Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #1263 - Happiness and You

In my opinion, it's better to be idealistic with a foot in the real-world - thus keeping you hopeful and looking on the bright side - as opposed to being realistic with a foot in an ideal-world - thus keeping you grounded while maintaining a touch of delusion. But hey, I might be wrong. Perhaps my idealism has shifted over to delusion. That would explain all the puppy dogs and sunshine clouding my vision.

Anyway, the two extremes leads us into . . .

THE NEW HOMEWORK: Imagine yourself far off into the future, many many decades from now, writing your memoir in the final year of your life. Your assignment is to write two memoirs for yourself - each consisting of exactly six words. One memoir should be purely idealistic. One memoir should be purely realistic. Both should capture you and your life for others to read and understand. What are your two memoirs?

This homework is based on the challenge to Hemmingway long ago, to write a story consisting of exactly six words and no more. His classic answer: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn,". This has since inspired the idea of six-word memoirs, which I recently challenged STW readers on Twitter and Facebook to try out for themselves. If you approach it while being idealistic, you're imagining a perfect world for yourself, and in a way, kind of setting a high goal for yourself. If you approach it while being realistic, the world is more grounded, but happiness can still come shining through. So consider the memoirs from the different viewpoints - it might help you figure where you fit on the x-axis of the graph above, and where you want to be - and once you have exactly six words for each, submit your answer.

Your answer can be visual or written, but it must consist of exactly six words for each of two memoirs - anything else will be deleted. Note: "I'll" would count as one word, but rogue hyphenation will not. Email your homework in with your name and location with the subject line "HOMEWORK: SIX WORD MEMOIRS"to be received no later than Thursday, 12/29, at noon ET. You have TWO WEEKS to put it together. Best answer wins and will be posted here on that Friday (with the following week's assignment to be handed out then). Enjoy.
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LAST WEEK'S HOMEWORK: Based on the 'political speeches' comic, the assignment was: "In the future, candidates will have fifteen words or fewer to state your case to win political office. So, if you are the one running for office . . . what is your brilliant fifteen word speech that will convince the masses to shower you with love and adoration and votes?"

The short speeches were humorous, serious, thoughtful, bizarre, satirical - really, just well done by so many all around. Check out the assortment of excellent homework answers - but in reflection on them all, I felt the best answer came from Laura in Providence, RI:

"Don't worry. I have the antidote. But first, the election!"

Well done, Laura! You will receive a small prize from me. Thanks to everyone else for submitting a speech. Enjoy reading through the many great answers.