CHANGE

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This expression can be a good reason to keep on doing what has proven to work effectively. Makes sense, right? But, this good advice misapplied can also create problems. Consider someone using this cliché as an excuse to avoid necessary change. A threadbare tire that still holds its air comes to mind. Technically, it is still working. But disaster lurks. Consider also something that works, but is about to fail due to a change in external conditions. This happens in business all the time. Products, services, and business models are constantly being made obsolete by something new and better. In business, continuous change is required to survive.

“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch

Now, to my main point. Some people will do almost anything to avoid change. Certain kinds of change make people uncomfortable, even fearful. Instead of change being an opportunity for improvement or to experience something new, they gravitate toward the familiar, which they acknowledge could be inferior. Funny thing, this tendency seems to increase as we age.

“The devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” — Cliché

“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.” — E. Joseph Cossman

Change should not be something to automatically fear. After all, changing socks is a fantastic idea. Changing lanes is often necessary. Changing keys makes music interesting. Changing colors makes autumn beautiful. People enjoy watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Finally, this post is the result of many changes. (You should have seen the first 59 drafts.)

Change is more acceptable when seen as a remedy for suffering. Like most elections, the buzzword in the last presidential election cycle was “change.” Most of the candidates have used it or similar words such as reform. For example, Huckabee proposed to “reform” the tax system. Obama’s overall theme was “stand for change.” (This was later changed to “Unite for Change.”)   In these and most other cases, the same game plan is in force. Step 1: Convince the people something is terribly wrong or headed in that direction. Step 2: Offer to come and save the day through “change.” (I think I hear the Lone Ranger theme song.) Before taking sides in these matters, some questions we must ask are, “Will the proposed changes really save the day?”, “Which person or group is most qualified to save the day?” and “Does the day even need to be saved?”

Here are some thoughts to help change our attitude toward change.

“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” — Professor Irwin Corey

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer

“No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” — John Stuart Mill

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” — Carol Burnett

“The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” — Peter Drucker

“Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” — Peter Marshall, US Senate chaplain

“If the rate of change on the outside (of the firm) exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” — Jack Welch

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” — Jim Rohn

“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” — Harrison Ford

“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything – or nothing.” — Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964)

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James (1842 – 1910)

“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffet

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon, Medical Doctor

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

HUMOR

I don’t know what inspired me to write about humor this day. The books I’m reading lately are drop dead serious. I haven’t seen any funny television commercials for the longest time. I guess it must be the spontaneous memory of something I read long ago, which is one person’s definition of humor.

“There are 3 types of humor: 1) a logical series of events leading to an illogical conclusion; 2) an unpredictable substitution of reason; 3) slipping on a banana peel.” — Unknown

Now that we have a working definition, let me note that humor can be found almost everywhere, even at funerals and in church. In my experience, most pastors don’t know how to tell a joke, at least not as well as a church secretary. Some great humor can be found in church bulletins and announcements. Imagine a moment of quiet reflection being interrupted by one of the following announcements?

“Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.”

“The low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p. m. Please use the back door.”

“8 new choir robes are currently needed, due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.”

So much for creating a mood of reverence. This type of amusing slip-up can also be found in the news media. I recall a summer day in 1977 like it was yesterday. On my car radio I heard the following late-breaking report:

“Groucho Marx died yesterday after 86 years in a Los Angeles hospital.”

Groucho would have been proud!

Humor is so important that it has its own Internet “initialisms” such as LOL and ROFL, which mean “Laughing Out Loud” and “Rolling On the Floor Laughing.” Humor’s significance goes beyond amusement and pleasure. It helps us cope in difficult times. It helps us lead. It helps us teach. Read the following quotes and you’ll understand what I mean.

“Humor is a rubber sword — it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.” — Mary Hirsch

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain

“Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth — a sense of humor.” — Author Unknown

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” — Peter Ustinov

“Comedy is tragedy plus time.” — Carol Burnett

Humor is a matter of personal taste. What is funny to me may not be funny to you. Therefore, any attempt to make a top ten list is futile. Even so, I thought this issue of Clancy’s Quotes would be incomplete if it didn’t include some humor that made me LOL.

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.” — Scott Adams, Dogbert; Dilbert cartoons

There once was a young man from Lyme
Who couldn’t get his limericks to rhyme
When asked “Why not?”
It was said that he thought
They were probably too long and badly structured and not at all very funny.
— Anonymous

“Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2.” — Grabel’s Law

“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” — Homer Simpson

“The doctor says to the patient, ‘Take your clothes off and stick your tongue out the window’. ‘What will that do?’ asks the patient. The doctor says ‘I’m mad at my neighbor!”” — Henny Youngman

“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they’re looking for ideas.” — Paula Poundstone

“Q: What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic, and a dyslexic?
A: Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog.”
— Groucho Marx

God Bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com