I saw an interesting typo. Someone was writing ‘life happens to us all’ but just one key stroke changed the meaning – ‘life happens to use all’.
It does happen to us all.
And it uses us all up.
For me, happiness is important. Doing something worthwhile or useful is too.
Making something or solving something contributes to happiness for me. I don’t want to judge but I don’t see happiness or tranquility as a worthwhile pursuit for anyone at any age. If we aren’t growing we are taking up valuable space and resources.
I think . . .
Really I do.
Not always deeply. But often.
Is it any different – the kind of day we’ll have or the kind of month. Is there a difference between our experience this week from the next 52 weeks?
We are smarter than ants in a hill or bees in a hive but I don’t think our behaviour strays much from the very predictable or statistically probable.
When one considers happiness a factor – if happiness is your thing – then maybe this deserves more examination.
Paint this picture.
One most of us probably don’t like to see.
I believe we all ought to look at this time with a view to making some changes.
Not resolutions for forgetting.
Not failure fixes.
But changes for a change – chances for chance, trying for the sake of trying without thinking so much about failure as if it is the only option when we try something new or difficult.
Each year that we live is of essentially no effect unless we are of some effect.
Sure, we all have unique stories – but taken together as small or large community your life isn’t statistically much different from anyone else in the same demographic group.
Sure you can have an emotional relationship, family tragedy or medical surprise – but get in line!
Nearly everyone has some of those.
What distinguishes us from one another – only thing that can – is whether we impact the world or not.
Most of us don’t.
Most of us who try very hard don’t succeed.
Success rates for innovation and change are very low.
Daunting to the point where most of us don’t pick up a shovel or even pick up the pace.
So. Here you are. The year is ending. A new one begins soon.
Are you going to live 2014 any differently than 2013?
If not then why bother?
Rest-time is nearly over.
Work is ready to resume.
Are you ready?
Pace will accelerate.
Within days recollections of peaceful feelings – whether you snacked on leftovers from comfort of pajamas, slippers and roaring fireplaces or if you strolled sunny beaches – will fade.
Break is over.
What to return to?
A year ago or a year from now most of us will be the same as we were or the way we are now. Another year older. And then another.
Aside from our wrinkle count, counting our age spots and accepting fading memory – not much changes.
Newspapers will be full of advertising, empty of news – just a collage of the year’s best and worst events – empty of news.
Each year my daughter Carla gets me a calendar – the desk kind where you tear off a page each day to reveal a quote or saying.
The first page for January 1st is stunning – a Zen saying – “Leap and the net will appear”
Worth starting a day or two early . . .
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -12C / 20F, heavy overcast. Llight breeze – and mushy snow suggest a mild day and possibly more snowfall. Welcome back to those who’ve been snoozing on beaches! Traffic very light, magpies are having a good time at overflowing garbage bins.
A good Sunday read ... the best thing coming from the "New Yorker" article, linked below, is a broadening of the base of what we think of as intelligence. I think that intelligence as what emerges from communication among many networked agents. These include neurons (in the case of the brain and nervous system), antibodies (in the case of the immune system), and ants in a hill, fish in a school, or birds in a flock (to use some common examples). I suspect that what is discussed in this article (plant intelligence) emerges from analogous networks. Very thought-provoking. So -- our social networks provide endless opportunities for emergent intelligence! I hope you are well-aligned for an intelligently-networked New Year! http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/12/23/131223fa_fact_pollan?currentPage=all , Cheers, BE, Calgary, AB
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