My Work At The Pentagon (and other fake stories!)


Every once in a while I wear a sport jacket that has a lapel pin on it of ‘The Pentagon.’ People seem to take note of it because they often bring it up in our conversation. More often than not they will ask if I used to work at ‘The Pentagon.’ I proudly tell them yes. They seem impressed. Then I tell them, “This pin was given to me as a gift in recognition of my work!” Now they are really impressed and ask breathlessly, “Really…who gave you the pin?” I shouldn’t tell ‘the rest of the story,’ and I know they want to hear that it came from a Senator, or Congressman, or maybe someone from the White House…but…I cannot tell a lie. And besides, I enjoy a good laugh! So I continue. “Well…the summer after I graduated from High School a good friend’s father hooked me up as a carpenter’s ‘apprentice’ on the new subway being built in the Washington D.C. area. While working there I was assigned to help a team of carpenters frame a number of huge flower boxes on the grounds of The Pentagon. It took several weeks and ever since I like to joke that I used to work at ‘The Pentagon.’ In recognition of my work, my wife jokingly gave me this pin.” A good laugh usually ensures!

In a time when the truth can be hard to find, we need to remember that often behind spectacular tales of glory and accomplishments lies, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The rest of the story.” Let us look for the joy in our lives. Let us not feel like failures when social media paints that the life of others is so grand. Often, behind the photos; behind the wonderful stories and paintings, lies ‘the rest of the story’ that is privy to only those who need to know.

Let us be happy in our lives and embrace the good things that lie therein. There are always problems…for everyone. Each of us tend to put a good foot forward and that is fine. But never let us get discouraged in thinking that somehow our lives are not measuring up to the lives of others, and that we are the only ones dealing with issues. A good ‘rest of the story’ tale was told my Henry B. Eyring who was given advice from a church leader to treat everyone as if they are going through a tremendous trial in their life. Because more often than not, they are!

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