."
This color analysis was a huge thing for a while. I never got into it because I said I was capable of doing my colors myself with just me and my mirror.
This is the story of the denim dress that hangs in my closet. The denim dress with buttons down the front and tiers at the skirts so it flares out at the bottom. The denim dress that my mother bought for me because it looked so cute with my black cowboy boots. The denim dress that didn't even come with me when I moved to Arkansas because I am still afraid to wear it.
A renewed emphasis on healthy living currently prevails at the Saline Courier office.
This started when 11 employees bonded in an effort to reduce body mass index, lose weight and generally adapt a healthier way of living.
This is in marked contrast to the old days here when you could bring in anything close to edible, slap it down on a communal counter top and watch it start to disappear before you got back to your desk.