Showing posts with label Mortality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mortality. Show all posts

June 21, 2020

No Matter How Much You Prepare

So we just finished watching Season Six of Alone (and have now started Season Seven).

Highly trained professionals (military and otherwise) with ALL the skills, experience, and confidence setting out to survive in the arctic, alone.

Each one thinks they can make it and outlast the others.

And watching these folks, you think to yourself, wow, these people can fish, hunt, build shelters, survive off of the land, and know how to survive.

Yet, usually well before 100 days, (virtually) all the contestants are out:
No matter how well prepared they are, life happens!

- They get hugely sick, often from the gross food they are eating.

-They fall down and hurt or break something.

- They cut or stab themselves.

- They lose one or more of their essential survival tools.

- They inadvertently burn down their own shelters.

- Animals steal their food or attack them.

- They starve and their bodies start to break down critical fat stores in their heart or other vital organs.

- They start to lose their minds from the lack of nutrition and mind-numbing loneliness.

It seems like no matter how well trained and prepared they are, they can't outrun, outwit, out-survive what life eventually throws at them.

Even the last person "standing" is still usually more dead than alive.

Anything other than self-control is ultimately an illusion.

Remember, life happens, and eventually everyone needs help from someone.

No man is an island even if you are living on one. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 30, 2020

Harris Teeter War Zone

Who would've thought that going to Harris Teeter would be a war zone. 

But this guy in the respirator mask is showing us how bad things can start to get. 

As an avid fan of the show The Walking Dead, I think we are entering TWD territory with the people walking around with their face's half covered and some looking sick with fear and worry or perhaps even with symptoms--who knows!

What is amazing is how things can go from boom to bust, and not just for our economy, but for life and civilization itself at the turn of a dime. 

Yesterday, I read how the CFO of Jefferies Group Investment Bank (NYC) died at age 56 from Coronavirus. 

Even as the Navy's hospital ships Mercy and Comfort enter the ports of Los Angeles and New York City to lend a hand and about 1,000 hospital beds each, it seems like more and more of these deadly cases are hitting the papers and social media every day.

Where does this sickness stop?   

What happens if the virus mutates again and become even more virulent?

How do we ever feel even remotely secure again?

Can we keep taxing our already overwhelmed healthcare system with more and more sick patients?

How long can we keep printing Monopoly bailout money (incredibly, there is talk of yet another multi-trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill even after we just passed this $2.2 trillion one last week)?

Eventually, as we all know circumstances can indeed overwhelm the health and financial systems, and even our governments...thank G-d we aren't there. 

But what we are all beginning to see in the midst of crisis is that "there" isn't really all that far away from "here."

...That life hangs by a truly thin thread. 

And because we can only do so much, this is where we really need to look up to the heavens and ask for G-d's help and mercy.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: my wonderful son-in-law, Itzchak)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 5, 2020

Scary Model of Cancer

Saw this at a doctors office in one of the patient rooms. 

At first I wasn't even sure what it was. 

Looks like a stomach.

What are those globs?

Oy, they represent malignant tumors (from what I understood reading the fine print). 

Really makes it hit home when you see it in front of you on display like that. 

So much suffering from illnesses like cancer.

G-d should have mercy. 

We really need to find "the cure!"  

Imagine what a day that will be.  ;-)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 30, 2020

Your Expiration Date

So I was talking to someone about their challenges in life.

And they said something that really hit a chord:
You never know what your expiration date is!

What an interesting way to say you never know when your time is up.

They used the phrase "expiration date" like we so commonly see on food and medicine products. 

You know when you read the label and it tells you to discard after a certain date. 

So people are like all these other goods that have a date stamped on them.

We have a date stamped on us (maybe it's on our forehead or some other less conspicuous place), and we just can't see it. 

Yet, we need to live every day as if that expiration date is coming due. 

Because like that stale food in your fridge or the old medicine in your cabinets, everything and everybody has a shelf life.

So you better live every day good and meaningfully before your expiration date comes due. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 6, 2019

Arrogance And A Messy Head

While sometimes children behave like "know-it-alls"...

Often an attempt to showcase what they've learned or to build their self-confidence. Sometimes, it's also to bully others.  

More unusual though is to find an adult that thinks and actually says they know it all. 

But sure enough, I ran into someone who told me (about technology):
"I know everything!"

And they said it with a straight face. 

