Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pamlico Leonidas

By Julie Rahm

This week, Jackie, our UPS delivery man, dropped a cumbersome package on our front porch. The box was roughly four feet square and eight inches thin. I had not ordered anything. So, I knew my husband, John, was the culprit. Late night QVC channel and a credit card can be a dangerous combination. I was slightly concerned and overly curious. The box was too big for a boat thing. John’s boat things come in smaller packages. And, I did not recognize the return address. The mystery surrounding this big box began to build.

When John learned that the box had arrived, he was both excited and unsettled. He was obviously pleased the box had arrived. But, he knew there was some explaining to do. I asked, “What’s in the box?” John replied, “Something I ordered.” (John knows I dislike these evasive conversations.) (Gosh. Do you think? Maybe UPS Jackie delivered the package to the wrong house. Impossible.) I gave John “the look” that most husbands recognize. He perceptively knew it was time to fess-up and reveal the contents of the mystery package.

When John opened the box, out came this over-sized bronze disc. On the front, there was a big Greek letter Lambda. I recognized the Greek letter from my years in a sorority. So, in order to remove all doubt, I asked John to identify this object. Sheepishly, John identified this UPS-delivered, bronze disc as a museum quality, replica Spartan shield, complete with authentic dents!

Now, I’m not against husbands having some material possessions to display their success. However, my initial reaction was distress that this piece of ancient weaponry might soon hang in the living room. I cannot imagine why any husband would want an authentic Spartan shield. Perhaps it is a previous life issue. I tried to reconcile the purchase by ascertaining some utility for this piece of round bronze. Short of doing battle with the neighbors, I could not imagine a purpose for this shield. So I asked John to reveal his intentions for the Spartan artifact. John responded by stating the shield was a mindset tool. His elaboration was insightful and clever.

Knowing that I market myself as America’s Mindset Mechanic and that mindset is my professional forum; John defended his purchase by arguing the shield was a physical metaphor to protect him from negative thoughts and speech. And, the shield serves to defend and protect his positive mindset. It was an interesting defense and one with merit. Now, I am not advocating we all purchase of Spartan shields. However, too often, county residents absorb criticism or the hurtful words of others. Perhaps we all need a metaphorical shield to protect our positive attitudes. Negative emotions can be as destructive as a Persian spear. So, when someone in your life wields a negative word against you, pick up your metaphorical Greek shield. Keep those negative words at bay and protect your positive mindset.

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