Sunday Poser #99- 9/25/22

I compare myself to no one. Each day I count my blessings and set my sights on being a better version of myself.
There’s always room for improvement, IMHO.
I struggle, though, with trying to remain tolerant of others while feeling the need to ‘speak up’ in the face of evil and wrongdoing. The phrase “In order for evil to flourish it requires good men to do nothing.” looms large in my heart.
On a personal level, I try to be kind, forgiving, and tolerant and I save my ‘speaking out’ for topics, ideologies, and policies. I can ‘love’ individual people but in no way feel that I have any requirement to approve of their actions or philosophies.
I can be influenced by well-reasoned arguments, but I can never be bought, shamed or intimidated into doing (or believing in) anything I feel is unethical or immoral. Ultimately this makes me sometimes sound opinionated and/or intolerant of those who believe ‘making waves’ is ‘hate’ and uniform compliance is ‘kindness’.
With all due respect, I don’t allow the opinions of others to define me or threaten me, because I never lose sight of my faithfulness to God and being able to live with myself.
As far as forgiving myself, here’s a song I taught my day care kids many years ago. I still live by it. Enjoy!




https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/09/25/sunday-poser-99/

Philosophically Speaking

My Philosophy Bookshelf(top)
My Philosophy Bookshelf(top) (Photo credit: jddunn)

I find myself shaking my head in disbelief after many (mostly political) conversations that I often initiate on Facebook.

It comes from a received comment that is totally unrelated to my initially expressed idea… which leads to other unrelated comments and so on. Such is life on social media but I’ve been perplexed by why it happens so often?

Then I realized that my comments are from a philosophical consideration, while others, want to deal in “facts” and polls and, sometimes, rumors.

No one way is superior to the other but, put them together, and no one gets anywhere but confused…sometimes angry.

Those who deal in philosophical terms are dealing with concepts and beliefs. They realize that they simply don’t know everything, and, also believe, neither does anyone else. So, to the philosophical person, data is not a part of the discussion. It may be worthy of a power point presentation but simply offers nothing when discussing principles and reasoning itself.

I admit that I am numerically impaired. I try to remember exact numbers and statistics but I cannot.(besides, I don’t trust them)
Because of my impairment, I’m really not interested in that kind of discussion, anyway.
There seems to be folks who are my opposite. I call them Fact-focused. I’d say they are, sometimes, quite philosophically impaired. You can recognize them immediately. They have “facts” and stats and find their truth somewhere among them. I’d want those people doing my taxes but I get frustrated with them in any philosophical argument because they are not speaking a language germane to my subject.

Furthermore, a philosophical person primarily asks only one question… Why?
A Fact-focused person asks many…Where, When, and How many?

To cement my self-labeling as a philosophical thinker, a fact-focused person would not have needed to understand “Why, am I not being understood?” as I just have … but I suspect they are searching, at this same moment, through data and sharpening their information for their next battle of wits.  Problem is, we won’t be on the same planet when it occurs. Ugh!

The Whole Picture

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle
a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Life is a mystery. ”

I prefer to think of it as a jigsaw puzzle. The gathering of information and ideas for us to fit together, all the while, hoping to “get the picture”.

If you’ve ever made a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces, it seems an overwhelming task, at first.

Childhood teaches us to recognize the colors and shapes.

Adolescence is a time when we can start to recognize that flat edges go on the outside… a framing. But still, so very chaotic when we realize how many pieces are left to organize.

Adulthood is the time the sky pieces are bundled and, using the colors and shapes from childhood, we start to build.

As we move along, we make new bundles. Like pieces are organized, by color, giving us a plan and a vision of becoming whole. Then we start to examine the shapes because the shapes, are the true means that, enable us to build.

Colors are the events, both good and unfortunate, that we carry. Shapes are the way we react to and use the events. Learning to live takes practice and how we deal with events,( our scruples, our curiosity and our ability to forgive) give the shapes clarity and makes them interlocking.

