Ruminations Again

Comfort and anxiety are like two magnets attempting to establish dominance over the other. Each one repels the other. But anxiety is the more powerful of the two. Anxiety is covertly muscular and subtly assertive. Comfort tends to quickly acquiesce to its stronger opponent’s implied—or actual—ferocity. But even in its suggested savagery, anxiety is not as strong as fear. And comfort is not synonymous with luxury. Similes often lose their persuasive qualities when confronted with metaphorical insistence.


Life is wasted on the living.

~ Douglas Adams ~


Never is not the opposite of sometimes. Always is not an antonym of occasionally. Live (liv) and live (līv) look alike, but sound different from one another…and have different (though related) meanings. Language fascinates me, but not to the extent that I would want to devote my life’s work to understanding all the intricacies and conflicts and confounding curiosities of any language; even the one whose fluency I continue to pursue (but not with dogged determination). What, exactly, is one’s life work, by the way? What has mine been?


It is hard for me to say, with a straight face, that I have spent my life’s work becoming an accomplished association executive (or manager or whatever). Associations are just clubs that have decided to clothe themselves in slacks, button-down shirts, and shiny leather shoes. Clubs are satisfied to wear cut-off jeans, paint-stained t-shirts, and flip-flops. Oh, there’s more to it than the attire, of course, but that provides an adequate illustration of their differences to create sufficient understanding. But people who take the “profession” of association management seriously (too seriously, in my view) would argue that managing such organizations requires extensive knowledge, communications skills, an understanding of  and ability to apply organizational psychology, managerial expertise, diplomacy, tact, and much, much more. Having done the work, I smirk at many of those assertions; I have seen many trained seals celebrated for doing a perfectly adequate job. A slight exaggeration, yes; but only very slight. And I was one of them. My life’s work. I beam with pride. Don’t get me wrong. I know many extremely intelligent, remarkably capable people who are or have been association executives—but those people could have spent their careers doing work that could have made a positive difference in the world.


I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.

~ William Shakespeare ~


The arrival of Saturday…it has happened again.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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