Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
Hi. Bring your smile and come along.
If I sold my parrot to the town gossip he and the bird would probably just sit around in stitches over the last 7 decades of my foolishness. I have finally come to the point where I can either laugh at the silly things I did that I thought were so serious and important at the time or else I can forget about them. I have also realized that you can't really draw wisdom from your nonsense and put it in its proper perspective until you can laugh at it. I have another quote, this one from Rochfoucauld, which says "He who lives without folly isn't as wise as he thinks,"
One definition of a farce is "A passion carried to a ridiculous extreme." Think of that. When a passion bites the brain and twists the heart we stand a good chance of becoming a farce, something to laugh at and laugh about in later years.
The truth of the matter is that we can't help it. If you live a busy, vigorous, expanding life your are going to do something stupid every now and then. It's inevitable. So you stepped in the doggie poop on the sidewalk did you? Well, join the club. What do you mean you forgot to record that last check you wrote and now you can't remember how much it was far? Why did you do such a thing? One night I went out on to the stage to play a romantic scene after a change of costume and forgot to zip up my fly. It added a whole new dimension to the scene, one which was not appropriate. I couldn't understand why the audience was laughing at me. I know a writer who was covering the US Senate for a major newspaper. One day he incorrectly reported all the votes. You can imagine the phone calls he got. He managed to keep his job. But how do we live these things down?
You live a practical, sure and well organized life, you have the respect of your family, neighbors and coworkers, you are known far and wide as a reasonable, reliable and dependable person. But one day, for some reason you will never know, you decide to go out and do something extremely wild. Your reputation is temporarily shot to hell and your self respect has plummeted to the basement. You look at yourself in the mirror (or maybe you don't) and wonder how you could have been so stupid as to do such a thing. What happened is that you have been very careful and worked very hard not to permit yourself any hint of ridiculous behavior and it all backed up on you until one day it came out like a volcano erupting. Believe me I know what I'm talking about. If you don't make room for the harmless wild and crazy you can be sure you will cause yourself a lot of trouble.
Moral: Do something foolish every now and then, but don't sell your parrot.
DB - The Vagabond
Are you still smiling? Good.
Comment from my friend Bob of the email lions
I hope I live my life in such a way that the parrot would have plenty to say, and I wouldn't mind the gossip knowing about it. In other words, that I had plenty to be embarrassed about, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed about it. Haven't gotten to that point, of course, but it's something to shoot for. Bob