Finally, we find that there are few pieces left. The organizing is done and there is an ease with which we build. A life, lived well, is now a beautiful picture. Even if a few pieces have become misshapen or lost, it is a wonder to behold.

Remember to help children to recognize and define. They will need that.

Forgive adolescent disorder and marvel at their framework, instead.

Enjoy the busy, colorful adulthood that you have worked for.

Take time to reminisce with the elderly, there’s much to be learned from people who see the whole picture.

Survival: A Balancing Act

The Olympics made me consider the age old formula of having balance in our lives. Even our food choices are best when there is balance. The Olympians were outstanding! Yet, I always wonder about their “inner” health when I realize how much of their existence is focused upon a few days, sometimes seconds, of time.

So, I created a chart of what, I believe, is true of life for human beings. As I was creating the chart, I couldn’t help but think of examples of extremes. As for Olympians, they are dedicated people who make sacrifices that I do not understand but who make me endlessly proud.

First, and foremost, our need is for survival. Whatever we do, survival comes first because everything else simply counts upon it.

There is wealth. I define wealth as anything tangible in excess of what we need to just survive. We all want comforts and wealth is not a bad thing at all. Wealth makes for prosperity and, often, longevity. You may call wealth, “comforts and currency”. Greed is at the center of those who lopsidedly surround themselves in wealth but no one should be ashamed of pursuing wealth. Wealth inspires innovation and progress which, most often, benefit humankind. We can easily name world leaders and professionals who specialize entirely in the pursuit of wealth and they are, in my mind, detrimental to us all.

There is discovery. It could be subtitled adventure. Ah, what would science be without the hunger to discover. Many of our forefathers came to this country from the need to discover. And we continue to question and learn everyday of our lives from the engrained human impulse for discovery. The Olympians fall primarily into the “overindulging in discovery” crowd. Their mission is to discover the limits of the human body and to test its endurance. Although many of them become wealthy, I believe that their excessive commitment belongs to a zeal for personal discovery. On the down side, scientists who ignore the ethics of scientific study are guilty of placing way too many “eggs” in the discovery “basket” and are my example of a dangerous group. I think arrogance is their primary motivation but greed also plays a role.

Finally, there is enlightenment. Religion and philosophy are the tools in this search for answers. Most often religion and philosophy are at the center of what separates us from our id of savagery. Generosity, forgiveness, and introspect all come from our search for enlightenment. When enlightenment outweighs the two previously mentioned needs, we have the jihad. Holy wars even misplace the human need to survive. Suicide bombers seem the best current example of the danger to humankind from weighing too heavily upon enlightenment.

So balance is still the key to the “good life”, and in my estimation, the spread of imbalance is a direct danger to our survival.

My Favorite Cliché

No “backsies” !

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

The idea of gift giving came up among my kids this morning. It does not fit my cliché, exactly, but gift giving/receiving has its bugaboos.

Yesterday, my granddaughter had shared each of her four stickers that she received for bravery during those nasty school booster shots. One of the recipients of this act of generosity had accidentally sent his sticker through the wash. I offered him my sticker.

“No,that’s YOURS.” Katherine said.

“Yes, I love it that you shared it with me. It made me so happy.” I replied.

“You can’t give it to him!”

“When you gave it to me it became mine, Katherine. Now I’d love to use it to make someone else feel happy. Once you give someone special a gift, it is so important to trust that what they use it for gives them pleasure. It does not mean that it was not loved by them.”

“OK, then.” She smiled and walked away.

My daughter and I recently had an interesting discussion. I am an absolute “no strings” person. She feels the gift is a “piece of her” not to be used for anything but what she intended.

Both feelings are absolutely valid, but this divide can cause such hurt feelings among those who do not share the same philosophy.

Once I realise that the bearer of a gift has “heart-strings” attached, I try to be mindful of it.

It is difficult when you are a “no strings” kind. I am disappointed when I realise the recipient, of one my gifts, does not take an opportunity to pass it on for fear of MY feelings. It would please me, for sure, to have the same gift providing further “giving/receiving” pleasures, and so on…

It is important to realise that both philosophies exist…which are you?

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