Give Thinks!

Attachment-1 2I have a favorite joke. Actually, it’s the only joke I can ever remember. Good I’m not a stand-up comedian because that would make for a very short set. Here it is:

Descartes, the French philosopher supposedly famous for saying, “Je pense donc je suis.”  (“I think, therefore, I am.”),  walks into a bar. He orders a Smiddicks. (It’s a British pub – Ye Olde Hooters. There’s a wise-looking owl sitting atop the pub sign. This  obviously serves to attract great thinkers from all over the world.) He drinks his mug of warm beer and then the bartender asks if he’d like another. Descartes replies, “I think not” and then he  promptly disappears into thin air.Attachment-1 3

Ba doomp boomp  (That’s the drum thing that comes after a punch line.)

😜  LOL!  😜

FullSizeRenderMy husband, Charley and I were shopping and I came upon this package of paper napkins.  I chuckled and returned it to the bin but then Charley picked it up and put it in our basket. He  advised me to buy the other packages. He knows me well and realized I’d have reverse buyer’s remorse if I didn’t bring them home with me. “Are you sure you don’t want the others? Are you positive? Give thinks.” I didn’t listen to him and bought just the one. It’s out on the kitchen counter right where I can see it. After a week, in an odd, convoluted sort of way, Give Thinks  had me thinking.

Attachment-1I sat in the kitchen, much like Rodin’s The Thinker,  except I was wearing clothes. (It’s still a bit chilly here in Rhode Island.) And, having been an English teacher in a previous life,  I pondered the usage of the word: noun and verb forms; present and past tenses. Think, thinks, thinking, thinker, thought. Why couldn’t thinks be Attachment-1 2used as a noun? It didn’t seem to be a far-fetched idea Two great thinkers  who have tinkered with the word came immediately to mind.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while watching a character meant to represent her in a play, Queen Gertrude comments to her son:”The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

And, of course, those famous words of Tweedy Bird.

Attachment-1

 

I’ve often been told: “Give it some thought.” “Think about that.” “Are you sure?” “Is that what you really want to do?” “Maybe you should sleep on it?”

Very good cautionary advice in many circumstances. But in my experience, words too often easily ignored, which inevitably leads to  problems

Attachment-1 7And then I gave it more thinks. Things that have been bothering me lately flashed through my head.

What are people thinking when a bigot, egotist and buffoon has support to become a national leader? Does no one remember the last time that happened and the consequences to millions of people?

Why are we not more empathetic to people who are lost and in pain? Haven’t we all been bereft at some time in our lives?

When did  refusing sanctuary to those in need become a potential national policy?

How many mistakes do we need to repeat before we learn that killing each other is not an option for maintaining world peace?

Why do some people feel they’re more equal than others?

And why is acquiring money and material possessions the ultimate goal for so many?Attachment-1 4

I’m pretty sure all of you can add to my list and I’ll leave that to you because I like to keep my posts under 500,000 words. Undoubtably with less thoughtlessness, the world would be a better place.

This has led me to thinking that what we really need is an original ad campaign with a truly memorable catch phrase. Flyers, posters, bill boards which will force us  to stop in our tracks when we see them and say out loud, “Wait a minute – ‘Give Thinks’ –  shouldn’t that be an A? What idiot wrote that? Do they not know how to use Spell-Check? Where was their  Quality Control Supervisor?”

And I came up with this:FullSizeRender

Enough musing for today. I think I’ll go back to the store and get the rest of those napkins. Charley was right. Who’d a thunk it?

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95 thoughts on “Give Thinks!

