Sunday, January 29, 2012

80. Motivation

In all our dealings, I had never seen C.W. so despondent. And he was so handsomely attired! He wore this ultra-chic suit with lapels that seemed to soar toward the sky and I could have used his shoes for shaving. He appeared as a handsome, middle-aged man sporting a pompadour with layer stacked on layer like a wedding cake. His tie was fashionably hideous.

“Let me guess,” I said. “Preacher.”

He looked down toward his trousers and squeezed a razor-sharp seam between his fingers.

“Don’t make fun,” he said. “I am far from prepared for it.”

“C.W., old buddy,” I said. “What’s eating you?”

“I’m a failure.”

“At what?”

“My new profession.”

“And that is?”

He looked around the apartment to make sure no one else heard. “A motivational speaker.”

“A what?”

“You heard me. Now go ahead and gloat.”

“You want to be a motivational speaker?”

“I am one. I’ve already set up my first appearance, rented a venue, sent out flyers, ran ads, printed up a preview of my presentation, … the whole shebang.” He brightened for a moment. “I’ve made all the right moves and success should be a golden shower raining upon my shoulders.”

“Uh, … just a suggestion,” I said. “You might want to drop that metaphor.” I paused as his countenance fell again. “So what’s wrong?”

“I haven’t sold a ticket.”

“Really? Why?”

“I have no idea. I created a marvelous eight-step process for success in modern America.”


“I haven’t sold a ticket.” He straightened a fold in his suit coat. “What’s that ‘Purpose-Driven Life’ guy got that I don’t have?”

I ignored the question. “So what are your eight steps?”

He perked up again. “You really want to know?”

“With all my heart.”

”Well,” he said. “I start with a sure-combustion recommendation that we glorify those who are downtrodden because of a deficit of spirit.”

I didn’t say anything. He looked at me for support and, seeing none, continued.

“Then I recommend hanging out with anyone who may be in mourning.” Again he checked for my reaction. I think my mouth may have dropped.

“Then I zap them with my first solid zinger on the ladder of success.”

“Which is?”

“That if you really want to be known among the real winners, those at the very top, you should carefully choose your associates, and they should be …?” He looked at me with his face upturned in anticipation.

“I haven’t a clue.”

”The meekest companions you can find.”

“The meek.”

I guess he must have sensed some doubt in the way I looked at him.


“Please tell me you aren’t going to work your way around to the ‘merciful’ and the ‘peacemakers’?”

“How did you guess?”

I didn’t answer, just waited a second and replied. “And you have sold how many tickets?”

“Yours will be the first.”

Big Dope says I should try
a different approach. What
do you think? - C.W.
“And how long have you been amongst the modern Americans?”

“A couple of years. Why?”

“Oh nothing,” I said. “Just that …,” I struggled.

“Are you implying that I may have missed something?”

“Tell me again. How many tickets you have sold?”

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