Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Who’s Yo’ Daddy?

I'm just an ORDINARY man!

I’m just an ORDINARY man!

I believe that whom we listen to and what we take in as a steady diet can have a large impact on who we become as people in the long term. When the difficult times in life come, an inner storehouse of reflections gives us something to draw upon. The nature of the reflection, whether inspirational or dark, defines us as well as the source. The saying “Life is too short to…” has many interesting variants (most of which now come from advertisers), but I believe that time is too precious to squander on toxic waste served up as helpful guidance, and that managing our focus is even more important than managing our limited time. In this post, I limit the topic to what we take in as entertainment, what we read in print, and where we gravitate to on the Internet. As far as worldly influences go, who do we regularly choose as our mentors or our inspirers from around us? From where do you learn new truths? From where are you drawing your water? 

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
~ Nido Qubein

“I believe life is like a plant. First you are planted as a seed into the society that surrounds you, and then slowly you keep on growing up. You go through different stages in life, and when you become independent you start blossoming … just then you are finally free and you can go wherever, eat whatever or meet whoever you want. I would compare every important event in life to a flower on your branches which interconnect you with other people with whom you share a particular event through it’s petals … at the end you might up having lots of these flowers where each represents a different experience. For example, our meeting right here right now is one those flowers.”
~ Young woman interviewed on street in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

“As I was editing a new book manuscript, one story caught my attention. A man makes a lot of changes in his life. He adopts a new lifestyle, sells his possessions, and spends his time on intentional experiences. So far, so good. But then, he doesn’t just make the changes — he wants to tell people about them. He tells everyone he meets, even people who are busy with their own lives and don’t want to hear about it. He’s so happy! Finally, his mother says something to him in a phone call. “John, when people are happy, they don’t have to tell everyone about it. They’re just happy.” The man realizes that she’s right. He doesn’t need to persuade anyone to adopt the same lifestyle. He doesn’t need to scold or criticize anyone who doesn’t think as he does. He just needs to live according to his ideals. …There’s a wonderful freedom in living life by your own design and making choices for yourself. When you first create this freedom — for freedom is usually created, not merely found — you may find yourself like John, wanting to tell everyone about it. You become an evangelist for this way of life. You want to convince everyone that you’re happier. You want to help them to be happy too. Yet you may discover, as most evangelists do, that the rest of the world is not always eager to hear your message. Your happiness may lie in going against the grain of opinion or preferences. But sometimes, you should just go with the flow once you’re there. Let it settle in. Enjoy it for yourself.  Those who long for the same discoveries will seek them out. Those who are envious will never understand anyway. Everyone else can just live their life as they see fit. If you’re happy, you don’t have to tell everyone about it. You’re just happy.”
~ Blogger in Portland, Oregon, USA

“Never giving up, is also what unsuccessful people do. How many unsuccessful people have done the same thing year after year and never succeeded? Sometimes you just have a bad idea, and you should give up. If you can’t sing, stop singing and find what you are good at. Everyone is good at something, it just takes awhile to find it sometimes. The best way to find that “thing” that you are good at is to try as many things as possible. Put yourself out there. Go to school, learn something, take lessons, build something, volunteer, travel, hike, read, find what inspires you. If it doesn’t inspire you, you will never be really good at it. To be successful in life, you don’t have to be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Oprah. You don’t have to be well known, you don’t need 10,000 followers, and if you do have 10,000 followers, you either bought them or you spend way too much time on the internet, and what will it get you anyway. Success is making enough money at what you like to do, to live a reasonable life, balancing career with family, and not forgetting to have some fun along the way.”
~Small business owner commenting on a blog post

“I learned there are troubles
of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead,
others come from behind.
But I’ve bought a big bat.
I’m all ready, you see.
Now my troubles are going
to have trouble with me.”
~Dr. Seuss

“Now remember, it’s pillage first, then burn.”
~ Attila the Hun

“I’m going to answer your points in my next post, but basically, I’m not willing to do any of those things you are describing. I expect a mass die off and I am willing to be part of it. I’m [age] and happy with my life. I’m going to make reasonable preparations, live as well as I can for as long as I can, and then I’m going to die with all the other millions (billions?) of people. I’m good with that!
 One point I’m going to make is I’m not trying to live forever this way, just do what is reasonably possible. If a mass die-off comes to rid the planet of the vermin that is humanity, I’m ready to go with it. My spiritual beliefs tell me we are all ONE and I won’t disappear, or go to hell, I’ll just become another form of manifestation of the ONE.”
~ Blogger in the USA

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men … We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully.”
~ Edward R. Murrow, journalist.

