One Small Thought…

Sometimes I get into dry spells here at RJsCorner where I just can’t think of something for my daily posts. When that occurs I usually pull up a quote that strikes me from my list at iHearts143Quotes.com. That is the case for today’s post.

I am certainly one to embrace change and loathe boredom, but having said that I do enjoy my morning routine. Part of that routine is to say a little prayer in the morning shower. I find that it just gets my day off to the right start. Here is the prayer:

Lord, thank you for yesterday and please give me another good day today.

I’m not a Catholic, but I once was, so I don’t always say those exact words but the meaning is always the same. It is a twofold prayer, if I must say. The first, most obvious part is to appreciate every day that comes and to try and make something special happen in that day. The second part is at this time in my life I really don’t know that I will see a tomorrow, so I petition the Lord with that request also.

[going off track here] Thinking about Catholics, I always wondered why they have to say the exact same prayers over and over again. I started this life as a Catholic for my first 20 years, then later spent about the same amount of time as a Lutheran Protestant, and am finishing up as “spiritual but not religious” category. I kind of like that non-Catholic have to wing it more when they pray. Not as many pre-subscribed words for them to parrot.

Getting back to my original thoughts to close here, I do the vast majority of my post writing in the first few hours of each day. When noon comes along it is most often time for more physical type activities. I do like to embrace change but I guess I also like my daily routines too.

More Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America

Let’s face it, we can’t simply ignore the problems and hope they go away. That seems to have worked for a long time but in reality, it has just allowed the problems to fester and get worse.  America is collapsing and if we don’t do something about it soon, it just may be too late. Just because we have gone-to-the-edge before and survived doesn’t mean it will happen again. Here is the myth for today that we need to unlearn:

Myth:    America isn’t collapsing!!!

Life expectancy is falling, the vast majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, they can’t raise $1000 for an emergency, mass shootings are a regular event of daily life, people have to crowdfund basic medicine, suicides are skyrocketing. I could go on. If your bar for collapse is Mad Max meets the Strain, then, sure, America hasn’t collapsed yet…to that point.

But it has collapsed in three key ways, which are the real, genuine and true kinds — not the stuff of science fiction end times.

◉  As a rich society — most Americans don’t live in one anymore.

◉  As a democracy — it doesn’t really represent people accurately anymore.

◉  As a society — Americans have no social contract, really, that unites them, as we’ve discussed — because virtue has not culminated in the public good .

In those three ways, collapse is as real and lethal as climate change. You can disagree with me, sure — but reality doesn’t care about what I think, or you think. It laughs at we “think”, and goes on being what it is.

Source: https://eand.co/eight-myths-americans-need-to-unlearn-about-america-560fa10ddba6

I wonder if Rome ever recognized that they were in decline? How about the Great British Empire, do superpowers ever know it when it happens? What was originally known as the Middle Class has evaporated from our country.  Yes, there are 10% of us who are doing pretty well. We went to college or trade school and obtained skills needed in the 21st century. We are doing OK.

But there is the almost 60% of us who now stuck in low paying, soon to be automated,  jobs that pay low wages.  Many continue to dream that somehow they will find their golden egg and get rich but in reality that is also a myth.

They have gerrymandered and restricted the vote so much in recent years to pretty much guarantee they cling to power even if they can’t manage to get the majority vote. 

Maybe the worst thing is our social fabric is disintegrating. We are locked into our clans and will simply not listen to anything else.  If that is not a fundamental threat to our democracy I can’t imagine what is.

I pray that it isn’t too late yet , but somehow something needs to happen… and soon.

Time Just Flies By

I don’t know how many times I have heard the expression in the title of this post. I don’t know how many times I have said it myself. I have always wondered why time seems to fly by now but in my youth a year seemed like an eternity.  It wasn’t until I got a glimpse of the short article below from the AARP Magazine that I came to maybe understand this time warp a little better.

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It’s interesting if I at least partially accept what the article says that the reason is stale experiences.  That is, as we get older, especially in our senior years, we pretty much do the same things over and over again. That lack of new experiences leads our brains to lock up.  Being a “Question Everything” skeptic that I am I’m not sure I totally accept this logic, but it does ring true at least at some level.

If you want time to slow down then you need to constantly experience new things or “fresh experiences” as the article describes them. Doing the same thing day after day is not only pretty boring but it causes the end to come sooner, so to speak.

So, I guess my “Embrace Change” life pillar is maybe making the days go by a little slower. But given the political atmosphere at the moment I kind of wish 2020 would come tomorrow. 🙂

While I Cherish Change…

If you have been around RJsCorner I’m sure you know by now that I cherish change. Change allows us to do things better than before. It allows us a second or maybe third chance to get it right. But not all change is good, even for me. 🙂

Ust FitsAt least to some degree, I believe in the old adage “If it ain’t broken, why change it”. This post is targeted at bathroom products.  I know that sounds strange but it is a story I must tell.  I have come to cherish my morning shower, especially in my retirement years.  It is a time to say a few prayers of thanks for yesterday and to pray for a good day today. It is a time to think as a deeper level than I normally do.

I like my shower routine and have been doing the same things for more years than I care to remember. Part of that routine has always included Zest Soap and Prell Shampoo.  I have been using these two products for three or more decades now.  Until recently they have stayed pretty much the same.  Then came the inevitable cost reductions. Zest now resembles more of a dumbbell than a bar of soap. I guess someone in their omnipotent wisdom decided as long as they keep the perimeter the same no one will notice that they are getting less soap for an increased cost.  On the shampoo side, after decades of providing a good product, it was sold to another company who proceeded to turn it into a watery liquid.

