Pep Talks
Posted on October 6, 2014

Did it happen in your grammar school too? I remember so clearly those proverbs that the good Sister wrote on the board each week for us to memorize. I have never forgotten “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” straight from the corn fields of the Midwest or "Waste not, want not” from frugal Puritan New England.

Years later came the tea bag with a thought on ever paper tag, something to ponder as one’s beverage steeped, or the pocket calendar with both the month’s birthstone and a wise thought on the top margin. Then, this past week, after years of mindlessly unwrapping a Hall’s cough drop before teaching, I discovered that the wrapper bragged about 4 pep talks in every drop. Was it always so?

Completely by accident, I had smoothed out the little wrapper and found I was being urged to: “Keep your chin up.” “Buckle down and push forth.” “Seize the day” “Don’t try harder. Do harder.”

I was both amazed and amused. One couldn’t object to any of the wisdom bits there. Who wouldn’t want to “Elicit a few ‘wows’” or “just go for it”. When I thought of all the discarded wrappers I had never read, I regretted that. Then, with a flight of fancy I wondered about their source. How would one apply for the wrapper writing job? How many varieties of talks are there? Do they vary with the cough drop flavor?

You can begin to see that I obviously have work to do before I completely master the cough drop philosophy and preparation. To think that for so long I had only thought that the wrapper kept the drops from sticking together in my tote bag!

I had always told my high school students that I came to class each day to see what I might learn. Well, that was no lie then and the process still goes on. Right now, a cough drop is something I have to study before consuming it. Nothing I have reflected on here will alter the earth’s tilt or the moon’s glow. My thoughts merely illustrate one more tiny thing that makes this business of living so interesting, don’t you think?


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