The Clock is Running – Make the Most of Today

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?

Time Passing by barbara white at quoteko-com

Credit – Quoteko.com

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”

You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success.

The clock is running. Make the most of today.

– Author Unknown

Americans Have Become Intellectually Lazy

During my lifetime I have come to know or be exposed to a lot of diverse people. These are people that come from different backgrounds; some smart and some not; some blue collar and some white collar; some highly educated and some not; some white, some black; some hard workers and some not; and some with common sense and a whole lot with none.

What I have observed, across this diverse group of people, is that most people today are so caught up in living their lives and just trying to survive, they aren’t really aware of what’s going on around them that has a major influence on their life. Their knowledge and opinions, if they have one, are solely based on what they see on television and/or hear from a friend, neighbor, or relative without ever seeing the big picture for themselves. They either lack the intellectual curiosity to find out for themselves, or they have become intellectually lazy.

Intellectual curiosity means you want to know more than the basics or the common knowledge. It is the desire to invest some time and energy into learning more about a person, a thing, a way of life, or a concept. Basically, it is the desire to learn more.

Child CurisoityChildren have an over abundance of intellectual curiosity. To a young child, everything is new. They want to know more. They want to learn more. They are like a sponge, absorbing more than just the obvious or the basics. What is a cloud? How did they get there? What makes them move? How does rain come out of a cloud?

However, children grow up, they have responsibilities, and they get distracted by the day-to-day worries and challenges of life in today’s environment.

At some point intellectual curiosity has taken a backseat for a lot of people. As a result, people have become gullible, submissive, and intellectually lazy. Everyone is running so hard and fast just to survive, they don’t have time to pay attention to what’s going on around them. We have become a populace of sheep, such that we just follow along, don’t ask questions, and do whatever we’re told to do by the talking heads on television and radio. This is especially true of politics.

Teabaggers smallCase in point: Teabaggers and their followers.

Most of the editorial staff of the Tea Party News Network resigned this past week, stating in their resignation letter “The audience is regarded as unsophisticated simpletons.”

Why do they think this of their followers? Because they know their followers won’t question them, they will believe what they are told and will do whatever they are told to do. Typical sheep mentality.

We are living in such a toxic environment around us, it is critical for people to be informed and knowledgeable of current events. In a world where the internet is available to us 24 hours a day on our computers, even on our telephones, there is no excuse for not being informed and knowledgeable, it’s ridiculous.

CuriosityHow can anyone sit back and not question what’s happening with our food supply (genetically modified foods); industrial pollution of our water and air; militarization of our police; voter rights suppression; climate change; income inequality; fracking; politicians and government being bought and paid for by the ultra-rich; climate change; radical religious ideology; and more. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then look it up. Do a little personal research. Develop your own opinions based on your own knowledge of the issue, not on what someone else tells you to think. Then when you are conversing with others and someone starts spewing the typical uncontested talking points about a topic, you have the knowledge to enhance the conversation with facts.

 “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

If you have children, don’t shut down their intellectual curiosity, encourage it. We need them to grow up to be informed, knowledgeable, and intellectually curious adults.

Regardless of your age or position in life, it is not too late to jump start your intellectual curiosity and become informed and knowledgeable of the events and activities that are impacting your life on a daily basis.

Curiosity2

Are You Smarter Than Your Senators

When I was younger, and quite comfortable in my complacency, I had this utterly absurd notion that our government consisted of an august body of intellects and sages that worked diligently at the task of making our country work for the betterment of all.

How completely and utterly ignorant I was. Completely ignorant. Ignorant (and trusting) to the point of stupidity. Whew !

I realize now that my image of Washington could not have been further from that fantasy than it was possible to have been.

Our government, I now see with clarity, consists of a group of racist, bumbling, buffoons, who’s number one goal is to pander to those that hold the purse strings, and “The People” be damned. Especially the little people.

It’s astonishing that given a choice, there are people, and not just politicians, that would choose ignorance over enlightenment. And not just choose ignorance, but to be proud of the fact that they’re ignorant.

