I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sticking Your Tongue on a Light Pole

The temperature dropped to 16 degrees below zero yesterday in Omaha, making it the coldest January 15th in the city since 1888 (when it dropped to 25 degrees below zero). Overall, yesterday was the coldest day in Omaha since 1996. And guess what a six-year old child named Mason decided to do? Yep, he couldn’t resist the urge to stick his tongue on a light pole. Can you imagine?

His mother saw the incident through a window and ran outside in her pajamas with several glasses of water. The third glass did the trick, freeing Mason, but he left part of his tongue behind. An article in the Omaha World Herald this morning says that Mason had been thinking about doing it for a while, so it was premeditated. His parents warned against it but he didn’t think they were right.

Child-like wonder seems to know no bounds. When I was young, probably Mason’s age, I was fascinated with electrical outlets. The slots looked like the perfect place to insert keys. So, one day I put a key in one of the electrical outlets in our living room. Nothing happened. Then I put a second key in the socket and got quite a shock. There’s nothing like learning immediate consequences.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, by the time we reach adulthood we’ve often gone to the other extreme. We’ve spent most of our lifetimes avoiding actions that might hurt us and while that’s a good thing physically speaking, it can be detrimental in other ways.

The potential entrepreneur may never risk starting his or her own business simply because of the failure rate. The lonely single person may never take a risk at finding love again because being alone hurts less than rejection. The person who longs to paint, or write, or sing may never do so in front of an audience, fearing laughter rather than praise.

Obviously, living somewhere between the two extremes is the answer. But if I really had to choose one extreme or the other, I’d stick my tongue on a light pole because attempting something and feeling pain as a result is better than being too fearful to ever take the chance.


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