“Trust, but verify” is a Russian proverb. I never knew that. I thought it was a Ronald Reagan quote.

President Reagan used it on multiple occasions in the context of nuclear disarmament. Played well for the home crowd, but it was really a message to Russia that he expected accountability. An aid told him that Russians like to speak in proverbs, so he did his homework. Mikhail Gorbachev pointedly responded when he quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson at the signing of the INF Treaty in 1987, saying “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

How do I know this now?

It’s in the HBO Series “Chernobyl”. A KGB agent uses the phrase, then laughs at America for thinking their president wrote it.

I swear, I learn more factual history from TV than I ever did in school. I’m still consuming news, just less of it. Its good to know what people “think” is going on. I’ve banished Facebook to an occasional glance, to catch birthdays and a few friends I still follow, but I’m not posting. Unless you count the Maple Syrup plugs. I used to try to keep up, but I don’t anymore. A little here and there is enough.


Today it’s too easy to get addicted to repetitious living and thinking. We are living our virtual lives in echo chambers and bubbles, sacrificing our individuality in pursuit of clicks and likes. So I’m trying to focus on another proverb that has always felt right.

“Variety Is The Spice Of Life”.

By now you know I’m going to tell you where that one came from.

It was a Tweet. Sort of. A snippet, they used to call it, before the fancy pocket computer took over. From poet William Cowper (1785): “Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.” Two hundred thirty four years ago. As true today as it ever was.

And yet we seem to be stuck in the rut of a “My Way Or The Highway” culture right now. Shame on both sides, if you ask me. I’m keeping all my friends, whether they wear a MAGA or a Never Trump hat. And I’ll challenge them both, for the inconsistencies in their thinking. But I’ll do it with a smile.

Why do that?

Because I like to “Go Against The Grain”, that’s why. 😉

I hate to name drop, but I will anyway. Shakespeare, in Coriolanus, 1607

All The Best,

Bob Rivers.

PS. Bob Spike and Joe beta podcast dropping soon.
PPS. I didn’t look up “My Way Or The Highway”. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Shakespeare.


Image by Andre Drechsel from Pixabay ]
Bob Rivers

Bob Rivers

Radio Host from age 14 to Present. Currently blogging, planning to launch a new radio show later this year.

Listen to 30 years worth of Twisted Tunes at bobrivers.com

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And please help support small local agriculture and latest money losing hobby by purchasing some of Bob and Lisa’s Vermont Maple Syrup.

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