Thursday, November 08, 2012

A Source of All of Life's Wisdom

"Normal" health is an illusion. Nobody has it. Among the seven members of my immediate family, one has Multiple Sclerosis and hypothyroidism, another has spinal arthritis and a thyroid disorder that the doctors have yet to figure out, another has a permanent inner ear issue resulting in a balance disability, another grapples daily with a serious chronic pain condition, and another has a chemical imbalance that manifests itself as something akin to bipolar disorder.

I'm thinking that the other two family members simply haven't yet lived long enough for their health conditions to manifest themselves. In fact, I think that almost everybody I know has some kind of health issue.

As I thought about this, I thought of the scene in The Princess Bride where the Dread Pirate Roberts (Westley in disguise) tells Princess Buttercup, "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

I recalled that a bishop of mine that had a fun sense of humor once quipped that The Princess Bride contained all of life's wisdom. So I pulled up a page of quotes and soon found myself immersed in this wisdom. It's broadly applicable.

On handling conflict: "You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword, and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?"

On making a proper introduction: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

On eternal relationships: "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."

On patience: "You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles."

On management-employee relationships: "Am I going MAD, or did the word "think" escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains, you hippopotamic land mass." and "And remember this, never forget this: when I found you, you were so slobbering drunk, you couldn't buy Brandy!" and "Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

On grammar: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

On offering help: "I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you."

On diagnosing medical conditions: Miracle Max: "Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do." Inigo Montoya: "What's that?" Miracle Max: "Go through his clothes and look for loose change."

On explaining medical conditions: Westley: "Why won't my arms move?" Fezzik: "You've been mostly-dead all day."

On encouraging a friend: Prince Humperdinck: "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped." Count Rugen: "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything."

On optimism: "Nonsense. You're only saying that [we'll never survive in the Fire Swamp] because no one ever has."

On responding to an insensitive remark: "The King's stinking son fired me, and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?"

On property disputes: "You're trying to kidnap what I've rightfully stolen."

On jogging one's memory: Man In Black (Westley): "Why loose your venom on me?" Buttercup: "You killed my love." Man In Black: "It's possible. I kill a lot of people."

On subtle conversation: Grandpa: "That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "As you wish", what he meant was, "I love you.""

On grandparent-grandchild relationships: Grandson: "Grandpa, maybe you could come over and read it again to me tomorrow." Grandpa: "As you wish."

And so much more. I guess it's about time to dig out the movie and watch it again.

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