    1. Russ, If they cause people to stop and Give Thinks, than they’ve served a higher purpose than mopping up spills. I’ve finished Reflections of a Grateful Man and will work on the review this weekend. I could hear your kind voice reading the thoughtful words. Take care, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great post, Clare, right from the joke at the beginning. I must try to remember it. Love your napkins and hope there were still some left when you went back!
    As for the buffoon possibly on the way to be president – I really don’t know what to think. I really don’t understand how it could have happened nor, it seems, do any American friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s all about money and power, Mary. I’ve come to the conclusion that the US is no longer a Democracy, but rather a Corporatocracy. We’re being run into the ground by the 1%. I can’t even watch the American news channels anymore. It’s the BBC or nothing. I appreciate your comments and look forward to visiting your site soon. A bewildered Clare

      Liked by 2 people

  2. He disappeared, bwahahaha!!
    I couldn’t agree more about the “hair guy.” What a sad state America has fallen (dived head first??) into. smh
    When I saw your title, my first thought was, Did I nap THAT long that it’s already November????
    Let me know when your poster is published! I’d like 3 please!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post Clare! Methinks I love your thinks! Hang the grammar. Sometimes we need to be inventive.

    The more serious questions you pose are important and deserve to be pondered as such. The problem is these issues become normalised, they are dressed up and waylaid by the media and politicians until someone realises that the Emperor has no clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, he gives new meaning to the term “Ugly American”! We’ve certainly had our low points when the Republicans are in office, but this could be devastating. He could undo everything that has been accomplished in the last 8 years and then some.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yvette. I’m trying to vary the kinds of pieces I post. It makes for good writing practice. I’m not sure what my strengths are, yet, but I enjoy trying out different styles. I’ve dealt with a few serious topics and they seem to have elicited some good discussions. I appreciate other people’s input. I don’t want to impose my views on people who take the time to stop by and visit, but sometimes I feel those views need to be expressed so people know where you stand on some very critical issues. Using the Socratic method of posing questions seemed to fit in with Descartes and Plato and not too heavy-handed, I hope? How is Toastmasters going?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course, being French, I can but state that you are using Descartes and Rodin as starting points of your thinks/thoughts! 🙂 Although France is not much more rational than the USA today. Of course, I have been wondering about this “new” (?) America. My American friends are not supporters of Mr Donald Duck, and I cannot understand who can be a supporter when so may idiocies are said. But then, when one looks at European countries, how many idiotic political parties with idiotic leaders are raising their ugly heads?
    We do not learn from our past errors (euphemism); with time, we forget them or we turn them back into truths or good things that have been misundertood (we call this révisionisme in French); we repeat the same attitudes more or less in the same circumstances.
    During one short moment, we had all means to learn, communicate, educate, at hand with the net: they have been turned back into means of propaganda and reduced to the lowest thinking factor.
    Descartes is not the thinker that dominates: we follow the paths described by Sun-Tzu, Machiavelli and Clausewitz…
    A very thoughtful post. If only all Americans were like you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Camille. I have been to France only twice, but loved my short time there. I think the fault might lie in the basic nature of the characters of men who seek to be our leaders. Ego and money are not good qualities on which to build a solid character. Perhaps it is why women have seldom sought to gain higher office? Although, our alternative to The Buffoon has her own set of character flaws. Many Americans are feeling much the same way I do right now. I can only hope this “wake-up call” we are facing, makes us realize we must stand up to the bullies and bigots who have taken advantage of their freedoms and are using them against the good of the whole. Evil gains a foothold when good men/women sit back and do nothing. Thank you for your thought-filled comment.I hope today is a sunny day for you and the girls. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are much preoccupied by the possibility of Americans voting for The Buffoon. The other Republican candidates were scaring as well. I can understand why Christians are aborrhed in the US if they are such fundamentalists. I am a Roman Catholic but I do not recognize myself in their mentalities, thoughts and acts. They are dreadful bigots. Mrs Clinton is far drom perfect but let’s hope she has more common sense and less fanaticism. In the international context – political economical, religious… – we need leaders or representatives (in fact WE elect them to do the job) with great common sense; and we need responsible fellow citizens who go and vote!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, extremism in any arena is a dangerous element as we’ve all seen in the past decade. I agree with you about why we elect politicians, but someone really needs to explain to them when they get into office, that they are not there to place their own wants and desires ahead of those they serve.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. True. This is why I agree with an American friend of mine who made the comment the other day that those elected were elected to serve and to be representatives and not leaders ofbthe country. This is true for all democratic countries, including mine.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Clare, won’t you mind if I call you “adorable” or “amazing”? I smiled several times while reading your post, and you made me THINK. Here I use it as a verb i guess. Sometimes I think a lot without acting much, here I giggle. Or do something without thinking. I am afraid that we don’t know when exactly it’s good to think and when not? Might be! Sending you some warmer weather!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny, you’ve always seemed quite “adorable” and “amazing” to me! And it makes me very happy that I can bring out a giggle in you. Yes, the sun is shining here today and I am going outside to garden soon. Your comment has brought to mind another famous quote: “To thinks or not to thinks? That is the question.” I may have to design another poster.Have a lovely day.

