ARE THERE PORCUPINES IN CUBA? WEEKEND WORDS ON THE POWER OF WORDS FROM ONE PROUD PORCUPINE
By Beth Amorosi
Today’s lead editorial in the New York Times about the United States breaking the ice with Cuba, opens with a quote from my maternal grandfather, attorney and diplomatic negotiator Jim Donovan.
“How do porcupines make love? Very carefully.” – Jim Donovan
See the article here. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/opinion/washington-and-havana-break-the-ice.html?fb_ref=Default&_r=0
Words are a gift, one to be used wisely, carefully, precisely, beautifully, decoratively, and effectively . Words have more power than we might appreciate – even through silence. Jim Donovan used words in every sense of the words above. Indeed they were a gift and a skill he leveraged in diplomacy to get what the job mandated to be done – always with the end game in mind. Words were one of his “weapons” of choice.
There is a lot more work to do as it relates to the United States and restoring full ties with Cuba. While everyone may not agree with what has happened already and what continues to happen with the current negotiations, what has happened is indeed what Jim Donovan almost led the way to do 53 years ago. Through Jim Donovan’s negotiations with Fidel Castro, 1100+ prisoners were released over the course of months following the Bay of Pigs failed invasion in 1962 and 1963. It has been reported that close to 10,000 people’s freedom was a result of his negotiations with Fidel as the only direct link to President Kennedy. What the public didn’t know then and still doesn’t completely grasp, is that those negotiations were on their way to restoring diplomacy with Cuba at that time – behind the scenes. Diplomatic ties almost became a reality then, until President Kennedy was killed, a new administration and new politics took hold, and history stood still – until December, 2014.
This weekend, use your words. Play scrabble, write a letter, use the dictionary and the thesaurus, do the crossword puzzle, exchange notes or emails with your children/friends/family, feel the difference between writing on a piece of paper vs. typing on the keypad, think before you speak. You will be amazed at how much freedom, peace of mind, satisfaction, and fulfillment words provide, and how much they can be used to get what you need and what you want. They are also inexpensive entertainment and literally at our fingertips – no pun intended!
Have a great weekend filled with words big and small, with a healthy dose of peace, quiet – even silence mixed in, think of Jim Donovan, and this one very happy porcupine. Words are truly a gift we are blessed to have. Like “porcupines making love, use your words very carefully.”