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Max’s Golden Cone of Silence

I ?ve decided to take a leaf out of Maxwell Smart ?s book. You remember him? Guy with the shoe phone? Always gets his nose shut in the sliding door at CONTROL headquarters? And in the latest iteration, has to kiss Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock ?)? (Who, speaking of which, was kind of funny in this movie, and even showed some acting chops. Okay, more like a chop. Half a chop. Or maybe like a cutlet. Anyway, he was kind of funny. Especially when he stapled that one dude ?s memo to his head.) Yeah? You do remember him? Good. Because that ?s going to be crucial for the rest of this column.

In the movie, Maxwell finally gets the promotion toward which he has been working for years, and in an effort to celebrate whilst still retaining his dignity, borrows a piece of new technology called The Cone of Silence. The idea is that the transparent, soundproof cone will descend over an individual ?s upper body and allow them to carry on top-secret conversations without being overheard. Nothing can get in. Nothing can go out.

I want one of these.

Not the actual one from the movie, because that one was faulty and when Max screamed with joy everyone heard him and he had to saunter back to his seat in abject humiliation.

I want one that works.

The reason I want one is this: sometimes things come at us in life. Unpleasant things: bits of stress, bad news, world events, difficult personal revelations, other peoples ? choices. And I ?ve noticed that the adversary, and sometimes those listening to the adversary, will use those things to piggyback more pain and distress onto us. He ?ll yell at us, tell us there ?s no hope, we ?re failures, others are failures, God doesn ?t love us, etc. Wouldn ?t it be nice to have a Cone of Silence at those times? Except one made out of light and truth. And one that works. I want one that keeps everything bad and negative out, and only lets the good in. I want one that keeps me safe in the Spirit and acts like RainX to the adversary ?s rantings, making them slide right off. I want one that basically tells Satan to “talk to the hand.” But unlike Max ?s cone, once I ?m all filled up with light I want to be able to reach out and give some to everyone around me.

So, I ?m thinking the way to build it is to do what Elder Scott recommended to us in the last general conference: make more out of my personal study. Write it down. Ask if there ?s more. Express gratitude. And maybe if I look for someone to serve each time I ?m down even if it’s as simple as just giving them a smile and try to spiritually embrace everyone, including the hardest people in my life, then I’ll get my Cone of Silence. I ?m going to visualize it; visualize the light around me like a shield. And then I believe it will actually be there.

That ?s what I ?m going to do. Thanks Maxwell. And Kaos can just slap themselves with a tuna can, ’cause we’re going to be fine.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Oregonian February 15, 2010, 4:21 pm

    i need a cone. how do i sign up?

  • facethemusic February 15, 2010, 7:26 pm

    You have a way with words, Janiel.
    I’m not sure I’ve ever needed a “cone of silence” to block out the adversary. The proverbial voice telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough, that I’m a failure or unloved hasn’t been very “proverbial” for me. But on occasion, it would have been nice to have a cone of silence to block out what I felt were unfair and unjustified critcisms, or downright lies. I’ve gotten frustrated with myself at those times– feeling like since I knew what was being said was unfair or completely untrue, that I shouldn’t care– especially considering the source. And yet, I would sometimes find myself really upset about it, and wishing I didn’t even know.

  • Janiel Miller February 16, 2010, 11:35 am

    Ah, I’m with you, Tracy (can I call you that, or do you prefer Facethemusic?) I hate it when I care about criticism. And for the record, I don’t think there is any such thing as fair or justified criticism. Criticism is not a positive thing in my book. It implies that the person extending the criticism is in a position to know that much about me and what I need to hear, or is above me somehow, and ultimately it feels like a tear-down. That said, I think it is very hard to give honest feedback to a person without it feeling like criticism. Which brings me to this opinion: I feel that all communication must be done in the Spirit — whether speaking or listening. And in this way, if we have the proverbial cone of silence around us — which to me means being inside the Spirit with a nice little barrier around us that doesn’t let anything negative in or out — nothing another person says to me (or yells at me) will bother me. It will slide off. I’ve had this happen ON OCCASION, and I know it works. The operative words here being “on occasion.” I’m not that great at it yet. But the plan is to work on it until it becomes a habit. I really think this is one of the things Christ meant when he told us that if our house is built upon a rock (Him) then the storms can rage all around us, and we’ll stay nice and cozy inside, eating chocolate and watching “Cranford,” and basically saying “Whatevah” to all the hoo-hah. IMHO. Thanks, Tracywhoisfacethemusic.

  • facethemusic February 16, 2010, 3:02 pm

    Tracy is fine– I signed up under Facethemusic back when I first started into the whole blogging thing and thought that you were SUPPOSE to have a “screen name”.

  • Michelle D February 16, 2010, 9:56 pm

    The Cone I want is not so much to silence opposing voices/sounds – but to insulate against feelings.

    I’ve been smacked upside the head this month with the reality of mortality. Humans are fragile beings, and life is full of unpredictable and uncontrollable elements. I need a chance to continue to assimilate and process and come to terms with the fear of the unknown of death; to buoy up my testimony of the resurrection. I have a perfectly fine testimony of it in theory, but the reality is that someday it isn’t going to be a resident or an aunt or a grandparent or the friend of a friend. Someday it will be a parent, a child, my spouse, me… I need a chance to catch my breath before I continue to face these inevitable aspects of life as we understand it now.

    I want some insulation for protection before facing this again, so that Cone of Silence – or of the Spirit – sounds pretty good right about now.

    I don’t know how to say it well. But yeah, I’m hurting. And holding onto faith.

    That good friend faith that I used to think was more knowledge than faith… Now I’m believing without seeing. Which I guess is one of the main purposes of mortality in the first place…

  • facethemusic February 17, 2010, 5:27 am

    Hugs to you Michelle–:flowers:

  • Oregonian February 17, 2010, 2:46 pm

    yea but i still need a cone…

  • Janiel Miller February 18, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I’m sorry for your pain, Michelle. It sounds like you are on the right track, though. I hope you are well —

  • Janiel Miller February 18, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Oregonian — come on down to Maggie Moo’s with me. I’ll get you a cone that’ll knock your socks off.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 21, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Janiel, this is lovely. I also want a cone. A zero calorie cone. Can you arrange that?

  • Janiel Miller February 23, 2010, 9:38 pm

    Absolutely. I get them from the same place I bought my self-cleaning bathroom.

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