      Like

  6. There’s a dreadful Rugby song that my husband taught me that reals off various philosophers and includes Descartes thus: ‘René Descartes was a drunken fart – ‘I DRINK therefore I am’. Big thinks you thinks and shares and I am glad that you have … I loved this piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Osyth. Oh, how I would love to hear that song in its entirety! I know it would have me dancing around the yard howling out the lyrics. Two Brains is a true gem – a keeper, as we say. Many fond tawts to both of you and the Bean. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll get him to sing the whole thing and send you the words and toon …. I believe this may be the key to rainy day blues. I took a long time finding him and I will NEVER stop being thankful that I did. The Bean graciously accepts those good thoughts and sends her best to you both and the pusskins 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Maniparna. I try to vary my posts and don’t usually do many serious ones. There are the Roxie AKA The Other Cat selections and the travel ones and those about books and reading to young children and the photo ones, but very few on the more serious topics. I’ve done a couple on lyme disease and cancer, but have stayed away from politics,so this was a bit of a reach for me and I wasn’t sure how it would be received. So far, the reactions are all positive. Possibly I will venture into this area again at some time.I appreciate your input. Thank you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will definitely try to do some more of these in the future. i really appreciate your advice, Maniparna. Feedback is very important to writers and bloggers trying to find their voice and their strengths. Thank you….Clare

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hariod, I just returned from reading some of your early (April, 2014) posts. I have quite a bit of reading to do to get to the present in your blog, but I’m sure it will be a worthwhile journey.And I thank you for liking my comment on Morgan’s site, as it led me to you.
      I love Bernie Sanders and am in agreement with him on his policies. But I fear he will never be able to succeed in the presidency, as he strikes me as being a good and virtuous man(much like Jimmy Carter). I truly fear that the presidency of our faltering country is no place for a good and virtuous person right now. I realize this is pessimistic, but just look at what happened to Carter. He finally found his place in devoting himself to humanitarian projects away from the filthiness that is Washington, DC. (I truly have no idea how Obama made it through 8 years in that snake pit, although I believe Michelle was a constant source of support for him.) So, your descartes was well placed. Although my philosophy is more in line with Satre: “Hell is other people.” (At least in US politics.) Here, let me help you with your coat… Clare (excuse the …)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Good grief; is it really still 2016? It feels like time has stood still since your country’s primaries begun. Now we can add ‘Time Lord’ to Trump’s ‘Demagogue’, ‘Psychopath’, and ‘Megalomaniac’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m afraid anything with “lord” in the title might induce further acts of entitlement! “Give thinks” to how many of us in the US are feeling at this point. Canada or Britain is looking really good to me right now.

        Like

      3. Thoughts on ‘thinks’ or ‘thinkings’ thunked:

        Shakespeare – All’s well that ends well Act 5 scene 3:

        “I am wrap’d in dismall thinkings” – The King.