Literally, they told me how they came up through the ranks and knew EVERYTHING with emphasis!

Moreover, they told me that if I didn't know something, I should go ahead and ask them because they would most definitely know it.

So I respect all people and certainly admire those who are knowledgable and talented in their fields. 

But something felt very wrong about an adult who feels that they have to go around bragging about the depth of their knowledge--and that their knowledge is apparently infinite (at least that's what they espoused). 

I wondered to myself--is the person arrogant and a big mouth or the opposite--lacking in self confidence and therefore needing to boast and show off to compensate for their inadequacies?

When they were talking, it seemed like their head was getting so big and full of themself that it would just explode!

Most adults with emotional intelligence realize how little they know, and the older they get the more they realize that they don't know in life. 

Especially, people of faith recognize that G-d is all-knowing and all-powerful, and we are but mere "flesh and blood" and truly just a speck of dust in the universe.

So truly smart people are humble and they look to learn from others, rather than preach and teach in a monologue of hubris.

Like many people that get too big for the britches, G-d usually brings them back down to Earth and their head to size.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 15, 2019

Transcending Suffering and Impermanence

There is a buddhist philosophy that life is all about loss and suffering. 

The Budha says:
Life is suffering.

Why? Because life is impermanence--whatever we gain, eventually, we must lose. 

- Riches, power, people, health, even our memories perhaps. 

In a sense, this is like the saying from "War of the Roses":
There is no winning, only degrees of losing. 

However, there is one exception to the impermanence and loss in life:

The only thing that is permanent is our good deeds, and with this we can achieve an everlasting good name for ourselves.

In Judaism, we teach:
A good name is better than fine oil.

Hence, this is the permanence that we strive for in life and in death.  

If we can attain a good name through purity of soul then in a sense, we can transcend life's suffering and impermanence.  

By becoming non-attached to all of life's temporary things, and instead focusing on perfecting ourselves, we can free ourselves from suffering and from this world, and then we can go on in everlasting-peace to the afterlife. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 12, 2018

Loneliness Is Death

There is a very important article in the Wall Street Journal today on the link of loneliness to death. 

Frightening loneliness statistics:

- One in 11 Americans over age 50 "lacks a spouse, partner, or living child."

- More than 1 in 4 baby boomers is divorced or never married.  

- 1 out of every 6 people lives alone. 

Research indicates that loneliness leads to early death. 

The impact of loneliness is equivalent to:

- Smoking 15 cigarettes a day

- Drinking 6 alcoholic beverages a day

Loneliness is worse for mortality than:

- Obesity 

- Physical activity

"The effect of isolation is extraordinarily powerful...we have to address loneliness," says the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Whether you are extroverted or introverted, we all need human interaction, sharing, caring, touch, and love.  

Truly, no man is an island!

Those that are stranded on loneliness island need to escape it and make their way back to human civilization.

Alone our lives are dull and stunted; but together, we have the inherent social dynamics to be able to experientially learn, grow, change and mature. 

Alone we die--together we live. 

It's not just power in numbers, it's life itself. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 6, 2018

Jack Of All Trades

I saw this quote hanging on the wall. 

It's by science fiction writer, Robert Anson Heinlein.
"A human being should be able to:
  • Change a diaper
  • Plan an invasion
  • Butcher a hog
  • Conn [control] a ship
  • Design a building
  • Write a sonnet
  • Balance account
  • Build a wall
  • Set a bone
  • Comfort the dying
  • Take orders
  • Give orders
  • Cooperate
  • Act alone
  • Solve equations
  • Analyze a new problem
  • Pitch manure
  • Program a computer
  • Cook a tasty meal
  • Fight efficiently
  • Die Gallantly
Specialization is for insects."

It's sort of fascinating all the things that are expected of people to be able to do. 

And this is a short list--I'm sure you can think of many, many more things that people have to be able to do to survive, to live, to thrive. 

What complex and magnificent creations of G-d we are! 

Not only in terms of our physiology, but also in terms of our cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual capacities and desires. 

We are flesh and blood, but with a breath of life from the living G-d, and we are capable and can do so much. 

At the same time, we are imperfect, limited, fallible, and mortal. 

- Jack of all trades, and master of none. 

Expect the best, but plan for plenty of mistakes and disasters along the way. 

Live well, and return to the creator a better person. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

March 5, 2018

Growing With The Challenge

Thought this was a good saying, and wanted to share it. 
"A man grows with the greatness of his task."

