All rules have a limited lifespan. Rules are Band-Aids and as such are arbitrary. Rules are given birth as needed and withdrawn or replaced as needs change. And that is not a rule; just an observation.
As an art dealer I am often asked for my expertise in determining the value of a work of art or antique passed on to them by Aunt Minnie or Grandpa Frank; the interrogator of the moment appears to hope that by meeting me that they have stumbled into their own Road Show host who is about to make them rich for a month or two.
Of course a competent appraiser is competent not because of on-the-spot knowledge but by competency as a researcher. To carry that much stuff around in ones’s head, even as a specialist in one small area would drive most people mad. Add to that the fact that such knowledge is amended every second of every hour and we have light-years of information to edit.
And that’s how it is with life in general for all of us. In our professional lives we learn how to research and maybe we pick up a few tidbits of stable factoids which help to enhance our aura of concern in our supposed area of expertise. And in our personal lives we solve the most difficult research problems by adopting the views of whatever groups seem to influence us the most.
And so it goes.
If I return for another crack at life I want it to be as a quail.
When someone we love (or not) is speaking, are we listening? Or are we half-listening, tuned partially to the recognition of possible keywords while formulating our own.
If a sales person had this very bad habit, that person would soon be out of work.
I have a friend who does this constantly.
She has a friend who has a bad temper. he monitors himself constantly.
Of course the poor listener has no way of knowing that her friend is trying to overcome his lack of patience; she couldn’t possibly hear what is going on in his mind.. She doesn’t even know what comes out of his lips. And when he finally loses his temper, she thinks she is blameless and that he “always” loses his temper.
And they say they love each other.
That’s what they say.
Recently a friend said to me…
“When I was young I beat my chest about “giving back”; today I give anonymously.
I once voiced group opinion as my own; today my own is my own.
As a young man I learned WHAT to think; today I am more concerned with HOW.
As a young man I jogged, I went to the gym and I rode a bike. I still do those things.
As a young man I lived within my means; I still do that as well.”
I asked him to lend me some grocery money. He offered to plant me a garden.
And he showed me how to tighten the cable on my bicycle.
For all of their twenty years of aging together Rupert and Karina have spent most of their time loving each other and less than 1% of this time destroying the joy of the other 99%.
There was a game that began with Karina asking a question followed by Rupert’s impatient reply that he’d already answered that question; perhaps two or three times.
Karina would then insist that Rupert had done no such thing.
Sometimes Karina would scream this reply and Rupert would respond a decibel or two higher; usually the first to yell obscenities was Rupert.
Why then, have they done this for twenty years?
Do they hate each other for the wrongs of a parent?
Are they victims of an Alien game being played on a planet in another galaxy?
Perhaps this horrible game is not so horrible after all; perhaps it is what keeps them together.
Perhaps they are just very, very lonely.
I wonder what Rupert meant when he said I’m never again going to sing The Star Spangled Banner; never, never, never.
Such a weird couple.
THE GREATEST DETERENT TO TRUTH: the obsession for proof.
Q: What can be learned when an issue generates only two conflicting opinions?
A: Only that someone has remained silent.
The level of respect due for the beliefs of others must be based not on what they believe but on their ability to gather reliable information.
Popular opinion requires no truth.
Those who join sides miss the point.
Friendship does not come easily to Free Thinkers.
The key to Freedom is Courage. The Padlock is pressure to conform.
If I could persuade others to think as I do, I would encourage them to seek answers to every question that enters their minds and to then question the answers.
I was asked what I revered above all else. “Freedom”, I replied.
“And how do you feel about Fairness?”
“What a silly question.” I thought. “In order to be treated Fairly, one must first lose their Freedom.”
I did not reply.
The first scream is an involuntary response to the first gasp. It occurs at the same time as our first sensation of fear.
The scream is reinforced with cradled arms and Soft Cooing Mommy Words, which lend a hint that this dangerous world into which we have been thrust has an oasis of safety; ours for the price of a scream.
This is our first scientific experiment.
This is our first experience at asking for and receiving approval, a sensation which will in future decades become confused with Love.
And our experiments no matter how objective they are meant to be will forever be tainted with the search for safety, approval and Love.
Life will be difficult for the lazy, for the intolerable, for the unwashed. And every minute of every day will be either exceedingly long or insufferably short for the unlovable.
Perhaps we ask for help.
And in the language of Mommy Words we may even ask another unwashed, unlovable soul “May I lend a hand?”
And a Spark of The Spirit ignites the flame of LOVE.