        Note: ‘Thinkings’ is listed as a (mass) noun by Oxford.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Hariod, at my advanced age, I am never sure of anything. I have been to Canada and studied in Britain, so maybe a respite will do? Iceland has its advantages but an Islamic state? I have no idea how the IS got into the comment? Methinks not.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Argggh! Blame the machine. This is a test: 🇮🇸🇬🇧🇨🇦
        Apparently flag emojis can translate into letters. And my spell check somehow insists on re-spelling your name, Hariod. I’ve checked this carefully, so let’s see if any changes are made after I press “send”.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. This conversation is going great, isn’t it, Clare?

        I have not the slightest idea what your flags and emojis are about. Hahahahaha. Are you trying to spell ‘Hariod’ or something?

        Like

      7. Yes, I really do enjoy conversations. And now I realize that I assumed you knew about emojis and you know what happens when you assume…
        An emoji is that funny little creation people use like 😻 or 🤔 or 🌹. I have found if you go to the menu on a Mac, at the bottom of “Edit” is a large selection of emojis including flags. But when I tried to use the flag emojis, letters showed up on the reply comment instead. Now, about the spell-check – it hates me. I realize I can turn it off, but there are times when I do use it. I assure you, I’m spelling your name correctly but every single time, the letters morph into some form of the word “hair”. I will be extra attentive of this in future conversations. Unless you would like to be called Hairdo? (Methinks not)

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hi Clare, yes, I understand what emojis (emoticons) are, but I’ve no idea why you’re using them, meaning to what purpose? I think I must be missing something very obvious, and assumed you were trying to do something novel with my name, but could you please explain? There’s no problem whatsoever with you or your spellchecker calling me ‘Haired’, which you did once, or ‘Hairdo’ – your first deliberate(?) go – though many find it easier simply to call me ‘H’, so please feel free. All the best, H.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Googled David Tennant. Aha! The 10th Dr. Who. I used to watch it in the 60’s and 70’s. My favorite was Tom Baker #4. But I somehow lost track in the 80’s and now, I see, there are 13 and the series is more popular than ever. So, back to where this started – Trump would make a terrible Time Lord, but I’m sure he would relish the title.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. An aversion to sci-fi and fantasy? I have friends who write in this genre. One young author is becoming famous with his published books based on the Minecraft video series of games.He has brokered a film deal for his trilogy. In my college days I did read “Stranger in a Strange Land” but it isn’t a genre I continued to read in my later years. I do have many Star Trek and Star Wars fans among my friends and family.Was Tennant’s Hamlet a stage production or film?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know, my aversion is entirely illogical; it just seems like a pathological trait, and I lose complete interest in all things fantasy within seconds. I think the worst 15 (or was it 20?) hours of my life were spent watching the film ‘Lord of the Rings’.

        Tennant’s Hamlet was an RSC production made for BBC television:

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      4. Hariod, although I’m surrounded by people who love science fiction, I find it as interminable as you. (I do like to fantasize on occasion and was always a daydreamer.)Thank you for the link. I will seek out the film to view Tennant’s Hamlet in its entirety. I’ve been reading your May, 2014 blog entries and have much to ponder today about my relationships, especially in regard to family. I am the elder child. The one not chosen. My younger sister was adopted. I think I’ll re-read them tonight. I’m meeting, this afternoon, with a potential illustrator for my children’s book series. I’ve used my own photos up to now, but need to find something not so limiting in scope. Clare

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Clare,
    Methinks, you make me think…and laugh! Doug, who was a philosophy major in college, told me to tell you he LOVED your joke…even with me telling it! (When I do remember them, I pretty much butcher them in the telling.) But yours was a real hit and he will probably repurpose it somehow into a sermon in the near future, He’s not a very solemn preacher…or man. He told me to ask you if Descarte fell in the forest would we hear a sound? Cogito ergo boom? Got to give thinks for a humorous husband…I think.