In Hebrew, there is a similar saying:
"Lefum Tzaara Agra." (Which translates roughly too: "As the suffering, so to is the reward.")

Adversity, hardships, challenges, pain, suffering--these all test our mettle.

Obviously, these are not fun, but in the end, we are forced to grow from these experiences. 

- What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. 

Sometimes though, they really can kill us. 

So, push yourself as far and as fast as you can, but also you better know your true limits. 

And we all have them, even when we think we're invincible. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 20, 2017

There Is Always A Bigger Fish

So as we are about to enter Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year...

I want to share a very important lesson that I came across again this year. 

The lesson is:
No matter how big a fish you think you are, there is ALWAYS a bigger fish out there.

You may have position, title, money, status, and all the trimmings, but someone with more of this and that and the other thing (and overall power) can come along at any time--at G-d's decree--and swallow you right up.  

I connect this to the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah when it is customary to go and cast bread (symbolic for our sins) into a natural body of water, so the fish can eat them up--and in a spiritual sense we throw away our sins and cleanse ourselves of our wrongdoings over the last year--let the fish have them. 

And like the fish eating our sins, I think another more powerful person can come and swallow us up and even spit us out (like Jonah and the Whale)--we are all fallible and mortal. 

We are made from dust and we go to dust, and my dad would joke to clean up the mounds of dust under my bed!

As we enter the New Year, may Hashem have mercy on us and bless us, and may we have peace, health, and prosperity, and may we be written in the Book of Life.

Oh yeah, and may no fish big or small come against us to cause us distress or harm--G-d is the Almighty Protector--Amen! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 12, 2017

The Knowable and Unknowable

So as we all do, I often come across challenging and perplexing issues or problems in life. 

And my nature is to try to understand them, solve them, fix them--is it survival or the challenge or both?

But then we come across some things that are just beyond our [mere mortal] understanding or ability to simply fix them. 

I remember as a youngster learning in Yeshiva about when it says in the Bible that G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he continued to refuse to let the Jews go from their enslavement in Egypt.

And the classic mind-bending question is how could G-d harden his heart if Pharaoh retained free will which we all have to choose good or evil.

Did G-d harden his heart or did he have free will--which is it?  And if G-d hardened his heart, then how could Pharaoh and the Egyptians be punished for something they didn't fully control? 

One explanation is that by facing the punishing plagues, Pharoah was losing his free will to decide what to do with the Israelites, so by hardening his heart, G-d was actually restoring his free will to choose once again...interesting. 

Of course in life, there is also the philosophical dimensions of so many seeming contradictions such as the cliche about what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

Which wins out if one is unstoppable and the other is unmovable?

No, I don't think these are just riddles, but the testing of the abilities of our human minds to understand further and further into the mysteries of G-d, creation, and the universe. 

So what do we do in life when confronted by things that are seemingly or really beyond our human capacities? 

- We ponder these weighty matters and sometimes we get frustrated and rip our little-left hair out or laugh at ourselves as to why we can't just get it.

- We look to understand the deeper spiritual meanings of these challenges in the context of our earthly lives. 

- We try to solve and fix what we can within the confines of our spaghetti brain matter and flesh and bone bodies. 

- At the end of the day, we acknowledge our human limitations, and look to the Heavens for answers or at least for Divine guidance and protection along the way.

While we cannot understand everything or always reach our destination that we set for ourselves that should never prevent us from trying our hardest and going as far as we can on our journeys--and letting the next person, and the next person pick up the torch and carry it forward. 

In the Jewish prayers, we say that the matters of the earth are for our exploration and striving, but the ultimate secrets of the Heaven are for G-d alone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 27, 2017

A Little Wear and Tear

Despite a generally longer life expectancy...people still have lots of aches and pains already by midlife. 

Danielle Ofri in the New York Times points out:
"Our bodies evolved to live about 40 years and then be finished off by a mammoth or a microbe. [However,] thanks to a century of staggering medical progress, now now live past 80, but evolution hasn't caught up; the cartilage in our joints still wears down in our 40s and we are more obese and more sedentary that we used to be, which doesn't help."
I hear from so many people in their 40s that they are already getting knee and hip replacements; they have high blood pressure, diabetes, and are having heart attacks, and many even are seeing their first bouts of cancer.

So in many ways, the 40s really sucks!  

