Shut up and color


Have you heard about the adult coloring book craze that’s sweeping the nation?

OK, I oversold it a bit with the word craze but it is, apparently, a thing.

“Does a great job of showing just why this activity might work to tame your own personal stress monster.” – Michael Franco,

  • An Amazon #1 National Bestseller!
  • This adult coloring book features over 45 lovingly detailed patterns.
  • Designs range in complexity from beginner to expert-level.
  • Provides hours and hours of stress relief, mindful calm, and fun, creative expression.
  • Join millions of adults all around the world who are rediscovering the simple relaxation and joy of coloring!

When I was I’m the military I often heard, and sometimes used, the phrase, “Shut up and color!”

For those of you who don’t know what this means, and at the risk of over-simplifying, it works like this.

Junior member: “I’m not quite sure I understand why were are doing this.”

Senior member: “Do it anyway.”

When people are given orders in the military they can, within reason of course, say that they don’t understand, say they don’t like or agree with what they are being told to do, and even try to make a case they they have a better idea. But, in the end, seniority wins and we end up doing what we are told.

In other words, our thoughts, opinions, and words don’t mean much so the best thing we can do is, you guessed it, shut up and color.

This may sound harsh or not very democratic to someone who has never served but it works, it works well, and it’s something a lot of us should think about before we open our mouths or sit down at our computers.

I was thinking about this when I was in the break room at work this morning when a controversial “news” story came on the TV.

For a second I thought it would be a good idea to throw my opinion out there to get a discussion going but then, “shut up and color” popped into my mind. So I took a sip of coffe, headed out the door, and went back to my office without saying a word.

I know you are probably wondering why on Earth a sane and reasonable person would wilfully withhold their unsolicited opinion from people who didn’t ask for it and probably didn’t want it but I can explain.

In an age where everyone and their brother has a either a blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and nearly every internet article and blog post has a comment section it seems all too common for us to jump in, without taking the time to form a rational thought, with our two cents about everything we could possibly have an opinion on. Here’s a good example of what I am talking about from this very blog.

“Wow. All I can say is bullsh!@$. You’re actually either someone who has been mislead or you are quite stupid.”

Come on. This guy, along with everyone who feels that their voice absolutely must be heard no matter what should pause and take some time to explore adult coloring. Not (as the Amazon write-up suggests) for the simple joy and relaxation of it but instead because it might distract them from the fray and get them to shut up. Or at least, possibly, get them to think before they speak.

“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

– James 3:6

Categories: Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Can be a very therapeutic adult activity but also a delightful pastime with one’s children. “You gotta stay inside the lines” becomes excellent mind/eye, hand coordination development for preschoolers and adult stroke victims.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that saying of yours…”Shut up and color.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like that saying “Shut up and colour!”

    Liked by 1 person

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