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I Learned A Lot While Becoming Old

October 27, 2017 Leave a comment

If you are not already old, you have a lot of incoming information ahead of you. I don’t mean your courses or your formal education at all. I mean life. If one thinks for a moment of how much was learned about life between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, imagine how much you’ll learn in the next ten years.

You’re comparatively untethered now and can make many decisions on your own. There are some huge differences between types of people. The slow and steady ones do have a very good chance of coming out ahead in the end. If we’re talking about stability and safety as well as a decent livelihood, the steady, conservative person might well win in the acquisition of property and security.

If we’re talking about a life filled to the brim with adventures and experiences, then the secure person gets a taste of adventure and experiences, but does not enjoy emersion in the richer parts of life. One is not better than the other; it’s just a matter of which one suits the individual. In my own experience, I put double or triple energy into my life and had a hell of a time.

I figured: all we’re really given by life is time, so the more I can put into that time, the more life I can take out of it.

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Appreciate Your Youthfulness

October 24, 2017 Leave a comment

If you are fortunate enough to be young, you should realize that it’s a wonderful state in which to be. It will not last forever, and age hurts. It slows you down and makes you sick. If you’re really wise, you’ll lay off the alcohol, smoke grass not more than once or twice a day, and never touch the chemicals at all. They’ll set you on a path to premature old age.

Your complexion, now smooth and glowing will eventually turn to creases and wrinkles. We can be proud of our creases and wrinkles. For one thing, it means we have survived for a fairly long time. That means – for most of us – that we have acquired a good deal of wisdom. Don’t think you know so much now, because you don’t. You’ll find out a decade from now that you knew nothing, comparatively speaking. The decade after that will again make the preceding decade seem empty by comparison, and on it goes.

If you think of how much you learned from age ten to age twenty, you have no reason to think that this intellectual growth will stop at thirty or fifty or whatever age. Some people, of course, learn nothing much after they’re nineteen. They decide that’s the limit, and so they limit themselves. Personally, I fill my mind with more wisdom, more information, and more details every day, and I’m almost eighty.

One of the most beautiful women in the world in her time, Elizabeth Taylor said that she appreciated her silver hair because she believed each hair represented a lesson learned, an experience experienced. We can age, and if we’re lucky, we don’t mature too much. I still find delight in simple things, in things I learn day by day. At the same time, I have lived a productive life, honoured all my obligations and responsibilities, raised a family, earned money, paid mortgages and everything a productive person does.

When summer returns, my Honda GoldWing will come out to provide some fun. Just remember that you will never look better than you do now and you will never feel better than you do now. Don’t squander it. Live, love, play, work and study because your time is now.

All Our Gods

October 8, 2017 1 comment

Many years ago there was a popular documentary film called, “Mondo Cane” (Konay). It depicted outrageous acts and traditions among various societies, either modern or primitive. There was one sequence in which a small airplane flew over the village of a primitive tribe. It was the only plane they’d ever seen, so it caused much consternation among the simple people.

The sight and sound of the aircraft led the tribal leaders to conclude that it must be a god. The tribe gathered lengths of bamboo with which to build a tower, perhaps 20 meters tall. At the top of the tower was constructed a crude, bamboo version of the small, single engine aircraft.

The new god had the appearance of a basic Piper Cub airplane, with a tail and rudder, and wing-like protrusions out from its sides. The tribe worshipped their new god. They developed holy dances and holy rituals. Annual festivals were held in adoration of the answer to all problems – a bamboo replica of a small aircraft.

The god of that simple, primitive tribe is every bit as valid as any other god. No god is any better or any worse than the bamboo tower god, because there actually is no god at all, nor is one necessary.

The Victim Is Not The Sinner

October 6, 2017 Leave a comment

David was grumbling aloud. David is an uptight guy. He needs any reason or no reason, but he’s always nervous. Apparently his mother was severely depressed, and it was a burden on David while he was growing up.

David had just given $20 to an old man at the door. The man claimed to be a rabbi without a congregation, and was hoping to create a synagogue. Now David was grumbling. He was thinking, what if the guy wasn’t a real rabbi? What if he just takes the $20 and buys a small bottle of gin and a cheap hooker.

I just wanted to give David some relief, if I could. I pointed out that he’d done nothing wrong. In fact, he’d done a gracious act of generosity, which is a good thing and it was the right thing to do. If the man is a liar, he has sinned. David, however, is honorable, and has not sinned. The victim is not the sinner.

If someone disappoints you, and does something against you, don’t blame yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. You are the victim and your antagonist is the sinner.

This is not Bigotry

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

I am going to avoid forming friendships with two groups in the future. One group is the Jewish cult of Hassidic people. The other group is black people. I know how it can look like bigotry, but I am not against any kind of people in general. Let me explain.

I have had friendly relationships with three black people; two women and a man. All three disappointed me. They took advantage of my sincerity, my ability, and in general, they each, in separate friendships, disappointed me. Of course I will meet with and talk with other black people, but I will shy away from forming any kind of friendship or relationship. I have befriended three different black people in three different environments. They did not know each other. Each one, in ways similar to the others, betrayed my affection.

Similarly, I am never going to form a friendship with a Hassidic person. I have done business, and formed friendships with three Hassidic families. We enjoyed many conversations, teaching each other things from our separate societies. Each was a separate relationship, in business and in friendship. Of course, they knew each other, because they are all connected within their division of the cult.

In spite of very comfortable relationships, each of the Hassidic businesses cheated me. They refused to pay bills, even bills that I had to pay to my suppliers. They would pretend the colour was wrong, or the type was wrong, and used that to justify their thievery.

