Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
I was reading an article the other day that reported on how accurate Alvin Toffler and his wife were in the predictions they made in Future Shock and The Third Wave, books that they authored in the 70’s and 80’s. I had the good fortune to spend a few days with Toffler and a small group not long after Future Shock was published and it was one of my life’s highlights. If you recall many at the time scoffed at his conclusions but now in retrospect he hit most nails on the head.
I think one of the outcomes of our high tech society is that many of us create our own virtual reality which we perceive as being reality. Selectivity often detracts from objectivity when what we do not see limits us to only what we want to see. In days gone by we shared a common field of vision and we often clarified information in face to face discussions with folks with a wide set of views. We read the same newspapers, heard the same news broadcasts and then drew our conclusions.
I am afraid today that it is too easy to build a personal view based upon only the outlets that tell us what we want to hear. Too many of us seem to be too busy to sit over coffee and discuss the issues of the day in any depth. The right is uncomfortable with the left who live in their own virtual reality and visa-versa. Unfortunately many of us become so sure that we know all the facts that we feel others who don’t agree with us are always wrong and totally misguided. When friends and families get together that include those with strongly held opinions based upon their own truths most often everyone either stands mute or limits the conversation to weather and frivolities.
Now I know that there is no way that I can influence what people choose to believe. But what I would like to suggest is that we dedicate some of our time to travel out of our virtual worlds and see what the other side is saying. Spend a little time making sure that humor and fantasy have a place. Our soul suffers when we spend too much time building battlements and engaging in conflict. Personally I am again realizing that beautiful art exists and that for the first time in my life I can see the greatest art of all time as I visit the museums of the world on the internet. I also have found that I can visit with folks remotely who are not intellectual warriors but rather who are caring people who rise above the fray as they reach out to others with understanding hearts.
Wow, I sure did not mean to go on like this, it just that I worry about people who have lost sight of what their world might be if they just took off their blinders. I know none of this applies to you, it is those other guys. I just wish it did not apply to me as it does every once in a while..
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
Philip K. Dick
The son of a financier bursts into his father’s office and says, “Dad, lend me $5,000.”
“What for?” his father asks.
“I’ve got a sure tip on the market.”
“How much could we make?” his father asks.
“I’d say at least $2,000 — that’s $1,000 for each of us.”
“OK, son. Here’s $1,000,” his father said. “Let’s consider that we have made the deal and it has succeeded. You make $1,000 and I save $4,000.”
“Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow.”
Two girls board a crowded bus and one of them whispers to the other, “Watch me embarrass a man into giving me his seat.”
Pushing her way through the crowd, she turned all of her charms upon a gentleman who looked like he might embarrass easily. “My dear Mr. Wilson,” she gushed, “fancy meeting you here on the bus. Am I glad to see you! Why you’re almost a stranger. My, but I’m tired!”
The sedate gent looked up at the girl. He had never seen her before but he rose and said pleasantly, “Sit down, Mary, my girl. It isn’t often I see you on washday. No wonder you’re tired. Being pregnant isn’t easy. By the way, don’t deliver the wash until Thursday. My wife is going to the District Attorney’s office to see whether or not she can get your husband out of jail.”
“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.”
A lovely young couple is doing some shopping in town. Having purchased everything they need, they return to the parking lot to drive home. Where’s the car? Good golly, someone has stolen it! They notify the police from a phone booth inside the mall and make a report at the Police station. A young detective drives them back to see if any evidence remains from the scene of the crime. But, what do you know, there is the stolen car, back in the exact spot! A note is on the windshield with two tickets to a concert attached. The note thanks the young couple for the use of their car, but the culprit’s wife was about to give birth and had to be rushed to the hospital. The young couple’s faith in humanity is restored and they go to the concert and have a wonderful time.
They arrive home late that night to find their entire house robbed, with a note on the door reading, “Well, I gotta put the kid through college, don’t I?”
“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”
To help a friend lose weight, I told her she should switch to lower fat foods, including skim milk.
When she said her family would drink only whole milk, I suggested that she keep their regular container and refill it with skim milk. This worked for quite awhile, until her daughter asked one morning whether the milk was okay.
“Sure, it’s fine,” my friend answered, fearing she had been found out. “Why do you ask?”
The daughter explained, “Well, according to the expiration date, this milk expired six months ago!”
I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all.
NASA planned a mission that involved three astronauts spending two years in space. Because of the extended duration, each was allowed to take 200 pounds of baggage, with no restrictions. The first astronaut decided to take along his wife, the second decided to take along books to learn how to speak German, while the third astronaut decided to take along cigarettes.
Two years later, when the space shuttle landed, there was a big crowd waiting to welcome them home. First came the first astronaut and his wife and each of them had a baby in their arms.
Next, out came the second astronaut speaking fluent German. They both gave their speeches and got a rousing applause. Suddenly out came the third astronaut with a cigarette in his mouth.
He walked up to the podium and snarled to the crowd and asked, “Anyone got a light?”
There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values.
David G. Myers
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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