When asked what the problem was, my brother said he didn’t like some of what he saw in the world, and didn’t have the intelligence or power to correct it. However, he found one solution through professional counseling.
It was a group counseling session with a well-trained leader, who first went around the group asking each in turn to tell the group what their problem was. When my brother said the problem was that the world wasn’t perfect, the counselor’s response was quick and brutal.
He said the world really is perfect, it is perfectly what it is, and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you’ll start getting better. That is, if you can’t fix it, accept it.
Well, that approach wouldn’t work for me. I can’t do that, no matter how hard I try. I can’t fix everything, and I can’t simply accept everything just as it is, and my last resort solution doesn’t work in every case. But here’s an example where it does.
We bought a Mr. Coffee electric coffeemaker. You plug it in, fill it up with cold water, insert a filter and some ground coffee beans and push the “on” button. Well, it makes the little “beep, beep, beep” noise to tell you the coffee is all made, and then it starts gurgling and pumping hot water over the coffee grounds to actually make the coffee, and you only know it’s finished when it stops gurgling.
That’s when it’s supposed to go “beep. beep, beep,” but it doesn’t, because it already did that at the beginning, which is the wrong time to tell you it’s finished.
The finished beeping comes at the beginning of the brewing cycle, and not at the end. That’s just not right and I can’t accept it.
The solution is if you can’t fix it, and you can’t accept it, then rename it. So we renamed “the finishing beep, beep, beep” as “the starting beep, beep, beep,” and everybody seems happy with that solution. Actually, I was thinking of writing a letter to the manufacturer suggesting their advertising departments write new copy and issue an advertising blurb offering the new, and improved version of the Dr. Coffee machine with the new, and improved “Lets you know when its starting up beep, beep, beep” feature.
My wife says I chose the wrong profession, and should have considered politics, where there’s ample room for solving unacceptable problems that can’t be fixed, by renaming them.
My feeling is, that we already have more politicians than we really need, and I think the problem, of too many politicians can’t be solved by calling them something else.
Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]