I mean ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge, and I can forgive a person for that, but to be willfully ignorant enters another realm altogether, and I call that stupidity. And I do not have a tolerance for stupidity.

Written by “Some Dude in AK”.

As I was searching through my blog notes file, I found this short article above that I had saved. I don’t know when it was actually written but I saved it back in 2011. As I read it again I just had to laugh. This “Some Dude in AK” said it perfectly. I believe a majority of the American people are like this guy was initially in his thoughts about our government, before he had his epiphany.

The Fence

Credit: No Greater Joy Ministries

Credit: No Greater Joy Ministries

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said “you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.” You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.

– Author Unknown

Thanks to my niece for sharing this with me.

Life Lessons – A Glance in the Rear View Mirror of Life

How often have you heard someone say “if I could go back“, or “if I could do it all over again, I would….“. Maybe you have said or thought this before as well. This thought came to mind recently and I got to thinking, if I really could go back and change things in my life, would I?

It's A Wonderful LifeOf course, when contemplating this scenario you have to give thought to the old Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. George Bailey was a man who had given up his dreams and ambitions in order to help others. His choice to commit suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence. Wishing that he had never been born, Clarence shows George all the lives he had touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

As I glance in the rear view mirror of my life, I can see clearly that life truly is about choices. Big choices. Little choices. Good choices. Bad choices. Easy choices. Hard choices. Choices we make without even knowing we are making a choice.

Choices lead to a chain of events. What we are today is the outcome of choices we have made in the past.  These choices have been the foundation for how we have chosen to live our life.

We make life-long choices that shape our character, our morality, our ethics, and our spirituality.  We make high impact choices that determine our careers, our finances, and our lifestyles.  We make sentimental choices on who we fall in love with and who we choose to share our life with together.

Reflection:  Forty-two years ago I broke a date with a woman to go on a date with another woman I had just met. Why? I could have kept the original date and ask the other out for another day. But I made a choice to go out with the woman I had just met.  That woman has been my wife now for over 41 years and the mother of our three wonderful children. Good choice. Would I change this choice? Absolutely not!

Some choices are influenced by others. Some of our choices were ingrained in us by choices our parents made when raising us. Learning right from wrong, moral from immoral. We make choices on having children. We make choices on parenting.

ReflectionAfter our second son was born, my wife and I made a choice for her to stay home with the kids and not work.  We didn’t want to put them in day care every day while we worked, so she stayed home and raised all three of our boys until they were out of school. To this day we believe this helped mold our boys into the good men they are and the close-knit family that we have today. Hard choice, but a good choice. Would I change this choice? Absolutely not!

We make choices on our health. We choose whether we eat or drink healthy. We choose whether to put our bodies at risk by doing something unsafe or insane. We choose whether we take care of ourselves and go to the doctor for checkups.

Reflection:  I made a choice three years ago, with a little push from my spouse, to make an appointment with my family doctor to have a physical after not having one the last few years. That physical started me on the path to discovering that I had a very aggressive form of prostate cancer and a large mass in one of my kidney’s. If I had not made this choice, I may not have been alive today. Good choice.  Would I change this choice? Absolutely not!

Are there some choices I would like to change, sure there are. Maybe I wouldn’t have bought that Pinto car; maybe I should have bought stock in that little start-up company called MicroSoft; etc. But when it comes to the significant choices I have made in my life, would I change them? Absolutely not!

Choices are part of our everyday life. We don’t have the luxury of foresight to know the long-term impact of choices we make everyday. However, we do have the luxury of hindsight.  I hope that when you decide to Glance in the Rear View Mirror of Your Life, at the choices you made during your life time, you may be surprised at the importance and impact of them. When you do, I believe that you will find that you also made some great choices, and just maybe, you wouldn’t change a thing, even if you could go back…

So, go forth and understand that choices you make today will have an impact on your life in the future. This is what the journey of life is all about!!

As a wise old Chinese priest once said:   Choose wisely, Grasshopper…