Thursday, January 26, 2017

Politics, Six Words, & Advice

Photo: Win McNamee

"A White House built on fabrication"... six words (my words) used to describe the political situation in our country today.

A country, that in the span of just four days, bid farewell to one president, witnessed the swearing in of another, while millions of women in pink hats from the United States and around the world marched in opposition to our newly formed government...

A government that apparently lies and calls their falsehoods, "alternative facts."

The fact is... this new President and his staff of advisors are beyond belief.

Gone are the principles of Superman: "Truth, Justice and the American Way."

And like so many Americans, I am way unhinged... so much so that I contacted: CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and several fact-checking organizations with this question and my own reply.

"What are the people of this country to do with a government that lies?"

"Rely on the Press!"

Then I offered these six words of advice, encouragement, and a cry for help.


Quote by Mahatma Gandhi / Source:

The power of words and the 'constraint of 'six' often speaks volumes.

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged in a bar to write a story in just six words. On a napkin, he wrote, "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

I first became intrigued with the power of 'Six' in 2008 when I joined Smith Magazine: Home of the Six-Word Memoir. To best explain things, I'll share this copy of a letter I sent to President Obama in December 2016 expressing my gratitude for his eight years of service.

Photo: Jewel Samad

Dear Barack,

Just prior to your inauguration in 2009, Larry Smith of Smith Magazine's "Six-Word Memoirs" ran a contest asking the nation to provide six words of advice to you, our soon to be 44th President of the United States.

I never imagined that my six words would be among the winning entries or that my six words: "These are testing times, study hard" would ring so true.

Never in our history has any President had to face such unjust adversity from party opposition; yet throughout, you managed to persevere, endure, and lead this nation with great integrity. You supported this country when it was down and almost out, you provided health care, jobs, and increased wages. You boosted the economy and fostered equality for women, LGBT partners, and people of all nationalities. And above all, you kept us safe.

Historically, I've admired leaders who exhibited intelligence and compassion... people like John F. Kennedy, known for his passionate speeches, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. known for his incredible dream. I believe history will prove that you not only possess these same traits and more, but that you will be known for your impeccable character.

These are testing times Mr. President, and you've scored an "A+ Outstanding!"

I thank you! Millions of others all over the world... thank you too!

And for my last set of "SIX"...

"Be Proud! We're proud of you!"



Advice isn't something I give often. Born into a family of non-communicators, advice wasn't something imparted, but rather picked up through osmosis. But even a few words mentioned often enough over an extended period of time will eventually stick.

Here are a few that stuck with me...

"Breathe Deeply"... My grandma Fanny led by example. So often I'd watch her take a deep breath, hold it, and then exhale forcibly. She was a bit of a health nut in her day despite cooking with lard. Aside from conscious breathing, she attended a few wellness spas and exercised daily in her living room with Jack LaLanne (fitness guru) on television.

"Money is Round"... The idea that if you spend it, it will come back to you... another saying by grandma Fanny who rarely spent money on herself but gave to many others and whose heart was as good as gold.

"This Too Shall Pass"... Consoling words from my grandpa Mickey (Fanny's husband) who lived through the depression and experienced difficult times that were never mentioned.

"Don't Get Pregnant"... Mouthed by my mother, Edna, though I don't think she meant it as in never ever. "Sorry mom"... both my brother and his wife and my husband and I chose not to have children.

"Use a Tissue Just Once"... What an odd thing for my dad, Jerry, to say. So odd, that I still hear his words every time I blow my nose.

And for a poignant bit of advice... from our dear friend Mrs. Weinstock, who passed away two months before her 98th birthday...

"Write Everything Down. One Day You Will Forget."

Well, I've written down everything. And if there's one thing I would like to forget... it's the entire 2016 Presidential Election!

As my cousin Carl would say... "Good Luck With That."

And as I would say in

"Good Luck To All Of Us!" 

If interested...