I did some research into how orthodox people can be crooked. What I learned is this; they have a connection with god, and their allegiance is to god. That’s why they pray 4 or 5 times a day. Their connection with society, however, is unimportant. It doesn’t count, as long as they’re in god’s good books. If one is not a practicing orthodox Jew, one does not qualify for honesty.

All religions, in one way or another, are built with the same self-importance.

Rituals

July 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rituals organize our lives. We ritualize our days, and have special rituals for some days. Monday to Friday, we do our morning ablutions, maybe eat something, and hurry off to the job. Throughout the day, on the job, a ritual of productivity proceeds. The journey to the job and the return to home at workday’s end are also rituals. Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday might be rituals unlike the workday rituals, but rituals all the same. Those of us that embrace religion have even more rituals. It matters not which religion one chooses to follow, rituals will be a big part of it.

A young couple lived a neatly organized and busy life. They lived in a small bungalow with just two bedrooms. They planned to have a family after five years, when they could afford a larger home. The second bedroom was Richard Stern’s office, in which he worked on line for a large transportation company. Mona Stern, Richard’s young wife, was a tax consultant. She worked for a large accounting firm. She was a certified public accountant, and had risen to become supervisor over a staff of nine. It was one of several ‘cells’. The company found that ‘teams’ in separate cells were more productive.

Mona Stern enjoyed her rituals. She’d rise at six in the morning, go straight to the bathroom to relieve herself and to shower. She would wear the outfit she planned the previous evening. In the small kitchen, she would enjoy her orange juice, rye toast and coffee while watching the news and weather report on her tablet. After the weather predictions, the sports news came on. Mona turned off her tablet, put it into her handbag, and left for the walk to the office. It was five blocks to her place of business.

By eight o’clock, Mona Stern was striding happily along Acorn Road, observing the many small, neat bungalows similar to her own. Ancient Oak trees shaded the street until the next corner. The busy rush hour was under way on Charles Avenue as it was every morning. As on every weekday morning, Mona turned right and strode along the narrow sidewalk. Old industrial buildings encroached on the sidewalk. They were remnants of the industrial revolution and had stood empty for decades. Mona ignored the cars lined up at red lights. She enjoyed her walk every morning, and was comfortable in the familiar routine that she had been repeating every morning for five years.

In the next block, an old building that had been a garment factory was to be transformed into luxury apartments, with the high ceilings and huge windows as selling points. The fact that there was a change taking place along her route after five years was just a bit unsettling. It altered the routine walk to work.

There were pickup trucks along the curb. Rubber cones were guiding the heavy traffic into one lane, around the trucks. High up on the roof parapet, people were installing a heavy beam to project out from the building. It was needed to create an elevator of sorts, to carry up workers, equipment, and materials. Mona was annoyed at the traffic clamour, and hastened her pace, to escape the irregularities.

At that moment, the rooftop workers faltered in their job. The beam dropped, slowly rotating top to bottom. It did not hit the sidewalk lengthwise. End first, the beam struck the old concrete walkway, pierced it like a piecrust and buried itself two feet into the ground. It hit the spot where Mona Stern had been, a second before she hurried to get away from the cacophony of car horns and engine roars.

The blasting sounds of the beam demolishing the concrete right behind her startled Mona. She jumped and turned around to see dust and particles swirling around an eight-foot tall steel beam. A nearby worker asked if she was okay, but Mona didn’t answer, she just strode on her way to her office. She used a quicker pace than her usual, ritual stride.

Throughout the rest of her day, Mona Stern struggled to do her work on the Dominica and Bolivar account. She struggled to stay focused while she assigned her team to various parts of her employer’s largest and most profitable account. The dropped beam, and the vast repercussions that might have come had it hit her, invaded her mind. She sat at her desk and analysed the routine that she knew so well. She began to question the wisdom of so regular a routine. Perhaps a change of situation, rather than a predictable routine, would be safer and perhaps beneficial. Mona resolved not to follow her usual, routine stroll home.

The office closed at four-forty-five. Mona Stern took the time to leave her files in impeccable order, her desk clear and the tools of her profession alongside her computer keyboard. She left the building moments after her staff and coworkers departed. In her normal routine, she would turn left and stride the route home. On this occasion, Mona turned right out of the building and strode in the direction away from home, husband, and fallen beam.

With no preparation and little thought, the young woman strode as far as the train station and boarded a train because it was leaving soon. Mona Stern didn’t care where the train was going; she just needed it to be free of routine.

At the point where the train journey terminated, Mona left the train. She attained an apartment, a professional position, and a new life. She fell in love with a co-worker that fell in love with her. They moved in together. Meanwhile, the young husband back home was frantic with worry. It seemed the authorities could not find Mona because she changed her name to Rose Kroll.

Rose Kroll, formerly Mona Stern, lived with her new husband in a neat bungalow within walking distance of her office. Her new husband began to work from home designing furniture. Every morning Rose showered, enjoyed orange juice, rye toast and coffee while watching the news on her tablet. When the weather forecast ended and the sports news came on, Rose Kroll left the home to walk to her office.

It’s Good To Be A Canadian

July 1, 2017 Leave a comment

My parents were born in Canada, and my grandparents were born in Europe. They were driven from their homes late in the 19th century, and through much hardship and deprivation, started over in Canada.

red leaves

I’m happy and proud to be Canadian, and I enjoy the friendly encounters one has in Europe, when one wears the Canadian flag or Maple Leaf symbol. It should be a sign to the Usas (we don’t allow the name ‘America’, so it’s now Usa. Canada is much more of North America than is Usa) that their flag elicits animosity while ours elicits warmth.

Canada is 150 years old today, and celebrations are rampant throughout the land. Laughter and happiness among all the people, comprised of families from throughout the world. They are not segregated, no matter who or from where.