Misery loves company. Do you know a person who needs to be avoided because they constantly bring thunderstorms wherever they go and end up parting those rainy-day blues on all they meet? Is it you? The misery idiom might be a bit confusing. It means that we can take solace while in sorrows because others have experienced similar pain or suffering. Our plight is not unique. As a proverb, this phrase can be traced back to the 14th century and Dominick de Gravina who penned it in “Chronicon de rebus in Apulia gestis.” It is suggested that he most likely heard it from somebody else. Proverbs address sentimentality or universal truths. This phrase should be a bright spot and bring comfort, steering us toward better days and out from the darkness.
Oldest daughter put a smile on her Dad’s face this last week. She and her peers presented “Poe: Dreams of Madness.” It brought to stage the works of Edgar Allan Poe in a two act play at the Pierce Auditorium. We made sure that she was supported. Mom and I caught the Wednesday performance while her Mom and Sister attended Thursday. A few thoughts. Way too few people attending; that is a shame. The renovated auditorium is still breath taking. Oldest daughter can memorize lines; she launched into a few soliloquys that seemed to last for eternity and were darn right impressive. The smile was elicited by a fellow audience member echoing my feeling and concluding with “she made it her own.” It pleased me.
Watching them on stage brought back memories. The sheer terror of my own early stage days would be replaced in the following years by a calm and determination to bring a character to life that would be bigger than myself and add exponentially to the production. The experiences I had at Pierce in the Drama Club accumulated with the knowledge that I could if I would apply myself. The pinnacle of those years would exhibit not many years later when returning to my alma mater seeking to find what interest there might be in presenting a play. I went from a cast member to director; what an experience passing the touch. A new group of students were caught up in the magic of the stage.
Believing is a sort of magic all its own. We should be cultivating an achiever’s mindset. It is easier to have PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) when you have acquired a Skill Set. This positive mindset takes people places. These skills can be any number of things. The importance is that they set you apart and are of value to an employer or client. That equates to a bigger paycheck. The challenge this week is to take an inventory of your skills and invest some time into one or a set that will raise you above the masses. Oldest daughter is much farther along in her Speaking Skill Set than I was at her age. Way to go budding Bear thespians for taking on Poe; you shared the magic. ■
— Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email firstname.lastname@example.org