It took a while but I have now replaced both of these products and things are getting back to normal.  🙂

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You Are Not A Tree…

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Too many of us lament that we can’t get jobs where we were born and raised. That seems especially true of the poorest areas of the country including Appalachia. Jobs just aren’t very plentiful there. The deep South is another example.  It would be nice is all areas of the country were full of gainful employment. But given our foundations in almost pure capitalism that will never happen.

On a side note, it is kinda ironic that the States that rail the most against socialism vote primarily with the GOP and are the ones that have the most citizens who depend on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and such.  I know education levels enter into it but why don’t more of those folks just move to where there are more economic opportunities?  I have pondered that question for longer than I care to remember.

It does bug me to hear people complaining about this or that, especially when they could do something it.  Many times it really doesn’t take that much effort. I think that the major issue is their dogged resistance to change.  I and many others welcome the uncertainty associated with change as just part of progress, but others seem to be deathly afraid of it.

If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree

I couldn’t have said it better.

My Life Sucks…

I think there is a pretty fair part of the folks in this country who think their life sucks. They haven’t had a raise in umpteen years. They have to have someone to blame and that person is often those they see as getting the “breaks” in life.

2018-04-07_16-07-22.pngIt’s pretty hard for them to admit that for the most part “my life sucks because of me”. That reality just doesn’t sink for most of us.  They say they are stuck in an area with no good paying jobs but they never consider moving to a more prosperous area.  They say the only good jobs are those requiring an education but never consider the need to learn anything beyond what they presently know. It’s just too easy to blame others for their problems.  The morbidly obese guy says “poor me” and then consumes 6,000 calories per day and just doesn’t seem to see the connection.

Those of us who have had some success in life have for the most part worked to get it.  It wasn’t handed to us on a gold platter like it was for #CO3 and others like him. For us, the adversities in our life have reinforced our character. We did something to change our circumstances instead of just moaning about them.

I want to close this post with an anonymous quote:

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Quit blaming others for your circumstances in life. It is often just that simple.

 

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

For Good Men To Do Nothing..

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

slice8  I don’t necessarily call, at least yet, our current times evil but none the less the Edmund Burke quote above applies to where we are as a country. Too many of us decided to sit out the last election cycle and what we got is the result.  I certainly hope that this is a lesson learned and election participation increases dramatically in the coming years. We can no longer allow a radical fringe minority to choose our country’s leadership.

Good men doing nothing is basically the cause for much of the evil in the past. Hitler’s rise to power is a result of  Germans thinking that he will go away on his own.  But the stronger he got the less able they were to do anything about it.  I know many in that period who supported him say they were just stuck in the times but to me that is a pretty lame excuse much the same as those who now lament that they pulled the GOP lever the last time around.

How could people just ignore the fact that Hitler was exterminating millions in gas chambers in their backyard!! How could they do nothing!! But, there is a different lesson learned from those times and that is that we as a world have been in much deeper straights than we are presently. There are too many today who seemingly have given up that times will be better.  They have given up hope that we will continue striving to be a “Brother’s keeper” nation as Jesus demanded of us.  All we need to do is to look back at those times and then look to where Germany is today.  They are now the Europe’s leader and may someday be the world leader.

Don’t give up hope that things will get better. Instead as good men and women, rise up and do something about it. I will bookend this post with another famous quote and this one is from Gandhi.

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Making Sense of Change…

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When I came across the quote above I knew nothing of Alan W. Watts.  But, as usual I got on Wiki to learn more. This guy was quite a character in life.  It just seemed that once he was doing something for any extended period of time he got bored with it an moved on to something else. It seems he re-invented himself a dozen times in his 58 years of life.

Here is a quote from one of the reviewers of his autobiography In My Own Way on Amazon.

Early on, he set out to be an independent intellectual, constantly learning and living in his “own way.” He succeeded, in spite of the odds, on the terms that he set out for himself. This was deeply inspiring to me, and it turned out that despite the surface differences of interest, Alan Watts had a lot to say about the choices one makes in life and how to go about living.

I like to think of myself, rightly or not that I am also an independent intellectual who likes to live life on my own terms. But my life is nothing like his.  I spent thirty years in the corporate world as an engineer. I just didn’t have the courage to admit that I probably should have chosen another path.  By the time I realized that fact I deemed it too late to do anything about it.  I was happy to just serve out my time until I could draw a full pension (yeah I actually get a monthly check from my previous employer).  It was not until I walked away from that life that I discovered my true self.

The term retirement is to me an archaic word that doesn’t really apply to the third trimester of life. This period is more about opportunities than retiring from life.  As I just said I like to think of myself  living my “own way” but I was a late-bloomer in that regard.  I have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂  I have been in this mode for over fifteen years now and having a ball!

Living your “own way” meaning no longer just going with the flow.  It means taking the time to form your own opinions and then acting on them. No more just sitting back and whining. It often means going against the grain of other people’s norms. Living blue in a very red State I feel I am often going against the grain:

  • Where so much of our world, and especially our country, is living in fear I am stubbornly try to do the opposite. I will simply not give these terrorists the satisfaction of being afraid.
  • I see love where others, including my previous self, often see fear and sometimes even hate.
  • I see the words of Jesus as an action item list for my life and not just something that I hear in a pew on Sunday morning and then forget for the rest of the week.

Living your “own way” is not easy sometimes but it sure does give you more satisfaction…

I have an Alan Watts book now on my reading list. It will be interesting to learn more about him and probably myself in the process.