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Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Five: I would put my hand in the fire for that

--Robert Mapplethorpe, Hand in Fire, 1985

There is a German expression: ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen, which means: “I would put my hand in the fire for that.”

I learned it many years ago, while reading the Best Reference Letter Ever: written by a very distinguished linguistics professor for a student who went on to win a prestigious international scholarship. This student, he said, was destined for greatness; and he submitted his judgment with the certainty of the expression above.

I’ve always held the concept as a very important indicator in my mind. “Would I put my hand in the fire for that?” I sometimes think, and it helps me to make a decision or see a situation more clearly. It’s similar to “is this the battlefield I want to die on?”

These days (certainly as every day) there seems to be so much difficulty, wrong, pain, injustice, and mismanagement in our world, and I need a little revitalization. Often when I feel this way, I’ll write a list of things for which I’m grateful, but that’s certainly been done, and I need a bit of a stronger draught.

So, what are five things for which would you put your hand in the fire? Things / people / causes in which you believe passionately and completely? This might be demonstrated in that you would take extraordinary (for you) action…donations, marching, writing letters…or merely in the way you live your life. You may give as much or as little detail as you wish.

Post your answers to your blog, then post a link in the comments here so people can come see what you've written. If you would like to include a link to a post,do it like so: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a>

(Ps: there is a metal band that uses the lyrics above in a song…and their interpretation is NOT what I had in mind.)

23 comments:

  1. so, I'm early for the Friday Five, and I only have one thing, but I just posted it today (Thursday) and it seemed fitting. I'm putting my hand in the fire for this. Peace, everyone.

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  2. This one required me to prioritize the issues over which I'm passionate. Today's thoughts are on my blog. If this had been posted next week, they might be a bit different.

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  3. Good tough thought-provoking Friday Five, Mary Beth. My after coffee quick answers here. Now I can spend the weekend realizing what I didn't put in there.

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  4. This took a bit of honest reflection, but it turned out better than I had at first thought! The flames I fan are here.

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  5. I want to play but am off to a meeting... so it will be later. :)

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  6. Very thought-provoking, Mary Beth! I played with some ideas here.

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  7. I'm not formally playing this time, but assuming I could not have prevented it from happening, if I could reverse the effects of the oil spill in the gulf... I would put my hand in the fire for that, I would give up whatever other dreams and expectations I've ever had for that, but I fear it is like the impossibility of even God making a quadruple amputee into a violinist.

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  8. Wonderful Friday Five, Mary Beth! My answers, in a farewell post to public blogging, are here. Love and blessings to all.

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  9. I struggled with this one, but eventually posted here. I tried to keep it relatively short.

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  10. played!
    on a hot, hot day after being out with the doggies...

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  13. I played here!

    Hopefully the 3rd time is a charm. I usually can post a link but was having issues today!

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  14. I love this phrase! I won't be playing, since we just got back from our "honeymoon" and are way too jet lagged, but I just wanted to say that I would put my hand in the fire for RGBP!

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  15. Thanks for a challenging and thought-provoking Friday Five MB. Here are my immolatory ravings

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  16. I'm a little late to the party cuz I've been hung up on the Trinity but I finally got around to playing Here

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  17. This was a new angle and fitting for the world today. Made me think of just what I did do and why. Thanks for the call to depth.


    I put my hand in the fire..here

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  18. Live again from New York! I liked mulling this Fiery Friday Five.

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  19. I'm way late (and not on the Ring any more for lack of posting) but I promise to post in another few days. :) EXCELLENT quote!!

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