Banter Bites

Don’t Know. Don’t Lie.

None of us knows everything, so we shouldn't pretend to have all the answers.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It was the first full day of the new administration and the first time Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared at a White House press briefing in a long time. Earlier in the day President Biden had announced his COVID-19 strategy, which included a wide range of aggressive and immediate actions. Red, who tends to have the news on in the afternoon, couldn't help but take a brief pause from Red & Black (don't tell Black!) to listen to what the doctor had to say. Especially as Red's such a huge fan of his that Black had bought her a Dr. Fauci bobblehead which now sits on her desk.

After listening to his usual measured, thorough, and thoughtful answers, she was about to focus again on work when she heard a reporter ask a question that he didn't have an answer for, and that's when Dr. Fauci's response grabbed her full attention, "One of the new things in this administration is, if you don't know the answer, don't guess. Just say you don't know the answer." After thinking to herself how that was an incredibly honest and direct answer, she then laughed, thinking that his mother would've been so proud of him.

Black prefers to read her news and early in the morning had seen a summary of the presidential actions, so when Red mentioned Dr. Fauci's statement (Black knows she often has the television on while working), she hadn't yet read about the White House's afternoon briefing and that specific quote. She, too, is a fan of Dr. Fauci, not only for his expertise but for his blunt language and explanations. When she read AP's "Fauci unleashed: Doc takes 'liberating' turn at center stage," she realized that Dr. Fauci was sharing more than COVID-19 knowledge, he was sharing lessons that are important in business – and in life. Admitting when you don't know the answer, conflict management, and how to choose your words carefully.

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at History.com.

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.