Mornings such as this are becoming all too familiar. I sit here and stare at the monitor, waiting for an idea to float up to the surface of my mind, where I can pluck it up and lay it out for all to see. But, nothing is floating. The stream of consciousness keeps flowing by; I can feel the current. But, nothing is jumping into the net, or onto shore to flop around, and the baited hook is being ignored. Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to wing it; that’s better than diving in to catch ’em by hand……
Q: “You’re right, of course. I’m extraordinarily selfish. But it has served me so well in the past.”
Picard: “It will not serve you here.”
Q: “Don’t be so hard on me, Jean-Luc. You’ve been mortal all of your life, you know about dying. I’ve never even given it a second-thought…or a first one for that matter. I could’ve been killed. If it hadn’t been for Data, and that brief little he created, I would’ve been gone. No more me. And no one would’ve missed me, would they?” — “Deja Q”, Stardate 43539.1
And right there is the answer to the question, why should one live with compassion and truth, honor and duty? Because if you don’t, NO ONE will miss you when you’re gone. Can there be a sadder way to die? Or, worse yet, a sadder way to live? I don’t believe there can be, at all, at all….
“The assertion that all men are created equal was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.” — Abraham Lincoln
“All men are created unequal.”- Lazarus Long
“All men weren’t created equal. All were created with equal rights. But they weren’t created with equal abilities, or equal intelligence, or equal physical capabilities. Every man and woman is created with equal potential of being better than merely equal, and with the right to have that potential respected for what they may achieve. They should not be judged according to what someone with greater talent in one area or another may say, for they judge and condemn only according to their own assumed entitlement.” — gigoid ©
“Termiter’s argument that God is His own grandmother generated a surprising amount of controversy among Church leaders, who on the one hand considered the argument unsupported by scripture but on the other hand were unwilling to risk offending God’s grandmother.” — Len Cool, American Pie
Vows with so much passion, swears with so much grace, that ‘t is a kind of heaven to be deluded by him. — Nathaniel Lee (1655-1692) — Alexander the Great, Act i, Sc. 3
It can be a rather sobering pastime to contemplate the staggering effects of ignorance on human society. History is filled with evidence of just how silly mankind tends to be, especially when left to its own devices. How many times have we seen or read about some tin-plated demagogue spewing their vitriolic nonsense so loudly, and with such conviction, that millions of desperate people gather behind their banner, ready to die for the cause, however ignorant, on the off-chance that their lot my be improved thereby.
Let’s see….without googling, I can offer off the top of my head, Alexander. Genghis Khan. Jesus of Nazareth. Mohamed (yes, I know, but the spell-checker wants it spelled this way. Go figure). Hannibal, Adolph Hitler, Baha’ullah, Shrub, Sr. and Shrub, Jr., and a host of other charismatic leaders with the ability to pull people into their own particular delusional system. As a matter of fact, we have spent much of our history just recovering from the times when these charming idiots held sway over society.
Myself, I’m getting pretty tired of trying to live down the absolute nonsense perpetrated by these ignorant sociopaths; I wish it weren’t so, but it looks as if ignorance is going to win the final battle with reason, and humanity will join the dinosaurs in extinction, with the dubious honor of having chosen death over life……
“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” — Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It may be true that my desk here is really “nothing but” a transient eddy of electrons in the flux of universal process. Nevertheless, I find that it continues to support my feet, my revolver, and my cigars all day long. What happens when my back is turned I don’t know. Or much care. That’s no concern of mine.” — Edward Abbey
I find this to be an insightful epiphany; it’s just curmudgeonly enough to appeal to that side of my nature, which, I do confess, I encourage shamelessly. But, and here’s the important part, it’s pretty much true, in the sense that the Universe does exist and operate in ways we don’t always understand. But, there is also no need to understand everything; many parts of the Universe bring with them an understanding that needs no communication beyond perception. If it looks like a cat, and sounds like a cat, and smells like a cat, and feels like a cat, AND it tastes like a cat, it’s probably a cat. If, after performing all of these perceptual tests upon the cat, you walk away with a number of scratches, well, that is just one more piece of evidence in favor of the theory that it was a cat….. it’s kinda like Mark Twain said, “A man who has held a bull by the tail knows several things more than a man who hasn’t”……
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
” What’s for breakfast? said Pooh. What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said. — A. A. Milne, “Winnie the Pooh”
Here’s a fine little example of how simple is best. What a wonderful attitude to have in the morning, in whichever form you choose, breakfast, or excitement. It is only when one attains a certain age that mornings assume the aspect of a challenge rather than an inspiration. Part of the process of aging, for us humans, involves learning how to approach each day with some degree of cheerfulness, having found that it is better to accept what is, rather than struggle to make it more to our liking.
When one is young, that unknown day ahead of us is bright and shiny, with promise and potential. As we get older, we see less of the shine, and focus instead on the potential. By now, we know any promises involving reality are false; things usually change before a promise can even be uttered. Mother Nature offers us no guarantees, we just have to take everything “as is”…..therefore, learning to get back to the childish side of our nature allows us to at least look forward to each day, even though we know its challenges…..
Wait….no, wait a minute…..oh. Okay. It’s okay, I just had a strong feeling of veja du. ” For a moment, I thought I had entered an alternate universe.” — Vir But, it was only my sense of humor playing a joke on me….. (Sorry, I apologize…I couldn’t resist…..) But, think of this, if you will: these are only my opinions. You should see my convictions. Y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.