The Brilliance of Bumper Sticker Wisdom
Bumper sticker wisdom is BRILLIANT! Short, sweet, easy to remember...just what we need in this "talk to me in sound-bytes" world. Sometimes the only thing that makes traffic bearable is being behind a car that has one or more bumper stickers on it.
Here’s a true story: I once followed a truck for 10 miles to make sure I had its bumper sticker right: “Cats almost always blink when hit on the head with a ball peen hammer.” Now, I don’t condone hitting cats on the head with a ball peen hammer, or anything for that matter, nor is this sound guidance, it was just freakin’ hysterical and made me smile after a long, rather crappy day.
A few of my other favorite funny stickers I’ve seen over the years are:
- Horn broken. Watch for finger.
- Sarcasm – Because beating the crap outta people is illegal.
- Watch out for the idiot behind me.
As funny as these stickers are, there are those that offer a lot of good and sound guidance. The following are some of the best bumper stickers I’ve seen that offer some profound wisdom.
When I saw this sticker I actually got goosebumps, as corny as that sounds. I think the majority of people live a life based around that other bumper sticker, the one that proclaims “sh*t happens.”
The trouble with this point of view is, once you really believe that that is what life is all about, dealing with sh*t, you come to expect sh*t always and absolutely. Like gravity, you come to believe that “sh*t happens” is a natural law and one that cannot be avoided. And once that happens, more and more sh*t keeps appearing in your life.
But the flipside to that point of view is “Grace happens!” Grace exists, it is real and it is all around you. Start believing in grace more than sh*t and you’ll start to see amazing changes happen in your life.
“Your kid may be an honors student, but you're still an idiot.”
At first blush this may seem like nothing more than a hilarious take on the classic “My kid’s an honors student” bumper sticker. But I think there is some profound advice in this one.
Once they have kids, many people put all of their time, effort, hopes and dreams into their kid’s lives and stop living and learning themselves. But parents need to keep growing as people, too. That process and journey should never end.
If you have kids, obviously you want to do right by them and put their needs first. But make sure you still allow time for your own personal development.
“Getting on your feet means getting off your butt”
I love this saying. A lot.
In my line of work, I have come across a lot of people who seem to enjoy living life as a victim. While being a victim is a painful existence, for some people, that pain is the lesser of two pains when compared to the pain of personal responsibility.
How many of us commit to change right up until the point of discomfort? Once we hit discomfort, whether physical, emotional or mental, we throw our hands up and say, “I can’t do it, it’s too hard, it’s not my fault” and on and on and on?
We can’t have it both ways. We can’t change and not feel discomfort. That’s like trying to hold your breath indefinitely. Impossible. And we certainly can’t change if we don’t take responsibility for our life and what happens in it.
If we want to get back on our feet, we’re gonna have to get off our butt and DO something!
“It is never too late to have a happy childhood.”
I went out to lunch with a friend of mine once. Well, not really a friend, more of a somewhat colleague I was introduced to, and the lunch, to be honest, was an event I could not get out of.
The point is, this woman is a bit… how do I say it nicely… annoying. That is truly the only nice way I can put it.
I spent my lunch counting the number of times I chewed my food so I wouldn’t have to listen to her negative ramblings.
Which brings me to this bumper sticker.
Let me quickly paint the picture of where we ate: It was a gorgeous outdoor garden setting with flowering hanging plants, a small water fountain thingy, and lovely tables and chairs.
The weather was perfect. I mean, you could NOT ask for nicer weather – 73 degrees, slight breeze, blue sky, puffy white clouds.
The wait staff was beyond lovely.
The menu was great.
Well, this colleague asked for her water without lemon, and by mistake, the waiter brought her a glass of water with lemon.
Now, she wasn’t rude to this person, she simply asked for another glass without lemon.
But oh-my-sweet-baby-ducks did she go on and on about that lemon in her water. She asked me if I had heard her ask for it without? She asked why did I suppose the waiter had not heard her. Later she asked if I thought there was a way to request no lemon that was perhaps somehow clearer.
The moral of the story, and why I love this bumper sticker, is that we can either choose to look at all of the numerous positive things that happen in our lives on a daily basis or choose to focus on the negative.
Most of us had a not-perfect childhood, and we let that somehow define the rest of our lives.
I wasn’t breastfed.
I didn’t get to go to camp.
My parents didn’t buy me a car.
You may have believed for 38 years that you had the crappiest childhood, but, starting today, you can have a happy one by taking another look at it and finding all of the great things that happened; wonderful things that you perhaps chose not to focus on.
You never went hungry.
Your mother had a knack for making you laugh.
You got nice birthday gifts.
Life is a series of wonders and disappointments. Which are you choosing to focus on?
The next time you’re stuck in traffic and sitting behind a car or truck that has a bumper sticker on it, see if it doesn’t offer some sparkling wisdom.
Do you have a favorite bumper sticker you’ve see that you think has wisdom to offer? Tell me in the comments below.
Devon Herndon is a Licensed Professional Clinical/Substance Abuse Counselor, Personal Life Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and a nationally certified teacher. She is committed to helping young people be their highest selves in all areas: body, mind, and spirit. Her expertise, enthusiasm, energy and educational background serve to create a unique blend of services and techniques employed to help you reach your goals. For counseling sessions, coaching, or training, please contact her at 505.469.0779 or firstname.lastname@example.org