A friend gave me a Mr. T talking key chain years ago. At the time, I didn't realize that it contained a nearly endless source of wisdom, tough love and thoughtful, nuanced advice for one's life. It just sat in a drawer, waiting. The other day, I pulled it out and tentatively pushed a button. It spoke to me. I had received my first message. It said: "Quit your jibber-jabber!"
I quickly put the talking key chain down. I'll admit, my first reaction was a painful mixture of confusion, hurt and even a little anger. (This is a normal reaction to raw, universal truth.) But the more I thought about it, the more Mr. T's message sunk in, the more it made sense. It's about talking less and doing more. It's about the value of action over the value of words. That's some deep shit, mang.
Several days later, and with some trepidation, I picked up the talking key chain again and braced myself for another message from my new oracle:
"I pity the fool!"
I thought long and hard about this one. This lovable lunk, this gentle giant, this bling-bedecked street prophet was leading the way with a message of loving compassion, wasn't he? He's telling us to pity the fools. And aren't we all foolish, in some ways? Doesn't everyone deserve a little compassion and understanding when faced with the utterly terrifying and perplexing nature of modern life? You see, in a world full of haters, Mister T is simply saying, "Try love."
This was world-rocking. I could feel myself opening to new possibilities. I saw that permanent, positive metamorphosis can actually happen. The power to improve ourselves isn't contained in those empty late night infomercials... No. The cathedrals and capitols aren't going to save us... No. The answer was right there in my hand.
Drunk with hope, I began pushing every button I could -- all six of them -- in rapid succession. And that's when God's Holy Pantry opened up and began pouring forth skittle after skittle of truth. A fount of non-linear prophecy was unleashed... waiting to be unlocked like one, long Zen koan.
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Thank goodness I just so happened to have accidentally hit record and play on my tape recorder:
Take from this what you will... If it speaks to you, then it was meant to be.
I wish you luck, Pilgrim.
-- John Common