*Use Your Head, Fred
I am always calm. If my hand is shaking and coffee
is spilling over, it is only because
of a struggle to remain calm.
If I seem cold, cool, reserved, or quiet,
it is because I am inwardly trying
to contain any emotions ready to spill
over and drown out common sense.
If I am silent it is because I want to
decide which words to use to express my
thoughts, instead of erupting spontaneously
into speculation or over-reaction.
If you think I’m oblivious, nonchalant, uncaring–
then you are wrong. What you may call detachment
is struggle to avoid the quagmire of indecision,
uncertainty, misinformation, untruths.
Things are rarely exact as they seem, differences
lie in the grey area between sanity and madness.
“Let cooler heads prevail” should be the rule
to ward off any injustice of a knee-jerk reaction.
Perhaps you’re thinking I don’t give a damn.
That I know all the facts, but choose to ignore
or defy them. Or make excuses or alibis…
and hasten to justify or explain in haste.
If I seek to understand solutions or possibilities,
rather than countermand decisions or explanations,
My reason is to attend and gather the facts
before escaping into comforting panic or supposition.
To use the vernacular: going off half-cocked…
or losing one’s head– is always counterproductive.
*(I am including the following reference to this excellent childrens’ book because it is also paraphrased for the title of this post.) There is a childrens’ book that I have always liked, and in fact have quoted from it frequently. My kids may have had the book, or we may have gotten it from the library….way back in the day! The name of it is Fred, Fred, Use Your Head, …written by Barbara Klimowicz and illustrated by Frank Aloise… published in 1966 by Abington Press.
Fred is a little boy who learns to think before he leaps into anything, thereby saving him from jumping to conclusions or questionable activity.
(The photo of the book cover is borrowed from the Amazon listing.)