Friday, March 26, 2004
 
It is the province of knowledge to speak and the privilege of wisdom to listen. Also...a person could retire nicely in old age if he/she could dispose of his experience for what it cost him/her. Which reminds me - Health care is the issue these days. What most of us are saving for a rainy day is somebody else's umbrella. This reminds me that I have no savings. That reminds me of the saying: a fool and his money are soon parted. Now I wonder: how does a fool ever get money in the first place? I imagine that I am a fool's fool...ignorant and bliss. I digress. My real reason for this note is a question: What say you out there in reader land? What is freedom, and are you free? Feel free to chime in any thoughts you might have. I am curious.


- posted by -g @ 5:18 PM | | 0 rocks in pond



Thursday, March 25, 2004
 
Politics

To be a politician, you must play the comedy of extreme deference to the opinion of others. A politician is one who pretends that he is subject to the universal hunger for esteem; but he cannot successfully pretend this unless he is free of it. This is the basic hypocrisy of politics and the final triumph of the leader comes with the awe that is aroused in men when they suspect, but never know for certain, that their leader is indifferent to thier approval, indifferent and a hypocrite.

Living and Learning

The first and last schoolmaster of life is living and committing oneself unreservedly and dangerously to living; to men who know this, Aristotle and a Plato have much to say; but those who have imposed cautions on themselves and petrified themselves in a system of ideas, them the masters themselves will lead into error. They repeat liberty, liberty, and live to impose on others a liberty they have not embraced. Stern and joyless, they cry: be joyful like us; be free as we are free.

Shipwrecked Life

I am no longer immediately filled with compassion when I encounter one of those innumerable persons who trail behind them a shipwrecked life. Least of all do I try to find excuses for them when I see that they have found them for themselves, when I see them sitting on the throne of their own minds, excused, acquitted, and hurling indictments against the mysterious Destiny which has wronged them, and exhibiting themselves as pure victim. One incident to base being a victim on lends itself to years of fresh claims of being a victim, usually occurring daily.

Busboy

I was a busboy at a large restaurant in a resort area over an ancient summer. This job afforded me the opportunity to view humanity in all of its glory and baseness. As I was running through the crowd of waitresses and patrons, lugging dirty dishes to the kitchen as if the world depended on it, I noticed a lone man at the counter attempting to gain the attention of a waitress for a refill on his coffee. He was failing miserably. Not having poured coffee when money depended on it, I hesitated. My tender heart got the best of me and I succumbed to usurping the waitress by tending to the man's needs. My inexperience showed as I poured his cup so full that a bubble of coffee rising above the rim prevented him from touching his cup without causing a spill. Without pausing to consider what I had done, I continued on my speedy journey around the floor clearing tables and delivering dirty dishes to the kitchen. A visual image of the man staring at his cup and bubble started blinking like a warning sign in my mind. I went back to the man and confirmed that he was not able to drink his coffee, this putting him in no better position than before I attempted to help. Being the quick thinker that I am, I grabbed a napkin and dipped it in his cup, soaking up the excessive coffee and allowing him to drink more freely. Again I zoomed into the kitchen, and again a warning light flashed in my mind. I suspected that this particular individual did not share my indifference to decorum and etiquette. I replaced his cup with a new and not so full cup of fresh coffee. Getting it right the first time is great if you are able, and not all good intentions will lead to hell.

Final Thought

Stupid whales, you are my kin. Thank God for the gift of Grace, forgiveness and humor. Not to mention the many perfect people who kindly watch over us.


- posted by -g @ 7:17 PM | | 0 rocks in pond



Monday, March 15, 2004
 
You Should Know

You should know that none of this is about you; at least not the parts that seem as if they might be negative or judgmental in any way.

Learning

To believe you are magnificent. And gradually to discover that you are not magnificent.
Enough labor for one human life.

Confessions of Striving

To get up in the morning and go to work, to be bound to people by the ties of love, friendship or opposition - and all the time knowing it is meanwhile and make-believe. I have a hope that is permanent and real, and strong enough to make me impatient with living. I am to catch now, in a minute - to catch what? A magic formula which contains all the truth about existence. I am to brush my teeth and it is just there; I am to take a shower and practically pronounce it; had I not taken a bus, it would have revealed itself, and so on all day long. Waking up at night, I felt myself working toward it through a thin curtain, but then, in that striving, I would fall asleep.

I do not regard kindly this affliction of mine. I agree with the opinion that I should be here - entirely present, in a given place and moment, attentive to the needs of those who are close to me, and fulfilling expectations. To think that they are meanwhile and that I am practicing make-believe with them is harmful to all, yet, I am unable to renounce the thought that, really, I have no more time for life with them.

Judgment

The consequences of my actions. Completely unknown, for every one of them enters into a multifaceted relation with circumstances and with the actions of others. An absolutely efficient computer could show me, with correction for accidents, of course, for how else to calculate the direction taken by a billiard ball after it strikes another? Besides, it is permissable to maintain that nothing happens by accident. Be that as it may, standing before a perfectly computerized balance sheet of my life (the last judgment), I must be astonished: Can it be that I am responsible for so much evil done against my will? And here, on the other scale, so much good I did not intend and of which, I was not aware?


- posted by -g @ 9:42 PM | | 0 rocks in pond



Wednesday, March 03, 2004
 
Protected Words

If a community is like a household, what are we to make of the artist whose intention is to offend? What is spoken and what is acted are often disparate. Would you welcome into your home a stranger who proclaimed the desire to offend you and generate vileness? To do so contradicts self-respect and respect for loved ones. By the same token, a community is not under obligation to welcome such a person. The public has no right to require a community to submit to or support statements that offend it.

Many artists and writers have felt it their duty - a mark of their honest courage - to offend their audience. If the artist has a duty to offend, does not the audience have a duty to be offended? If the public has a duty to protect speech that is offensive to the community, does not the community have a duty to respond, to be offended, and so defend itself against the offense? A community has no right to silence publicly protected speech, but it must have a right to not listen and to refuse patronage to speech it finds offensive. It is remarkable that many writers and artists appear to be unable to accept this limitation on their public freedom. There is a notion in place that freedom entitles them not only to be offensive but to also be approved and subsidized by those who are offended.

Anger that lingers in a heart affects all thought and action. May yours be pure and clear.


- posted by -g @ 7:10 PM | | 0 rocks in pond



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