Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 2nd chances, compassion, consensual delusion, crisis, dark energy, dark matter, die once, empathy, experience, growth, High school, kids, love, New York Times, number one, opportunity, Pulitzer Prize, reality, understanding | No Comments »
When I started this blog in February of last year, I had no expectation that people would actually read it. At the very least it would provide a mechanism for me to record my thoughts, musings and opinions. Now 600+ people from over 70 countries read this blog. Frankly that blows me away. As there are both a lot of new readers, I decided to high-lite 5 of the more popular earlier posts that newer readers may have missed.
Once again, thank you to those that read this. Please feel free to comment, email me and recommend Consensual Delusion to your friends, colleagues, and family.
This entry on how my 1st son’s birth changed my perspective was picked up by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Tina Kelly and the New York Times “Local” blog last year.
This post, “Die Once”, is about my dad wrestling with his mortality.
After reading “Crisis and Opportunity”, a friend from high school asked me “when did you become so smart?” I’ll take the back-handed compliment.
I am actually grouping these 2 posts together as they both illustrate the very fuzzy boundaries that define science and mysticism. Both posts attempt to show the reader that we believe we know much more than we actually know. And that is both supremely arrogant and very dangerous; “master planned obsolescence” and “Is your reality, really reality?”
Lastly, in my opinion, this may be one of my most useful posts from a day to day living perspective. If my kids take anything away from this blog, hopefully it will be this message, “Don’t count on 2nd chances.”
Posted: August 19th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: empathy, fear, growth, justice, love, responsibility, society | No Comments »
How is a society ultimately judged by history? One criteria is by the art left behind and how its most helpless, most insignificant members were treated. Think about the massive monuments created by the Egyptians and the stories of oppressive slavery. Or consider the Romans with their great architectural and engineering triumphs created in parallel with the persecution of Christians, Jews and other “barbarian” slaves.
How will we be remembered? As I write today, I am less concerned about our art and literature, however I am deeply concerned about how we so casually, rationally and systematically marginalize or even worse, ignore the weakest among us.
In 2009 America, the richest, most powerful, most free nation in the history of history, how many kids, no how many people go to bed hungry? How many people go to bed afraid of violence perpetrated inside the family and how many go to bed scared of the violence from without? How many live with not just the fear of getting sick but with the fear of not being able to get help?
Will we be remembered as a society that could have been more? That could been better but chose to turn a blind eye to mercy, empathy and caring for our own? A society that allowed the larger broader concepts of real justice and righteousness to be institutionally obfuscated until the issues could be lacquered over or just swept away with the election cycle rhetoric?
It is usually really hard to look inward and be honest. It is often painful and upsetting. And the thought of it may be foreign and scary. But looking inward with an unbiased eye is essential to grow and become better. To become something worth remembering. To create a society in which it is truly worth living.
Posted: May 28th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: "Babe" Ruth, "Teddy Roosevelt", failure, fear, growth, opportunity | No Comments »
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
George Herman “Babe” Ruth
At least once in our lives, but more likely several times, I think everyone has avoided doing something because we thought that we might fail. Or we might look ridiculous. Or maybe sound stupid. Our egos may have remained briefly unscathed, but what did we really loose? Perhaps it was an opportunity to find something which we may have truly enjoyed. Or missed the chance to get to know a genuinely wonderful person. Or maybe we lost an opportunity to raise a question or make a statement that could have made profound and enduring impact.
The magnitude of the victory is always defined by the potential of the failure. “Easy wins” are meaningless and hollow. “Sure things” only bring transient satisfaction. Reflect on the most rewarding, most exhilarating moments of your life and I would believe that failure was always a possibility. A possibility that did not stop you.
Enjoy the experience, and if you fail, remember no one is keeping count, they are all waiting to join you in celebrating your successes.
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt
Posted: May 4th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: boxing, challenges, experience, growth, internal, opportunity | No Comments »
I enjoy boxing. More specifically, I enjoy actually sparring. While many consider it mindlessly brutal, dangerous and frankly stupid for two individuals to square off against each other in a confined space, I find it enlightening, expanding and remarkably calming. It has been my experience that you learn quite a bit about yourself while fighting. But you really get to know who you are, when you are under pressure; When you get tagged hard and didn’t see it coming. Or when your opponent’s punches seem to find their their target with regularity and precision, and your own body begins to slowly move out of phase with your thoughts. Your own punches seem to loose some crispness and you feel your focus drifting slightly, your attention going askew. That is when you begin to know who you really are. And more importantly, when you make the conscious decision to become better than when the contest began.
Sometimes our lives may progress smoothly but more often than not, we are engaged by one challenge or another. Some are unexpected, coming out of nowhere and stinging sharply. Others may be mere annoyances, almost insignificant alone but cumulatively taking a greater toll than previously imagined. Some of our challenges may not be so easy to define but the pressure is there never the less. It may begin to wear us down before we are even conscious of it. Regardless, at some point we do become aware and that is akin to being pressured in a fight. And there arises an opportunity to become real. To do something hard, perhaps even face something painful. To find our will, our strength and our desire in order to move forward. To take the opportunity to find out who we really are and what we can actually do. To honestly learn about our own weaknesses and faults and then work to correct them. And to provide us with an opportunity to exceed what we believed we were capable of, be it physically, emotionally or intellectually.
In my mind, fighting is never about my opponent. It is just about me. About my performance, my skills, my deficits and my growth. It is an opportunity to measure myself under a wide range of conditions so that I can improve, so that I can become better and perhaps one day, master myself. Removing external validation and keeping it only about ourselves, only about the momententary opportunity being presented, allows us to inch forward in pursuit of a singular goal, becoming a more loving, caring and empathic individual by understanding our own struggle. So even when others see only defeat, a victory is always assured, regardless of the circumstance and despite conventional judgements. Advancing to that point, that is truly the real fight.