Remember the television show “MacGyver?” His character was incredibly resourceful. He could make a bomb out of stuff that you buy at a grocery store, and he could take over a small country with a Swiss Army knife.
Producers of the show said all of the things MacGyver did in that show were possible. Now, saying something is possible is kind of like saying anyone can grow up to be an astronaut – wink, wink.
Then we come to the word “probable.” There’s often a big gap between possible and probable. Possible means that given an incredible amount of circumstances, something might happen. Probable means a lot of those circumstances are certain.
Let me illustrate: It’s “possible” that one day we will have term limits for congressmen.
But that possibility would require a much more intelligent public that is incredibly passionate for a more effective democratic republic. In other words, we might teach a pig to sing first.
Then comes probable: It’s “probable” that we will have another congressional hearing over some silly issue involving professional sports in the next couple of years.
Many years have passed since I watched “MacGyver.” And while I was in deep thought about these scripts, I got to wondering just how a nation that has never been famous for its military and has not been in any significant battles gets credit for an army knife? It’s probably the most famous knife in the world. But to be called a military knife, it’s not intimidating at all. In fact, it looks rather sissy.
I have a couple of these knives, but I never carry one on my person. In case you don’t know, a Swiss Army knife has a regular blade, a screw driver, a cork screw, scissors, can opener, etc.
So I brought up the Swiss Army knife at our breakfast club the other morning for discussion, given that heavier subjects such as the Republican debates and global warming had been covered. One person at the table had such a knife with him.
Ironically, we have a person in our club who probably has a lot of money in Switzerland, but he doesn’t have a Swiss Army knife. You would think they would send him one out of courtesy.
I think maybe the Swiss Army knife is supposed to be more inspirational and motivational than functional and taken literally. I think we are supposed to look at one of these things and resolve that we can do a lot with very little – that if we put our minds to it, we can become very resourceful. We can improvise and overcome. We can simplify.
And who knows, maybe the subliminal effect of that little device is showing in new skill sets being developed. One club member said he saw a kid recently who could text on his cell phone while holding it behind his back.
I don’t know where that goes on a resume, but I guess you could call it a skill. But then drinking a six pack of beer and burping the alphabet is also a skill by that definition.
So this whole time I think the Swiss were trying to tell us something via this little knife. For instance, I think they were telling us that if we really put our minds to it, we could follow their example and manage to stay out of wars. And by doing so, we would be better off financially, given the great costs of such events. And once we resolved such, we might celebrate by using the cork screw in that knife to pop open a bottle of champagne.
It’s really amazing how philosophically deep we can get at our coffee club. And there’s not a Ph.D. amongst us. Nosirre Bob, not one dissertation.
Walden is editor/publisher of the The Moultrie Observer and can be reached at email@example.com.