For an article written in 2009 by our local paper regarding my Six-Word win go here.

To visit Smith Magazine go here and to learn about their latest book, The Best Advice in Six Words, which includes a new set of my six go here.

And for a little rant, if you haven't already seen and heard enough, read Dick Polman's article from Newsworks here.

After reading Polman's piece, 
you might want to take grandma Fanny's advice and take a... 

"Deep Breath"

XOX... Dyan


  1. I LOVE your letter to President Obama!!! I sure hope he got it! I echo everything you said to him. I wanted to cry when I saw him flying away in the helicopter on Jan. 2o. This new president should take your advise : "study hard" but unfortunately for all of us, he hasn't and will continue not to. We will all definitely need good luck!
    I loved the advice from your family members, especially your grandma Fanny. I'm afraid your dad would not be pleased with me because I regularly violate his advice. I try to get as much mileage out of a tissue as possible. I tear off the part I just blew in then save the rest for later. I used to have a nasty habit of just leaving the partially used tissue lying around until it was needed again but this greatly disturbed my husband so I abandoned the practice.
    I read all of the Six Words on the link you provided. They were great! I also enjoyed the article about you in the newspaper. You are and always have been such a creative person and excellent writer. I'm so fortunate to know you and to call you my friend!

    1. Bevo

      Thanks for commenting and for the compliments re: my letter to President Obama.

      Gotta say you cracked me up with your tissue tales. It's so you. You're so economical. I remember back when Michael and I were invited over to your place for dinner and how we watched you in the kitchen cutting full sheets of paper towels in half before using them. You were the original 'Select-a-Sizer'. Too bad you didn't have the patent. But don't cry over it... you'll only have to start tearing bits of tissue to wipe your eyes. Just teasing :)

  2. Very nice blog. Excellent points. Organizing against Trump is a priority for sure.
    I, personally, do another civic duty. EVERY DAY, I make three phone calls, and some days more than one call to each: (our Representative) Mike Turner (R), (our senators) Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D). I keep the numbers posted right next to the computer and in my smart phone. It is so easy because every day there is an issue. Sometimes I get a real person, sometimes I leave a message, and most recently the mailboxes get full and I just call later. In addition to the "issue of the day", I remind Turner and Portman that the "25%" may have got them into office but surely the "75%" can get them back out.
    Trumpanzees are numerous here in Ohio and never swayed by any logical discussion and remain apologists for anything Trump says or does. I hate to call them stupid (even if they are) but they have most certainly been duped. They will remain unconvinced until Trump's promises of jobs and prosperity for the so-called forgotten remain unrealized. This will take some time. So, until that day comes, we are tracking where the politicians’ stand regarding Trump. When Trump fails, they, too, shall fail. Those brave enough to take a stand for rationality will be rewarded.
    We are facing very menacing and effective propaganda that, so far, is carrying the day. Germany had their Joseph Goebbels and we have our Steve Bannon. Comparison of Hitler to Trump may be a bit overblown but their tactics are frighteningly similar and effective. Among other tactics, they will rely on fatiguing the opposition with constantly changing issues to the point of exhaustion and resignation. That is why your blog is so important. We cannot tire out of frustration and mental anguish.
    So, we need a movement based upon the principle in these 6 words…"FACTS:Fundamental American Commonsense Truthful Solutions".

    1. Rob, "There's Fire in Your Belly!"

      I so admire your passion, conviction and determination to effect change!

      Days ago, I watched Greenpeace protesters climb a crane near the White House and erect a one word banner consisting of just six letter: "RESIST"

      I find your six-word acronym "FACTS: Fundamental, American, Commonsense, Truthful, Solutions"... to be equally significant.

      While I email and sign petitions, I do think your "Voice to Voice" three phone calls a day to your senators may be the next best thing to a "Face to Face".

      Thanks for doing your part, for standing strong, and articulating your principles with great zeal!

      Way to Go Rob!