Debunking Popular Sayings: Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures

clock-1358429_1920.jpgHere’s another one of those popular sayings that I just don’t get. In fact, I completely disagree with it, and I’ll tell you why.

I think desperate measures are what create desperate times in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never made a single decision that I didn’t live to regret when I was feeling desperate. All my best decisions have been made when I was calm and relaxed.  Since I have no control over how people might interpret that statement, I should probably add a disclaimer here.   I’m not suggesting that you should start smoking marijuana  before making any major decisions.  Taking a few deep breaths, or even a long nap, before deciding to quit your job before you have another one might be a good idea, though.

Another problem I have with the saying is this: How can time be desperate? Time doesn’t have feelings. It’s never times that are desperate, but specific periods of time in which people are desperate, so it isn’t even linguistically correct.  Since time is a man-made construct that really doesn’t exist independently in nature, it’s not logically correct either.  Here’s something else to consider:  If time can multiply itself and become plural, as in “times”, then why aren’t we able to add any more time to the length of our lives just by doing math?

Desperate measures usually result in dangerous situations, like when you find yourself skidding on ice and have a desperate impulse to jerk the steering wheel or slam on the brakes. Sometimes politically and economically oppressed people get so desperate that they start revolutions. Sadly, thus far, revolutions have only succeeded in elevating different people to the same thrones. Personally, I think the American Revolution was for nothing.  It didn’t result in freedom because the same system of private land ownership and forced servitude to landowners in exchange for the right to occupy space was brought from England to America. The only things that were different were the location of the land and the names of the landowners.  Okay, you got me.  The mass genocide necessary to own the land first was different, too.

The news is full of desperate people taking desperate measures.  It’s the media’s job to help those who profit from their desperation remain invisible. They do that by pitting one group of desperate people against another to keep them too busy fighting to notice who’s really responsible for their desperation.  The only potentially positive  thing I can find about this saying would be if it caused people to ask themselves  “Have I done anything to contribute to making anyone feel desperate today?”  Desperate people can only change their circumstances by taking calm and logical measures. Let’s start doing that instead of what we’re told.

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