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Episode #26: Say it, Don't Spray It
That’s right folks: today’s lesson on how to manage conflict for productive ends comes from the wisdom of middle schoolers across the nation, who upon receiving a drop of saliva on their faces, shout to one another: say it, don’t spray it!
So the next time you’re talking to someone…..
Just kidding! Yes, I’m a day early, but consider this your friendly reminder to be a little more skeptical to what you read and hear tomorrow, April 1, aka, April Fools’ Day.
There’s all sorts of origin stories on the holiday, but by far my most favorite is linked to an ancient Roman festival known as Hilaria—Latin for joyful.
What exactly happened during Hilaria isn’t completely known but there seems to be a common belief that the day functioned as a counter-point to multiple days of mourning that preceded it. The “Day of Joy” officially celebrated the resurrection of Attis (the Greco-Roman god of vegetation (of all things)) and gave people a chance to celebrate life in whatever fashion they saw fit as part of self-renewal.
Whether you use pranks or not, the holiday and its ancient origins have an important message: have a little fun!
Maybe you’re on a long streak of work-work-work and no play. While you may not be able to take a vacation, you can still go about your life today with a little hilarity. You have the power today, right now, to renew your outlook towards your work and your relationships by bringing a little more levity and a little less dourness.
Side note: levity comes from levis, Latin for “light” and dour comes from duris, Latin for hard.
This blog is about giving people strategies, concepts, and tools to lean into the things from which we often run.
Talking about conflict as something to engineer can often frame our work in terms of seeking out cold hard truths. However, there’s also space as we shape conflict to productive ends to make room for lightness, levity, and hilarity.
Learn to laugh at some of life’s challenges and you’ll see that more often then not, the challenge is just a thought in your head, and when you laugh at that thought and all the stress it’s causing, you gain back your control. Control by letting go. You get to be free again. You are renewed.
So, have a happy April Fools’ Day and remember: if you’re going to talk to someone today, say it, don’t spray it!
Special thanks to Michael B for recommending the topic headline today!