Monday, April 6, 2009

Axiomatizating the pricks

In the past few months I have heard the phrase "kicking against the pricks" a number of times. The context in which it was used was almost always the same and involved some kind of futile conflict or difference of opinion. This afternoon I decided a little research was in order to clear up the meaning of this colorful axiom. Here's what I found.

Originally found in the Bible, the story is of an ox pulling a loaded cart and being driven by a farmer who carries a large stick tipped by a sharp metal goad. The farmer prods the ox to move along by pricking it in the backside. This irritates the animal, who occasionally will kick it's legs against the pricking, thereby inciting more pricks from the farmer.

Rice paddy, Philippines, 1999

Did that all make sense? If not, then you might want to look here (bad word warning) or here (one biblical version).

Recently I have been "kicking against the pricks". To make the matter worse, I may have been kicking against the wrong pricks. Still trying to figure it all out. But the bottom line is that I simply can't change the situation so the sensible solution is to accept it and keep moving along the road, thereby avoiding that stick and inevitable pokes in my backside. Easy, huh? Maybe not because sensibility has never been my strongest attribute.

farmer and ox, Philippines, 1999

I love this axiom. Not only does it give me some vivid mental imagery to use as a tool when I find myself kicking the hardest, but it is certainly a great sequence of words to say quietly to myself or to shout loudly, whichever the situation calls for.

End of Buddhizing for today.

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Now, a totally different subject.

It is time to ask for a favor from all of you. Please send some good karma, say a nice little prayer, burn some incense, think good thoughts or whatever else is your chosen method of best wishes to my sister who is facing a tough time in the next little while. Thanks!

Update: Benign. Thanks to those who helped.

$.68 1/2


Eris said...

Positive thinking~~~
Positive thinking~~~
Positive thinking~~~
Positive thinking~~~
Positive thinking~~~

Sharyn said...

good news! Thanks for the update.
PS: I've gotten over 4 dollars out of the dryer this week, 4 separate loads. The most I've ever gotten in the past was maybe a couple of dimes and a quarter in a years time.