We live in a world of constantly improving products and processes, made so by taking errors out. We get upgrades on software or hardware – and each time we do there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of errors taken out, countless steps made more efficient and even more things we’ll likely never use or need improved as well – just in case we need them. And providers reach into our computers and phones in middle of night to ‘patch’ every little thing which comes up between upgrades. People, on the other hand, aren’t so easily upgraded or ‘patched’.
Yet we could be, right?
We can restate our purpose, reinvent our processes and redefine what we do and eliminate our errors – but we don’t. We make hollow promises to ourselves about obvious things – diet, sleep, exercise for example – and then behave in a contrary fashion. We know our problems in dealing with ‘people issues’, or at least we know when things are going badly and see the gap between that and when things are going well …
The best teacher is not experience, but most of us default to that. We make choices and experience consequences. Later, looking back, we try to figure it out.
Making a life is something we do without skill, training or experience – we begin with youthful energy and idealism but without perspective. We live plans with a loose relationship to commitment and we have accidents and unintended consequences.
Experience is this hard teacher. So much easier if we could learn from mistakes of others – not making them again.
What determines our goal, are we doing right-headed things to get there?
Some are, many aren’t. Most days I simply cannot tell my rights from wrongs, good ideas vs. bad habits – I am, this way and expect most of us are – creatures of our own habits and familiar experiences so we keep doing the same old things the same old way.
We need to upgrade our operating system, re-boot ourselves – we know these things, but what are we doing about them?
Mark, you are a good friend. John Mellancamp wrote a song ‘Your Life is Now!’. Yes, celebrate life, JF, Calgary, AB
You express your thoughts and reflections beautifully, Mark. Thank you for sharing. Tying in English Bay … a walk along the ocean always makes me feel the heartbeat of this planet, and that if I let it, the ocean would embrace me, hold me up on the surface of its depths. And the insignificance of our individual lives -- that resonated with me. Other things that stuck with me from your writing -- the laugh that Barry would have been impressed with all the cars and the opening of umbrellas as his body was lowered into the ground. It should rain at every funeral. The sky should shed its share of tears. Hope you get a chance to sleep in and that this experience stays with you in a good way … I watched The Indian in the Cupboard with my kids when they were young, and remember the line in the final scene, the parting of the boy and the Indian (and I know we would say Indigenous person, but …) paraphrasing "When I go, I take you with me", Ciao, JL, Calgary, AB
Good morning Mark: I'm sorry for your loss. Friendship is one of the most precious gifts we can experience, death is a side effect of living, I hope you find solace in your memories, AG, Cancun, Mex.
Thank you Mark. It was very nice of you to attend. Good memories for you and several others, RT, Vancouver, BC
Hi Mark, from Toronto, glad you could attend the funeral and thanks for the perspective. Barry was such a decent man even in the heat of negotiation. Even though I was not nearly his equal when dealing on the various projects we ended up completing with him, he never used his advantage to intimidate. I don’t know if you were aware, but Barry and his wife stopped by the winery in Naramata most years to say hello and buy a case of wine. A true gentlemen, impeccably dressed, with an impeccable character, Best, GR, Victoria, BC
Thank-you so much for attending for all of us who really cared about the man. Barry will continue to resonate in my silent thoughts. You were one of the few I know who got to know, understood, appreciate end enjoy this real guy. Happy to hear his kids were all present and were able to light up the day in his memory. I have been in TO for the past several day attending to the complexities of aging parents. Enjoy your day and safe travels back to Calgary. Stay well and look forward to getting together soon, BE, Calgary, AB
Nice to hear Mark. He was a special friend. He mentioned often his respect for you, DM, Palm Springs, CA
Barry had a life of substance...glad to hear so many of you experienced his mojo... and you had a catharsis journey, SF, Lethbridge, AB