It's Obvious...
Off the Wall, June 6
, 2013

While walking down the street recently, I was reminded of something that became very obvious. I even made as saying about it – another Peeveeism – “When one has thoughts, he is thinking.”

Now you might say, what’s the deal? How many times has the phrase surfaced, “He did it without thinking?” In my opinion, that’s a stupid statement because I believe decisions are based on thoughts – plain and simple.

I wish I could say that all thoughts are good thoughts, but in this world we are living, it seems that many people are foundering, searching, grasping at straws, to try to figure out what means they can satisfy their own inhibitions. What they may be pondering is only temporary, but definitely will not last.

I am reminded of Joey Bubooish who went fishing in Canada one early Monday morning. While fishing along the shore, he noticed a log jutting out from the some rocks. Thinking he could get out further on the lake, he climbed aboard and walked on it almost to the end. All of a sudden, it slowly began to turn. As the rotation quickened, Joey sensed he could not keep up and realized his doom was seconds away. Splashing into the water, he grabbed onto the limb and held on for dear life, his hip boots filling quickly. He then inched his way back to the shore. If he hadn’t thought out his plans, he may have sunk to the depths of the foreign body of water and drowned.

Thinking good thoughts is everything. That sentence could be another Peeveeism. After all, isn’t that what scripture really tells us. But more so, it relates that we have to do more than think about them. We have to act, for without actions, those motivators become buried in our minds, slowly overcome by other impressions that cover them up.

Maybe someone will remind us to do something that was suggested. Our replies may be, “Hey, I thought of that at one time, but never did anything about it,” or “I let it go for the time being...” and still, “I even wrote it down to remember it, but lost the paper.”

Talk about obvious, there is one word in our vocabulary that carries an automatic negative – “Don’t.”

Last summer, I remember walking up to two people sitting in a convertible parked in the Legion Keener lot – two teens, a girl and guy. Without so much as a greeting, I looked her smack dab in her eyes and stated, “You have the right to say ‘Don’t’ or ‘No’ and he has to respect that.” Boy, did I get a sneer from him. But shortly thereafter, she smiled and said, “Thanks.” I think I must have hit a nerve or something.

If you have a piece of paper and pen, jot down ten thoughts that come to mind that start with that word. I’ll list three for this column. “Don’t leave before Mass is over,” “Don’t litter the streets in your town,” and “Don’t curse where you may offend others.” There, those are just starters, but I think you get the message.

Two words that have become very must used with a dubious outcome are “If only…” It’s obvious something could have been, isn’t or wasn’t. “If only Dave could have brought more balls, we could all play golf using his clubs…” “If only I had utensils, I wouldn’t have eaten with my fingers…” or, “”If only I had my cell phone…”

I bet yours weren’t the same as mine. “Thinking often results in variations of thoughts,” – maybe, yet, another Peeveeism?

There are always going to be “don’ts’ that we have to use if only once in a while. If we think we can live in a world where “do’s” are always permissible, then there won’t be “if only” phrasing, in my opinion. But I feel I have something here by stating that God created us with a brain, and with it, we are to do positive things on His behalf. That means we “have to think” before we act, incorporate “don’ts” more so than ever, and constantly remind ourselves that greater improvements can be made if only we concentrate on the spiritual more than the physical.

To many of us, including yours truly, it’s obvious we could do better if we put our mind to letting go and letting God. If we think He’s not the answer, don’t be foolish. If only individuals would wake up to the truth, what a better world this would be.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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