Many of us would be dead many times over already, if not for G-d's grace and the miracles of medical science and technology these days. 

So life is prolonged, and we even often get pain relief, while we are able to continue forward with our families, communities, and careers.

As we read in Psalms 39:4
"Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."
Perhaps that's what illness is...G-d showing us that we are just mortal and that life is short and we need to make the most of every minute. 

When everything is going just swell, how easy it is to become arrogant and forget how mortal we really are. 

My father used to say:
"G-d doesn't let any tree grow into the heavens."
By our 40s, when most of us are growing our families, careers, wealth, and stature--unfortunately, maybe we sort of need that kick in the pants from Above. 

G-d is our maker and our teacher, and he guides us to the end of our days, and hopefully they are reached with wisdom, meaningful contributions, piety, and love. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

September 24, 2016

Computer Luminaries


I wanted to share these photo that I took at Micro Center, a computer and electronics store, outside Washington DC. 

On the wall are these pretty awesome photos of many of the founders and inventors behind modern-day computing. 

1) Doug Englebart - the GUI and Mouse

2) Dennis Ritchie - C and Unix

3-4) Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston - Visicalc and Spreadsheets

5-6) Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard - HP 

7) Gordon Moore - Intel

8) Grace Hopper - First compiler that led to development of COBOL

9-10) Robert Khan and Vinton Cerf - TCP/IP

11) Steve Wozniak - Apple I and II

Of course, the following deserve a place of the wall of fame as well:

12) Steve Jobs - Apple

13) Bill Gates - Microsoft

14-15) Larry Paige and Sergey Brin - Google

16) Jeff Bezos - Amazon 

17) Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

On one hand, these are people like you and I, who live, feel joy and pain, and one day die. In the end, we're all just flesh and blood, plus a soul that is our moral compass. 

But on the other hand, G-d has given some people special gifts to pass to mankind, like a master painter, musician, inventor, or holy person, whose worldly works are as near to G-dly as perhaps we can get outside of Heaven itself.

G-d must have a plan for us as he sends us these people--or more like angels--to guide our development and our destiny. 

Whatever G-d wants from us, we're definitely on a course to get there and that is comforting and a ray of hope for all of us. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 27, 2016

How Great Are You?

INDISPENSABLE?

      Sometime, when you’re feeling important,
      
      Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom,
      
      Sometime, when you take it for granted,
      
      You’re the best qualified in the room.
      
      Sometime when you feel that your going,
      
      Would leave an unfillable hole,
      
      Just follow these simple instructions,
      
      And see how it humbles your soul.
      
      Take a bucket and fill it with water.
      
      Put your hand in it, up to the wrist;
      
      Pull it out; and the hole that’s remaining, 
      
      Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
      
      You may splash all you please when you enter,
      
      You can stir up the water galore,
      
      But stop, and you’ll find in a minute,
      
      That it looks quite the same as before.
      
      The moral in this quaint example,
      
      Is just do the best that you can,
      
      Be proud of yourself, but remember,
      
      There’s no indispensable man.
            
      - Saxon White Kessinger

(Thank you to my daughter, Minna Blumenthal, for sharing this)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark

December 22, 2015

Mortality Unlimited

So this week, there seems to be a theme of human frailty and mortality and I wanted to share it. 

While it is the holidays and we are celebrating and happy to be with our family and loved ones, it is also a time to miss those that are gone, care and pray for those that are not well, and give thanks for our own blessings.

5 examples in one week (and trust me, I am holding back):

1) Death of family member - One wonderful lady in the office who recently lost her mother (her mom was in her very early 60s and just didn't wake up one morning) came to the holiday party, but looked sad. I asked about her well-being, and she said she is doing well, but is still remembering and dealing with the recent loss of her mom who she was so close with. We talked briefly how it takes time to mourn and heal, and frankly, we never really get over it. 

2) Death of friend - A women I know just lost a very good friend (early 40s) to Kidney failure. She is on vacation, but is sad mourning over the loss, and also recognizing her own mortality and that anything can happen at anytime. 

3) Very ill teenager - A teenager was at a recent Shabbat event with her peers celebrating G-d and her Jewishness, and at the event revealed that she has a brain disease and the doctors told her she only has a few months to live. She said that unfortunately she will never get to see her wedding day. It was heartbreaking. 

