One of the main things I got paid for was taking long-winded verbiage and telling my busy boss what was actually said. I am a professional speechwriter, and I know a dozen nice-sounding ways to say anything, no matter how creepy it really is.

If you want to shut up all opposition, use the old "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" line. When I was coming up, no one was allowed to debate integration because "You don't know what it's like to be black." And then there was the "I am Jewish and..." crowd. These were the people who shut up all debate by saying no one understood how it was to be Jewish and so nobody but Jews had a right to talk about Israel or other issues.

You are not allowed to say that the Americans for Disabilities Act has gone too far, because, "You don't Understand..." what it is like to be in a wheelchair.

Let me tell you what is really stupid about using the "You just don't Understand" line. You can only use it on someone who does Understand.

If you use the "You just don't Understand how it is" line on someone who doesn't Understand, he will not pay you any attention. So you only use "You Don't Understand" because you know the person you are talking to DOES see how important your experience was.

As usual, appealing to conscience only works with those who HAVE consciences. The "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" line only shuts up the people who should be talking.

I beg you to save me from this. I try to explain how my many experiences taught me things. But like anybody else, I can slip into the "I had it so hard" whine. When that happens, PLEASE don't let me get away with it.