If life’s lessons were compiled in a book, couldn’t we study it?
We’re a pretty intelligent species, so why are we so chaotic in this field of life, of learning and grasping lessons?
Most of us know hardly anything at all. Most of us know hardly anyone.
We know a few ordinary people and likely even fewer extraordinary people. Ones portrayed in movies are portrayed by good-looking folks too, so nothing ordinary there.
Most people are ordinary, in search of having an extraordinary life because we’ve read some book or seen some movie about extraordinary transformation of people by extraordinary circumstances.
Google-searched life quotes - anyone ever famous for a day has/had something, so Polyanna-ish, to say.
I don’t often praise or see movies telling true stories because, as I tell friends ‘I know how it ends’. I’ve seen two recent praise-worthy exceptions – The Imitation Game last weekend, The Theory of Everything last night. British historical biographical pics about science, physics about two men, brilliant influencers on explaining and running … everything.
They resonate, not from sappy/well portrayed romance and circumstance – but surely they contain life-lessons.
Consider, if some other wiz-kid had been whiskers smarter or moments sooner than Turing or Hawking, then we’d never have heard much or learned much about either of them.
It leaves we wondering what we’d have seen/heard/learned about Hawking or Turing had they been … well, ordinary. Take away Hawking’s ALS. Would he, or his wife Jane, been who they are? If Turing hadn’t been gay in an intolerant society, might he have been bigger or better than Gates or Jobs? Certainly sooner …
Yes, I have one.
The lesson, is that we are all extraordinary. Most of us are doing rather ordinary things – but the qualities of extraordinary, of perseverance, of struggle, of principles, of faith in ourselves – those seem to be truths, universal themes in each of us. Those who succeed have it. Those who don’t, they have it too. Maybe we all have it within us – and that is the universal unifying question. Careful, don’t lose it in some black hole …
Here endeth that lesson.
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: -17C/2F, clear and calm, incredibly refreshing; we walked late so Gusta could see what she was sniffing in daylight for a change – cold by comparison to recent weather, but really quite pleasant conditions for this time of year …
What a beautiful tribute to a great artist and performer Mark. I have always wanted to channel Rod McKuen, to evoke through my words that sense of possibility, connection, belonging that his words do for me. I am grateful for his presence on my path. Even in his passing, his light is bright, LG, Calgary, AB