Sunday, November 4, 2007

YMCA, Kumbaya & Yoda

Let’s hope my VP of HC (that’s Vice President of Humor Control, and yes, I have one) gives this post a thumbs up. She’s been a bit cranky lately and not easily amused, but I just can’t allow another day to go by without my YMCA speech.

Something set me off.

OK, perhaps four somethings. I won’t bore you with the details because, quite frankly, what fires me up ignites as easily as tossing a lit match match into a puddle of gasoline. Kaboom!

I am not sure how we got to this point, but apparently everyone (don’t ya just love generalizations?) thinks we live at the Y and that we should all hold hands, sit in a circle and sing–no, not Y-M-C-A but– “Kumbaya.” It’s part of the whole Can’t-We-All-Just-Get-Along mindset that permeates our culture.

Without fail at some point during every year, I feel compelled to haul out my YMCA speech. It usually comes during some deadline after someone mistakenly says, “I know I didn’t turn in all my stuff, but at least I tried.” Or, someone says, “I have some of it done, just not all of it.” Or, I look at a yearbook page and half the stuff’s missing.

Instead of granting absolution, I usually whip out the pregnancy analogy before the YMCA speech. It goes something like this… “Deadlines are a lot like being pregnant. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You either are or aren’t. You either have your story or you don’t. Your page is either finished or it isn’t. So what is it? Done or not done?”

…So-o-o-o-o go ahead and make my day. No wait, wrong allusion. (How’d ol’ Clint weasel his way in here?)

Of course, at this point I’ve worked myself into a bit of a frenzy, so I launch full-tilt into my Maybe-You-Hadn’t-Noticed-But-This-Isn’t-The-YMCA speech. It’s my favorite and this one goes something like this…

“This is not the YMCA. We are not in the business of building your self-esteem or making sure everyone feels good about themselves. Prisons are full of people with high self-esteem. We are a PUBLICATION. Our goal is to put out the best publication we can. We compete. We can’t do that if we only TRY. We have to DO. We have to PUBLISH. When you don’t do your story, are we supposed to run, ‘At least she TRIED to write her story’? Forget the trying part; it’s the doing part that matters. Jeez Louise….”

Echoes of Shenandoah, my mother’s favorite movie, reverberate somewhere in the back of my brain. There’s a part where James Stewart says, “If you don’t try, you don’t do, and if you don’t do, then what’s the sense of living?”

I guess he was the prequel to our little Star Wars buddy, Yoda, who admonishes, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

I bet Yoda never sat around singing
“Kumbaya.”

I guess all I need now is a lightsaber.

6 comments:

Maggie B. said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Yoda didn't sing Kumbaya.

True, there is no try.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite certain corporate America needs your YMCA speech, and perhaps a certain media company right here in Dallas.
- Ann

Clix said...

OH MY GOD. I use the Yoda quote with my Journalism students ALL THE TIME! *laugh*

It is SO good to know I'm not alone in my frustration and annoyance. :D

mybellringers said...

Clix,
Thanks for the note…It's nice to know that I'm not alone either :-)

loonyhiker said...

I am evaluating a couple of teachers and I need to use these sayings! This was perfect timing!

mybellringers said...

Looneyhiker,
Oooh, I sure hope that's a good thing ;-)