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
~ Will Durant

~ Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957) to his orchestra.

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10 thoughts on “Who’s Yo’ Daddy?

  1. There is a lot of good sound advice here. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • Thanks, Jim, it’s just an idea that I remind myself with every now and then. We tend to pay more attention to what we eat than what we feed our minds or hearts with, and that sampling is just a small taste of the variety available – for better or worse. As always, Paul wasn’t just making happy talk.

  2. For the first time I did not want to click ‘Like’ on your post. Because I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I like all of it. But I do agree with and like what you said. Who we listen to in everyday life and where we turn for entertainment or information WILL have an impact on our lives. I try to be careful in every area of my life. Some would say that I’ve carried it to extremes, but for me, this is where I need to be.

    I stopped watching television 13 years ago. I rarely read a newspaper, I think only once in the last 13 years. I stopped listening to the radio about 10 years ago. I do not care to pay for the privilege of participating in their propaganda.

    People often ask me “Well how do you know what’s happening in the world?” Trust me, if something huge happens, people will tell you about it. Whether you want to hear it or not.

    I try to be careful about the movies I watch, the books I read, and especially the people I associate with. There is so much that is ugly in this world. I have experienced too much of that side of our world and I don’t want any part of it any more. I prefer to focus on those things that are beautiful and filled with joy. The hard things do happen, the ugly still exists. Sometimes you can’t avoid it, but where you Do have a choice? I think it is wise to choose “Who’s Yo Daddy”.

    • Thanks, Rachel. As you could tell, not all of the quotes are helpful and positive, and that is what I intended. Even within a generally positive source, you still have to use discretion now and then. And some writers who are usually off the mark will, like Ross, cough up the occasional gem – a little too close to being like Strolling Amok! “Even a blind pig…”

      Seriously, I’ve been surprised since hitting the road just how much mass media I can do without. Much like you, except that now and then I’ll remember that the truck’s radio works, and hunt for a “classic” C&W station, which are fairly rare now. It’s amazing just how little of the reported news makes any difference at all in where our focus needs to be. It just seems to feed problems, and even when I was addicted to TV, it was as annoying as all get out. Seemed like a choice between carefully scripted “reality” shows, and broken record educational channels that puffed 5 minutes of material into an hour, all the while deliberately distorting it to mimic being thought-provoking, and try to keep people from falling asleep.

      • It’s kind of funny actually. I was always looking for a classic country and western station as well and kept not finding them. I was fortunate I left television before the reality shows started. If they had started I certainly didn’t watch any. I was under the distinct impression though that they were not trying to keep people awake, I thought they were trying to put people into a coma. 😉

  3. Linda Sand on said:

    I don’t even know if the radio in my van worked–never turned it on. I also didn’t have a TV although I would occasionally stream a BritCom I enjoyed on my laptop. Like Rachel said, if something major happened someone would soon tell me. I mostly read books so out of date they are in the public domain now. And blogs. Lots of blogs on healthful eating and simplifying. And the music on my iPhone is all from CDs I thought worth buying: rock n roll, zydeco, bluegrass, and new age–how’s that for eclectic?

    • Eclectic is a good word, Linda! I like many of the books I downloaded from the Gutenburg Project, except I often lament that they did it all using OCR, so only the text is preserved and not the pictures or illustrations. Now and then the “editor” will add his/her own comments on viewpoints, which is both bizarre and usually tragic when they have no wild idea of the original social context that the book comes from. Interesting selection of books, though. I have a huge collection of movie themes from Internet radio broadcasts, though if I say that to guys, they tend to confuse that with liking Broadway show tunes, which is not good. I liken better film scores to classical music, in that they paint a scene or mood very effectively. Bluegrass? Absolutely! Zydeco? I gotta look that one up…

      • Linda Sand on said:

        Zydeco–think washboard street music in New Orleans. Good moving around music. I only do instrumentals, though, don’t care much for the singing that often goes along with it.

        • Found some and listened. I like it, though I’d need to mix it up. Three hours straight would be like nine cups of coffee! Still, I’d like to find some traditional zydeco, outside of the modern, commercially-oriented current stuff.

          • Linda Sand on said:

            That’s why I play my music on shuffle–need some slower songs between the high energy ones. Good for exercising since it helps you vary your pace.

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