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The Genie God

December 1, 2011

genieIsn’t the way genies work a trope? (Actually, there is a trope: literal genie.) The idea: you should always be careful what you wish for, because any metaphor…and idiom…any use of figurative language in a wish and you’ll find that the genie has found a way to waste your wish while following the letter of your wish.

I was thinking about something from my latest DadTalk. My father had said that at some point, he said (I’m paraphrasing): “Look, God, I can’t continue asking you for stuff, because it always makes my life harder.”

This is actually something I hear a lot. When you ask for something like patience, expect to attract a lot of obnoxious people who will give you plenty of opportunity to manually work on your patience. Or something like that.

My father had a couple of twists though. The first was that after he made that ultimatum, he learned to make his prayers more about being thankful/grateful for stuff, and if he was going to ask for anything in a prayer, it would be for someone else.

In some ways, I think that the first idea is kinda a non-western idea. Learning to accept things as they are and be thankful for whatever may pass seems more like a Taoist ideal than anything.

As for the latter part, I wonder if praying for others simply gives them the trial? If so, then I must say…I’ll pass…please don’t pray for me.


From → Dad Talk

  1. Seth R. permalink

    I always thought that if I ever unlocked a genie from a bottle, I’d wish for something nice, but fairly trivial. Like a new windbreaker, or maybe some new running shoes.

    Everything else seems like too much trouble brewing.

  2. Then you’ll get a wind that breaks you and/or others. Shoes that are always running…

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