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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Be an M&M or an Olive

I don’t mean to limit the choices to two. They are infinite, of course. What I’m getting at is knowing what you want to be, who you want to be, and then not expecting to reap the benefits of a life not chosen.

There are times when we all want to have it both (or multiple) ways: Remain free and make the commitment; try something new and remain where we’re comfortable; take the easy way out and stay with the challenge and hop on and off the ferris wheel while it’s still going around, etc., etc.

The olive business is something I heard many, many years ago. It was someone (maybe on the radio) describing himself or herself (I no longer remember which) that way. We’re talking about a green olive, the kind that puckers your mouth, an acquired taste, not for everyone.

The day may be fast approaching when being a bookseller will go in the same column with being a blacksmith. We are a vanishing breed, and (unlike the dinosaurs) we see our probable end drawing nigh. As for philosophers, they have always irritated nonphilosophers. There is nothing on which they will not weigh in with an opinion! Who asked them, anyway?

But I couldn’t be an M&M if I tried. I’m just grateful that there’s a place for green olives in my part of the world, a place where we are not only tolerated by even—but a few—appreciated! It is enough. I chose this path with my eyes open, and most days I look ahead with a happy smile.