    Glad you added the humor because although this political season feels like a bad joke…I don’t find myself laughing a lot. Not only do we have to content with the Trumpeters in our midst and their despicable overlord …but we have the distasteful, discriminatory HB2 bill here in NC with the conservative governor and legislature “doubling down” like Trump, costing us jobs and revenue for the dumbest bill in the USA, while nflaming everyone about little girls being raped by predatory transgender pretenders hanging out in every NC bathroom and locker room. Add those two together and there is little news fit to print around here. Doug says we need to send Trump to your give thinks bar….since he has few active brain cells and doesn’t think he would quickly go poof!

    Couple of updates: Monday should be Doug’s last test…keep a good thought…Oh and remember the friend conversation…a blog post coming soon!

    Last, but not least, have to ask…historical fiction/fantasy (NOT dystopian!) if not science fiction? Gosh, I hope so… Lis would be very disappointed if you didn’t like her!

    Have a good weekend…Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, I love historical fiction and I’ll always read a friend’s book with an open mind, no matter the genre. Many of the younger authors from my RI author group are really into heavy science fiction. (Cartoons, gaming, etc.) I try, but end up passing on their books to someone who really does appreciate them.
      I am glad Doug liked the joke and in answer to the Descarte’s conundrum all I can say is, “Is the cat still in the box?”
      Yes, NC is having its share of problems right now. I forgot to tell you – We’re going to NC for a few days so Charley can golf at Pinehurst on his birthday. I will keep you and Doug in my prayers and I’ll be looking for that post. I’ve been gardening and my peonies are going to start to bloom today. Yayyyyy! Hugs, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love peonies, and do have one bush, but they don’t do well in NC…amazing scent! This year I only had one flower…some years I’ve had none…I probably should try to move my bush..but I’m afraid to disrupt it.
        To me, my book feels as much historical fiction as folklore/fantasy given its setting in 1446 Poland and the political backdrop that is part of the plot. I actually worked to make even the fantasy seem very much everyday and real. have always loved fantasy (CS Lewis, Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey, Ursula LeGuin, Stephen Donaldson, Naomi Novik, David Eddings, Marti and lately Patrick Rothfus) but not a lot of science fiction. I do love science, but more biology or social sciences. I don’t know about Zuzu, but I’m pretty sure Roxie might have a lot to say to Schrödinger about misusing, even possibly killing, a poor cat just to make a point, but then Roxie probably understands quantum physics much better than I do.
        Our son took Doug to the US Open when it held at Pinehurst in 2014. He loves to watch, but doesn’t play (Chris does golf) and thought it a beautiful course…though the rough is really rough, dry and sandy most years, though we have had a lot of rain this spring so that might change things. I hope Charley will enjoy it. It’s also near a horticultural garden I want to visit some day, so you might like that. It’s just over an hour, hour an a half from Raleigh, where our kids live…young, growing energetic city also worth a visit.
        Wish I could see the peonies! Hugs back, Jo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jo, I am so looking forward to your book and want one of the first copies. Please, put one aside for me. You will be glad to know that I met with an illustrator to work on a Roxie book, so although it wasn’t really in my plans, it looks like it will happen. I’m still waiting for the galley on the new Alpaca book. Hopefully, it will be out in June if nothing goes wrong. Then, I can get back to the mystery. It needs a severe rewrite and edit. Looks like a busy summer. I still haven’t done this weekend’s blog post, but you just gave me an idea. Maybe, I’ll write about my incredibly slow-to-bloom gardens? We’ll only be at the resort for a few days, and he’ll be golfing every day with friends. I will definitely make sure I go to that horticultural garden nearby. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be looking for things to do since I’m not going to golf this time around. Take care – you’ve inspired me to write… Thanks, Clare

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Who knew that a napkin could make one so philosophical? Yours is the best ad campaign I’ve seen in a very, very long time! So many great questions! Me thinks Charley knows you well! I’m the same way, I’ll see something I like and for whatever reason choose not to buy it, get home and regret that I didn’t!! What’s that all about? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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