4) Sick children - A colleague at work took a few hours off to deliver holiday gifts to the local children's hospital. She helped start an organization to raise money and support children with cancer and other devastating illnesses. It was a very beautiful thing to give back to the innocent kids. 

5) Aging gracefully - A friend who recently hit the big 6-0 was a little depressed. When I asked him how he's dealing with it, he acknowledged that it's hard, but that he had all year to prepare (smile). But at the same time, he said that he can't help looking back on his life as well as thinking forward to what comes next. He's had his share of illness, but medical science (with G-d's help) saved his life so far. We talked about not knowing what happens but that he could have another 30 "good years" or that sometimes having a quick, peaceful end can be okay too--since quality of life matters as much or more than quantity. 

The point from all this is not to be sad, but to realize we are but "flesh and blood" and we are alive only because G-d sustains us. 

What we can do is take care of ourselves and our loved ones and make the most of each and every day. We are not guaranteed any number of years or anything else, so each moment is as precious and needs to be lived as if it could be the last. 

Savor your blessings, because that is what they are--as my mother-in-law says, you are entitled to and the world owes you nothing.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 28, 2015

What's Your Vice?

So no one is perfect.

And no matter how outwardly pious the person, everyone inwardly has some hidden (or not so) vice or excess that they must learn to tame.

Here's a top 23 list:

Substance Abuse
1) Cigarettes
2) Alcohol
3) Drugs

Greed
4) Food
5) Money (e.g. gambling, hoarding)
6) Materialism (e.g. homes, cars, boats, planes, jewels, clothes, etc.)

Obsessive Compulsive
7) Work
8) Sex
9) Popularity (e.g. talking, partying)
10) Religion 
11) Sport
12) Control

Anger
13) Violence
14) Abuse (e.g. verbal, emotional, physical)
15) Rape 

Callous
16) Indifference
17) Tardiness
18) Laziness

Egotistical
19) Selfish
20) Boastful

Crooked
21) Lying
22) Cheating
23) Stealing

Think about the people you know--love 'em or hate 'em--and is there anyone that doesn't have one of these to some extent or another?

And for those of you wondering, my vice is, of course, pizza! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 22, 2015

I Am Doing

Today, a disabled man asked the lifeguard at the pool, "How are you doing?"

The lifeguard couldn't understand or fully hear the disabled man who had to repeat the question multiple times.

Then, the lifeguard responded, "I am doing well. How are you doing?"

The disabled man with a blank to sad look on his face says, "I am doing."

His response of just "doing" (not well, good, or fine) was like just going on day-to-day amidst very challenging life circumstances of illness and disability--just in a state of being, but certainly not feeling like he was thriving in his current life. 

It reminded me of my own parents, survivors of the Holocaust. 

After the horror and loss of the Holocaust everything, including coming to this country without a dime or a job was just a cakewalk in comparison. 

For 25-years, my dad would never even go to the doctor. 

He would say, "G-d is my doctor!"

Only later in life, when all his friends were sick or failing, and my mom was so sick with Parkinson's would my dad respond to people's questions of how he was, by saying simply, "Surviving!"

And then often adding, "We are part of the survivors' club."

When we're young, healthy, and vibrant, the world seems too small compared to what we think we can do and accomplish.

That's good--it gives us the thrusters in life to go as far as we can with accomplishments and progress. 

As we age though, the realities of life and health come into vision and we realize that we can't lift cars with one hand (anymore) or fly lightening speed with just our cape around the globe--we're mortal. 

This doesn't mean that we can't do great things for ourselves and the world at any age and with any (dis)ability, just that it many not be as simple or as easy any longer--we have to fight harder and be part of the survivor's club. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

October 23, 2015

Does Every Problem Have A Solution?

So someone said something interesting to me yesterday.

They were going off about this and that problem in the world. 

Then seemingly exasperated by the current and desperate state of affairs, they go "You know what? Not every problem has a solution."

And that really took me aback.

As a student and then a professional, I have always prided myself on looking for a solution to every problem. 

Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don't, but I was always taught to try!

Now someone says to me this earth-shattering news that maybe there is not a good solution out there for every catastrophic problem.

So this got me thinking...

Maybe some problems are just too big or too complex for our mortal minds to even understand or our supercomputers to really solve. 

Or perhaps sometimes things have gone too far or are too far gone, and we can't always easily just turn back the clock.

Are there some things that we can't really make right what we did so wrong for so long, despite the best intentions now. 

