I read a book recently that made me want to be a curmudgeon. Really. A curmudgeon is a person whose good opinion you really do want, someone who has standards.
I actually got a real printed book delivered last week that I paid for with real money, and if you’ve read my posts, you know how rare that is. I was fascinated, and read it almost nonstop all day long; I did stop to prepare some food, but I read while I was eating. I’ve been told that reading while eating is a bad habit, but I don’t see the bad in it unless I spill spaghetti sauce on the book. At least I notice if someone talks to (or yells at) me, unlike many people whose phones seem to be the only thing they look at. Do phones grow onto your ear if you never stop talking on them? I wonder.
This book is a little masterpiece: “Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life.” It has some of the best thoughts on those subjects I’ve ever read outside of scripture. I think that if you read this book and follow the advice therein, you and I really will be more successful and better people (and like, you’ll stop using the word “like” all the time). Me, too.
Apparently, curmudgeons are people who have opinions and make judgements! Oh no, aren’t we supposed to be open-minded and never judge? Pish posh, I say. Here’s a subject heading: “Being judgemental is good, and you don’t have a choice anyway.” Mr. Murray encourages the reader to understand that life consists not just of passing the time here on earth, but to realize that we are obligated to live the best life we can. In order to do that, we must make judgements. If you can argue against that reasoning, I’d like to hear it.
At work, “Don’t suck up,” and “The unentitled shall inherit the earth.” On being happy, “Show up,” “Watch Groundhog Day repeatedly,” and “That’s it.” I’m not going to tell you everything you’ll find in this little gem. I say “little” because it only has 144 pages, and I read it in a day with time left over. I encourage and recommend that you get hold of a copy and read it yourself. You will be the better for it – I believe I am.
BTW, the author is a bit notorious; once when he co-authored a book and they came to a politically incorrect conclusion, both authors got death threats and had to hire bodyguards. The book was “The Bell Curve,” and amongst every other totally logical conclusion reached, such as that if you’re smart, you’re likely to earn more money and not spend time in jail, the authors were surprised to find out that sometimes intelligence levels are connected to race or ethnic group. They were flabbergasted, actually, because they had assumed their results would be the opposite, but they reported their findings anyway.
Horrors! Since we can deduce that this is about the groups and not the individuals, it doesn’t bother me. I have no problem understanding that usually a Greyhound is faster (and smarter) than a Basset Hound, even though some Bassets may be faster than some Greyhounds. Bassets are also collectively the dumbest dog breed; they sure are cute, though. I had one once, and he kept jumping up and pulling my raspberry canes down and eating all the berries. Not so dumb, come to think of it. He also loved bananas.
The Bell Curve is technical and long, and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I once asked my Psych professor if she had read it, and she answered, aghast, “I would NEVER read a book like that!” as if reading thoughts that are different from what we believe will somehow taint us. Not true; opening our minds doesn’t hurt that much. And the truth can hurt, but it’s still the truth and valuable because of that. I think political correctness is an enemy of truth, because it’s based on opinion and emotion, not reasoning and evidence.
Like, thanks for reading!