Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Microstory 478: Floor 7 (Part 2)

Quality Manager: God, grant me the serenity to—
QA Associate: Dear God, grant me the strength to not slap this guy in the face.
Quality Manager: What’s your problem?
QA Associate: That’s, like, the fifth time you’ve said that in an hour. Could you do that somewhere else?
Quality Manager: This is my desk, I have every right to be here.
QA Associate: Not if you’re going to disrupt my nap to spout a bunch of religious nonsense.
Quality Manager: It isn’t nonsense. The Serenity Prayer is—
QA Associate: It’s nothing.
Quality Manager: Would you stop interrupting me!
QA Associate: It is nothing. It is an inspirational quote. It was not created to inspire people to feel a certain way, or to improve themselves. The guy who came up with it did so with the intention of being inspirational. That is, he didn’t want to inspire change, but to make people take note of how inspirational he was. He did it for the same reason any human does anything: ego.
Quality Manager: That’s a cynical viewpoint, and I refuse to live in the dirt with you.
QA Associate: Have you ever paid attention to the words you’re saying?
Quality Manager: What do you mean? I know it by heart, of course I’ve paid attention.
QA Associate: No, I mean really paid attention. I’m not saying it doesn’t reflect how you actually feel, but have you analyzed the message, and really tried to understand it? Or was it taught to you once, and you just accept it, because you were told that it would help?
Quality Manager: I—I guess...
QA Associate: Do you know what a chant is? Lots of Eastern religions use them. They often hold no semantic meaning, if they have any meaning at all. They call out the names of their gods, or they just repeat some random string of sounds. They’re not trying to convey an idea, which makes it non-language. What they’re doing is centering themselves on a rhythm, so that they can clear their mind of worldly anxiety, expand it to accept the divine, and learn discipline. It doesn’t matter what they’re saying; only what they’re thinking about while they’re saying it. The Serenity Prayer is no different, because most people don’t consider it deeply on its own. They just use it to escape the stress of reality’s current moment.
Quality Manager: What’s your point?
QA Associate: My point is that chants were invented before soap and toilet paper. We’ve evolved since then. We now know that there is a much better way of reaching zen.
Quality Manager: And what might that be?
QA Associate: Sleep. Now shut up so I can get back to naptime.

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