The (Questionable) Value of What-If

by Belinda Munoz on June 24, 2011

“What if…”, they thought with apprehension,
borderline obsession. Often preparing, rarely executing.

Contingency plans, pre-emptive strikes, avert/declare war
who, what, how, why, logic bizarre.

The bombs, exploding. Whose future’s imploding?

A one-time role model, mere hypothetical?
Moral high ground, gee, what hypocrisy.

Righting the wrong, how I wish.
Defining the grays, like holding slippery

For the record, this is not a critique of anyone in particular. Part I is a representation of how I (and possibly you) have felt about some of the decisions made by those in positions of power. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be a member of Congress, or understand the kind of pressure they’re under. I’m merely questioning some (many?) of their decisions and any seeming lack of leadership/focus/integrity/interest on their part.

Part II is more of a personal reaction to / disgust at what the media loves to cover — a scandal. Prime time spot goes to high profile politicians. To me, it always feels like there’s a veiled sense of moral superiority in depicting these “fallen” “idols”. Can you believe what he did to her? This gossip-y feel to “journalism” is a major disservice to us, the public. It’s not news that some politicians (people) cheat and lie. It’s entertainment and I can’t imagine it being what we really and truly care about.

Part III is about how right (or wrong) could look like the opposite depending on who’s looking and how much information they have. Sometimes, the only action left to take is accept and move on. The grays — they sure are tricky.

Well, am I right or wrong? (Hey, at least one person thinks it’s funny.)

Friday Flash 55
Six Word Fridays (prompt: If)

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brian June 24, 2011 at 3:28 am

nice. i like the different perspectives…politicians make easy targets but you are right in that pershaps there are times we dont see the whole picture…ugh on the scandals…


2 Caroline June 24, 2011 at 4:13 am

You are so right about the grays. I wrote a poem about it in college, reacting to the way I was brought up in a seemingly black and white world. And then years later I painted a picture for my father called “Black and White World.” Only it was full of color, no black or white. I love that last line, “the grays – they sure are tricky.” Insightful Friday post!


3 Kate B June 24, 2011 at 4:33 am

Grays are tricky. :)
Amazing post – and I’m glad I found your blog via Six Word Fridays! You’ll be seeing more of me . . .


4 Sara June 24, 2011 at 5:14 am

I love this line “Defining the grays, like holding slippery
fish” There are some wrongs in my life I’d like to right but the shades of gray make it hard to decide who was right or wrong.


5 ayala June 24, 2011 at 5:18 am

Sigh… Thought provoking, and resonates with me. I love ” like holding slippery fish” well said .


6 G-Man June 24, 2011 at 6:24 am

I LOVE semi-political 55’s
I loved your form, very well done.
Thanks for taking the time to do this quality contribution!
Have a Kick Ass Week-End…G


7 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri June 24, 2011 at 8:44 am


Your ability to blend the 55 with the 6 word write is amazing.
These are important questions and I believe our reactions are colored with grays and our own moral/ethical leanings. Thanks for this insight.


8 Joanny June 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

Well said and thought out,,, that ‘gray line’ is written on every troubled face, it is written on subway walls, all thinking about what if and we better have a “Contingency plan” after-all.



9 [email protected] from a Peaceful Divorce June 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

I love the title and so agree for many reasons. The what ifs are usually used to justify poor, fear-based decisions on both a personal and political level.


10 angela June 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

Wonderful, thought provoking 55, Belinda.
I appreciate your fine comments last week when I took my shot.
You are indeed correct regarding the media. What burns me is the idiocy of actions by any politician, for they know they live under a microscope. Their actions don’t just affect ’self’ but anyone in his or her realm.
As you stated in i. what if there were more thinking before action…with every aspect of life ~


11 Meg June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

There’s such a lot of gray area these days, isn’t there? I’ll probably always remember this time as the Slippery Fish Era–political ambiguity, economic sliminess, etc.!


12 Brook June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

The greys are slippery fish, indeed.
what if….we had chosen differently.
worst thing that ever happened to the media/news was when they took away the equal time rule (where they had to give equal time to less sensational stories-essentially)
in my opinion anyhow


13 hedgewitch June 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

You could write 55 thousand words on those three aspects. I agree with you. We’re at the end of an information pipeline that seems to revel in the absurdly unimportant, while the world is going to hell. Those in power seem more and more clueless, divisive and unable to do their jobs every week, with no one excelling at anything but manufacturing buzzwords to polarize, and pointing the finger at the other guy. Things have got to change, in my opinion, but who do you trust? Thanks for writing about this stuff in a non-inflammatory way–that’s all too rare these days.


14 Alice Audrey June 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

There’s been a lot to question lately. I keep hoping the electorate will come to their sense and elect people who are more reasonable.


15 Kavita June 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Ohhh.. I hear ya, Belinda!! Excellent observations.. and oh so valid too!!
“Defining the grays, like holding slippery
fish.” — that really was PERFECTLY described!!!

You sure have served us some food for thought, my friend..


16 magiceye June 24, 2011 at 5:43 pm

that was brilliant… written out of sheer disgust! can feel it in the short ak47 spray of words!! lovely!!


17 Melissa June 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm

What-ifs can confound, delay, prohibit–
or they can lead to dreaming:
What if… the best things happen?
What if… everything turns out well?
Those kind of what-ifs I like.


18 Jingle June 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm


very beautiful 55.
Happy Weekend.


19 Akelamalu June 25, 2011 at 2:36 am

Excellent 55!


20 Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi June 27, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Great! I am benefitted for sure. All the best. Have a nice day!


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