And in life are some things just a catch-22 or a zero-sum game--where every way forward is another dead end or it has consequences which are too painful or otherwise unacceptable. 

This sort of reminds me of the sick brutal Nazi in the Holocaust who took a women with two beautiful young children to the side and said, "Choose!"

"Choose what?" she innocently replies.

And the sadistic Nazi pulling out his gun says, "Choose which of your children will live and which will die, you have 30 seconds or I kill them both!"

Indeed, some problems have no good solution as hard as that is for me to hear or accept.  

All we can do is our best, and even when we can't satisfactorily solve those completely vexing problems to us (because some things are not in the realm of the possible for mere mortals), we have to continue to go forward in life because there really is no going back. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 7, 2015

Why Can't We Just Stay As Superman?

So when we're young, we think we're Superman, Batman, or whatever superhero comes to mind. 

Our bodies are beautiful, supple, strong, and heal quickly. 

We are taught by our helicopter parents and philosophic teachers that "You can do anything you set your mind to!"

In our fantasies, we surely can do amazing things--we lift unbelievable weight, fly around at the speed of light, do karate better than Bruce Lee, outthink Einstein, save the world, and then make off with the beautiful damsel to boot.

Kryptonite is no problem--we are (seemingly) invincible.

Then we hit middle age--40 something--and all of a sudden what do you know?

Oh, this doesn't work right and that doesn't feel right.

The Yiddish expression, "Oy vey" seems about it.

And off to the doctors we go.

After the exam and tests, doc says, "Mr. (or Ms.) [whatever], you have [fill in the blank]."

You respond, "Is that normal--at my age--already?"

Doc says, "Absolutely, this is what happens as you get older."

I say, "Doc, does anything good happen when we get older."

"Of course not"--we both laugh. 

This reminds me of when my dad used to sing this song in this funny mock Irish accent, "You're not as young as you used to be you're getting old and gray!" 

This week, a colleague was coming down with something--possibly something not good. 

I told him how I hoped this turns out well for him and how sorry I was for what he was going through.

Writing off the illness, he says to me, "We all end the same anyway" (i.e. we all end up dead!)--ah, another unhappy notion that is. 

I joked back, "But we all don't end up in the same place."

I got a few laughs at that too (some of my father in me). 

Well anyway, I thought about this after--about some of the special subhuman beings out there--and the very special place that I am certain G-d has in store for them:

- Serial murders and other violent criminals

- Rapists and child abusers

- Terrorists and their sponsors

- Megalomaniacs, bullies, and corrupt officials

- Thieves, cheats, and liars.

And guess what about these schmendricks--they get old too, they go to the doctor too, and then they are going somewhere warm, very warm, and it's not to the Caribbean. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 22, 2015

Can You Just Stop And Think?

So oddly, one thing that many people these days find really hard to do is STOP AND THINK.

What do I mean?

Be alone, do nothing, and just take the time to be with yourself and think.

--without your smartphone, television, music, game, or even a book. 

Just you, the four walls, and your brain...thinking, thinking, thinking.

Feeling a little jittery, scared yet. 

Why are people afraid to stop and think? 

Is it because within the thinking is some craziness, fear, anxiety, and even remorse?

Are there overwhelming feelings and thoughts about issues, events, people, and places that are unresolved and painful. 

Also, by ourselves and in our thoughts, we can realize how weak, vulnerable, and mortal we are. 

If we are here in our own heads, maybe no one will even notice we are gone or maybe no one will even miss us--maybe they'll replace us?

We're so easily ditched, replaceable, just another character in a long cast of characters.

When we stop and think, do we worry about all the other things we're not doing or getting done...perhaps, we don't have the time to think, because we need to be doing, doing, doing. 

And if we're not moving forward doing something, then we are being left behind!

But doesn't thinking lead to more purposeful doing?

A little upfront thinking and planning, maybe can save you some serious time wasted just acting out. 

Somehow, like a prisoner in isolation though too much alone time with your own thoughts is enough to drive anyone crazy, docile, and ready to behave just to get out, interact with other human beings, and doing something.

We need to stay active, not be bored, so we don't think too much.

When I was in the hospital recently, one orderly named Kelvin, saw me sitting there by myself thinking, and he said to me, "Oh no, you don't want to have too much time to think. Block those thoughts out of your mind. Why don't you watch some TV?"  

Smart Kelvin. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark