Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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The following was sent into us. It gave me a good chuckle, and I felt it was worthy of sharing. - Al
YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE…
I was waiting in line at the grocery store, minding my own business, which is a full-time job these days. I have worked hard over the years to master this “minding my own business.” I have not been all that successful, but I still try.
As I was standing in line I heard the woman behind me say, “Johnny, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” I did not know the background story because I did not hear the whole conversation.
Upon hearing this common phrase, my mind took me back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when my parents, both of them addicted to this phrase, said to me, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
I cannot remember the reasons why this phrase kept popping up in my parents’ conversation, and I never could figure out what in the world they were talking about. My parents were not interested, particularly when we were out in public, for me to carry the conversation. Many times, they would shut me down so that I would not embarrass them.
Through the years, I have noticed people say things of which they have no idea what they are saying or what it even means. Sometimes people will say some odd phrase, or a quote, in order to bring the conversation to a standstill.
I never could figure out why somebody on stage would be encouraged to “break a leg.” Is it not rather a mean thing to say to someone who is about to go out on stage and do some kind of performance? What type of person would hope that someone would break their leg in front of an audience?
Someone said to me recently, “May the force be with you.” I knew the movie he was quoting from but I had no idea what he meant for me. What is the “force” he wanted to be with me? Moreover, what if I didn’t want that “force” to be with me?
But back to my days of youth. I cannot remember how many times my parents, both just as guilty as the other, said to me, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
I am still as confused today as I was then. If I have my cake, why in the world can’t I eat it? After all, it’s my cake. If it wasn’t my cake, I don’t think I would eat it.
However, the most disturbing thing was whenever my parents told me that when there was no cake in view. For example, the young boy standing in the line behind me had no cake on his mind when his mother told him that.
Once, when my parents said that to me, I said, “What cake?” My mother looked at me and said, “If you don’t know, I’m sure I can’t tell you.”
Now I was really confused. She is talking about a cake but she cannot tell me what cake it is. Her assumption is that I know about the cake she is talking about when, in fact, I have no idea about the cake she is talking about. I have no scruples about eating my cake, but I’d like to know where it is.
My father tried to explain to me one time by saying, “Once you eat the cake, it’s no longer yours.”
Where are parents trained to be parents? If I eat the cake, whose cake is it? In fact, if I do not eat the cake, there is a danger that somebody else might eat my cake and I sure do not want that to happen.
I think the most disturbing time in a person’s life is when they find themselves talking like their parents. I distinctly remember the time when my kids wanted to do something and I responded by saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
We often say things we do not understand or mean and I am as guilty as anybody else. Saying things that we do not quite understand often gets us into difficulty particularly with family. We must be careful that we are using words that encourage people rather than confuse them.