When The Doctor met Bill and invited her along for the ride:
Bill: Why me?
Doctor: I noticed you.
Bill: Yeah, but why?
Doctor: Well, most people, when they don’t understand something, they frown. You – smile.
I’ve rerun this story several times through the years, because this childhood incident is at the root of my personal philosophy. I share it as a reminder for these seemingly scary times.
I learned everything I need to know about fear on a steep hill overlooking Lake Champlain in Vermont. I keep coming back to this story whenever anxiety threatens to stop me in my tracks. Childhood lessons sink in deep.
To my younger-than-10-years-old eyes, it looked more like a cliff than a hill; my impression was informed by the shale-like formations that reached down to the beach and disappeared into the pine forest above. Seen from the cabin our parents rented for a week every summer, the forest appeared to grow to the edge of a steep, rocky incline that I wouldn’t be able to scale if I had to.
And one day, I had to. Continue reading “The Cliff (Throwback post)”
“What next?” – Ask that question every day.
Stop looking back – This is today.
But: An appreciation of past work is what I do. I’m happiest finding an unexplored or underexplored bit or literature or pop culture and sharing what I’ve found – like Firefly.
“I don’t care what you believe – just believe!”
Shepherd Book’s last words are imprecise. “Not caring what you believe” can lead you into the darkness of Clinton vs. Trump.
Belief in something bigger, a higher purpose, the betterment of our species, adding to the beauty – One would like to believe that’s what Whedon/Shepherd Book meant.
People believe they are so powerless nowadays, even though they have possessed the power all along, like Dorothy discovering she could have reached her goal anytime she wanted because she already had all she needed to do so.
We are born free and with the power to choose our life’s path, but people/governments/bosses/well-meaning fools beat down spirit and steal freedom and power, obscuring the truth that empowerment is of nature, of God – we are endowed by our Creator with certain, unalienable rights.
Children need to be taught that they are not free to infringe on others’ freedoms and rights, of course, but so much teaching these days is more about being a proper slave than about exercising responsible freedom.
Sometimes I would like to stop and sit, disconnected from all the bells and whistles, for a few days that turn to weeks that turn to months. Do I really need to know what is ringing and making deafening sounds in the wilderness of civilization?
But I chose to toil in a profession where the purpose is to look and listen to the bells and whistles, turn around and summarize: “The bells are ringing, and the whistles are whistling.” I’m the one who chose to peer into the smoke and mirrors, turn and say: “The smokescreen is working” or “there’s nothing here after all – but wait, here’s something.”
(Please hold while I re-read Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Man.”)
All we seek is peace and quiet, to rest after a long journey, to unwind the tightened muscles and loosen the stressed arms and neck and chest –
All this moving – moving – moving – “Stop and smell the roses,” someone cries, and we respond, “I’ll stop and smell the roses when I get there,” and they reply, “But the roses are back here, and oh, now you’ve missed them.” And with only a tinge of regret, we keep moving.
The moment we seek is here, and now – if only we let it be.
[thump thump thump]
… there? …
2X2L calling CQ New York – Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone on the air? Isn’t there anyone?
Every person is absolutely unique. Why is this so hard to grasp?
Maybe it’s because there are so many of us, it’s hard to imagine no two are alike. But that’s the fact, Jack.
And yet we keep getting lumped into groups, some of them arbitrary, some of them fixed, and we keep accepting the group-think.
Oh, you’re a woman. Oh, your skin is a certain tinge. Oh, you belong to that church. Oh, you’re that age. Oh, you usually vote Republican. Oh, you read romance novels. Oh, you watch that TV channel.
Oh … wait.
Every person is unique.
Every. Person. Is. Unique.
I can’t assume anything about you because you’re a woman, or because your skin has that tinge, or any of those other things. You don’t think like every other woman, you don’t act like everyone whose skin is that shade, you don’t believe everything that I may think Republicans believe. You don’t, do you?
There is no one else in the world like you. No one else has been through what you have, in the same order.
You. Are. Unique. One of a kind. Indispensable and irreplaceable.
And so is everyone else.
Make assumptions based on a glance, or a brief encounter, and you miss a chance to understand.
Demographics, shmemographics: You can’t predict what the person in front of you will think or do based on studies or your observations of what other people who look like him have thought or done.
Lump people into groups, and you deny their humanity. You miss what makes them unique.
You hate it when someone says, “Oh, you’re a woman.” “Oh, you’re one of those Democrats.” As if the label explains who you are.
No. You have a name. You have an identity. You are an individual.
And so is everyone else.
“My plan is to let people do whatever they please, so long as they do not invade the right and freedom of other persons to do the same.”
— H.L. Mencken