This I Believe

Joshua - Belleville, New Jersey
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

In the world we live in today there have been many sayings used to describe certain situations. However, I believe that most of these sayings do not make any sense. Sayings like “you’re on a roll”, “you’re one smart cookie”, and “you’re on fire” really have little to no significant value when dissected. Why would you want to be a cookie or on a roll? What purpose could this possibly serve? When my best friend Juan and I are not busy writing essays or doing math homework we think about these sayings. We dissect them and we believe they make no sense.

If you were involved in some sort of activity, for example baseball, and every time you went to bat you would hit a homerun your coach might say “Hey, you’re on a roll.” However, why would one want to be on a roll? First, if you were literally on this roll then it would be one very oversized roll. Who wants to be on a roll that big? Being on this roll could be a potentially disastrous event. Second, if I may have misinterpreted this saying and it’s actually meant to be “in a roll”, what purpose would that serve? This roll is, again, a potential risk to your life. I do not think anyone would enjoy being stuck in a roll. Finally, say it was you, who instead, were literally rolling. Sure that would be fun, until you hit a rock on your way down. I believe that being in or on a roll in any situation would not be enjoyable.

Monday is here and your teacher is handing back your quizzes from the Friday before. As you get your quiz you see you have scored a perfect hundred. Your teacher pats you on the back and says, “Your one smart cookie.” What could she possibly mean? Are cookies really smart? If so, I have yet to see one. Say, however, there are smart cookies. Are there dumb cookies? I have yet to see one either. If you still think that this saying means something, then ponder this: cookies are smart compared to what? Are cookies smart compared to bagels or cupcakes? If so, then all you’re doing is insulting bagels and cupcakes. Calling someone a smart cookie both makes no sense and is a possibly insulting comment.

Finally, if you were again hitting homeruns during your baseball game and instead of telling you that you’re on a roll, your coach says “You’re on fire!” what is he inferring? I hope he does not literally mean what he is saying, for your own safety. I do not think that anyone would find being on fire enjoyable. Now say, perchance, that it is you telling someone else that they are on fire, unless this person suffers from congenital analgia, a disorder where can no longer feel, why would they not already know they were on fire? Instead of telling them they were on fire, you should help in putting out that fire. Finally, if, by chance, you were someone who was known for being on fire, are there precautions one must take? Fire is no laughing matter. If you were to tell someone they were on fire you must have a truly valid excuse. In the end, I believe being on fire would not be enjoyable and telling someone they were on fire would not be helpful unless you were prepared to help.

I believe that these sayings make no sense. Juan and I have, in my opinion, successfully dissected these sayings. We thought we knew what they meant, but after thorough meditation we can say that there are no significant values to be attained through these sayings. These sayings are helpful and contain meaning when you are on an oversized roll, insulting bagels, or on fire. However, if you are trying to tell me I am doing well or are complimenting me on my intelligence these sayings don’t quite fit. I believe that American sayings are losing their values and if we want to be smart cookies on a roll we will have to come up with better analogies.