By Tim Hayes

Things I think I’ve thought of lately…

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The other day I pulled out my old high school yearbook from my senior year, and became struck at a disturbing realization.  Of the scores of notes and signatures and “RMA”s (remember me always), and “I’ll never forget that time in Mr. Cooper’s class…” references, I can only actually remember about half of the kids who signed my yearbook.  We must have had some crazy adventures and shared experiences, but I’ll be damned if I can put a face to your name after all this time.  That’s more than a little troubling.

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Paula Deen must have the same PR advisers as Amanda Bynes.  The more she talks, the worse things seem to get.  Paula, here’s some free advice you never asked for.  When this mess first broke into the news, you should have said something to the effect of, “I did a stupid thing that is hurtful to a lot of people.  I feel remorseful and foolish.  I apologize for my insensitivity, and ask for your forgiveness.  I am asking my business partners to work with me and my team to find ways to overcome this mistake by creating something positive for people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, and I pledge to make this my cause for the remainder of my life and career.”

Wouldn’t that have come across a little better than the ill-phrased testimony to her African-American friends (“he’s black as a board”), her shrill defiance (“I dare you to throw that stone at my head”), and her Today show crocodile tears (“I is what I is and I’m not changin’”)?  I sure think so.

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If you ever need inspiration to keep going no matter what, to persevere against all odds, to strive when the universe seems stacked against you, you may look to scripture.  You may seek divine guidance.   You may get angry and redirect that energy in a positive way.  Or, I don’t know, you may go to the drug store and gobble vitamins by the handful.  But I offer you here another path.  A path proven over the centuries as an example of bursting through when it appears all but impossible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you – the common lawn and garden weed.

A couple of weeks ago, we worked like dogs to get our place fixed up.  Clearing out flower beds and planting areas, putting down yards and yards of that black netting around the bases of trees and bushes, and dumping what felt like a ton of dark brown mulch all over the place.  When finished, it looked like a page out of Better Homes & Gardens.

Then the rains came, and the sun came, and the weeds came.  How in the world do they do it?  They were first ripped up by the roots, then covered in black netting, then buried under three inches of mulch.  And they STILL come out!

You want immortality?  You want indestructibility?  You want to be an unending, unrepentant, unbelievable pain in the ass?  Emulate the weed.

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And lastly, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place with the best record in Major League Baseball.  Somewhere, the “Gunner,” Bob Prince, is smiling.  Me too.  Life is good.

Copyright 2013 Tim Hayes Consulting