On this page are things that an old man thinks about when he
has absolutely nothing else to do......Which is most of the time......
These stories are nothing but my thinking. As I've mentioned
elsewhere, I have no control over the way I think. So don't blame me.
I never thought much about thinking until my Dear Helen with vascular dementia
lost the ability to think and I met so many other dementia patients in the home where
I had to place her who suffered like she. I had always taken thinking for granted but
now I've come to realize that the ability to think is truly one of gods greatest gifts. No
matter what our physical condition, if we can just think, we can live. Without the ability
to think, we are dead.
I've always hated to have to wait. Whether in a line at the grocery store or stuck
in traffic or whatever, because I considered it such a waste of time. But now I realize
that I can make use of that time by just thinking.
Of course we can only think of one thing at a time so our best thinking is done
when are senses are completely free........ not seeing or hearing or feeling anything
at all. Our little brain is completely free of any distraction.
When I go to bed at night I enjoy just lying there completely relaxed with nothing
to do that needs to be done. I can think of all the things I need to think about and
choose which ones I please. And then, the next day I put my thoughts into action.
I've been reading about some of the ancient and medieval philosophers like Aristotle,
Socrates, Plato, Confucius, ect. and more lately Newton and Einstein and find that
they were not only great philosophers but also great physicists and scientists. It must
be true that the one thing they had in common was that they were all powerful thinkers.
Albert Einstein always said that his brain was just the average, but what made him
different was that he was intensely and passionately curious. When alone, he was
always deeply in thought. Once his wife asked him. "What are you thinking about,
dear?" His reply, "If I could travel at the speed of light, what would I see?" (I've thought
about it myself, but that's another story).
We give Einstein credit for his scientific theory because it has been proven. It's no
longer a theory. It's a fact. We ignore his thinking on the purpose of life, humanity,
eligion, and patriotism because we don't agree with it.
Maybe we should do a little thinking ourselves.
THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY …….. During my caregiving days
As I read about all the sad problems of my caregiving friends, I'm thinking about
my own sad journey and what all this really means to me. I was once free to choose
between the adversities of care-giving and freedom. And without hesitation, I chose
care-giving, with all the problems and adversity associated with it.
Looking back on it, there never was a time when I doubted my choice of adversity
over freedom and I'll tell you why........As I've said before, The greatest gift life has
to offer me is happiness. That's what I live for. What else is there? What makes me happy?
just two things. A good opinion of myself..,.......and seeing happiness in another...
especially if I had something to do with creating that happiness.
Now....What would my self-esteem be like if I had chosen freedom over care giving?
What I actually chose was happiness over despair.
And now that I'm on my soap box, I need to mention a few more things that I've
learned. The happiest people that I've ever known, have suffered some tragedy or been
afflicted throughout their lives by serious adversity, either born with a physical defect
themselves or like me, caring for a loved one who is afflicted. So it all boils down to a
Adversity brings self-esteem....... which equals happiness.
As I continue to think about it, Over and over again I hear this message
..........Adversity builds strength.
..........If life was a bowl of cherries it would not be worth living.
.........Without bad times there would be no good times.
What message do you get from this little poem?
Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
We people on the pavement looked at him.
He was a gentleman from sole to crown.
Clean favored and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed.
And he was always human when he talked,
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich -- yes richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace.
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked and waited for the light.
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread.
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
By Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
OUR GREAT FOREFATHERS
I've been hearing a lot about our great forefathers who founded this great nation
and decided to do a little research on them and the nation they founded. I found out
that the nation they founded was nowhere near the nation we have today.
This is the nation that our great forefathers founded.........Because of the pigment
of a person's skin, they should forever be slaves.....Women are incapable of thought
and cannot be allowed to vote .These are the two most glaring differences between our
nation today, and the nation our forefathers created but there are many more.
The original constitution that our great forefathers created has been amended 27
times making our great forefathers look rather inhumane and a little crazy by today's
standards. From what I have read about their personal lives, they appear to be no
different than the politicians we have today.
It's a well known fact that it takes a lot of money to get elected to office. The same
in our forefather's day as it is today. If you don't have the money, you are the pawn
of whomever provides the money. It's as simple as that. Money rules the country.
I'm tired hearing about how great our nations forefathers were. I think they were no
different than the politicians we have today.
"Each possession I own is but a stone around my Neck" Albert Einstein
How True...I watch those TV shows about hoarding and can well relate to hoarding.
I don't have stuff stacked from floor to ceiling in every room because the house has
so many rooms. Plus a five car garage and two extra storage buildings on the property.
All the wardrobes, closets, and cupboards in the house, the extra space in the garages,
the shelves and space in the storage buildings are full of stuff we've accumulated over
the sixty-seven years we've been married. I'm all alone now, with Helen's little dog
"Ozzy", and I would have to say that Ozzy and I have absolutely no use for 98 percent
of this stuff.
When my Dear Helen first started this dementia trip, we considered moving to a
nice senior community (Hillcrest in La Verne Ca.) where two of my sisters were already
living, but we just could not handle the trauma of parting with our stuff.... Why are
we so attached to stuff? I've decided to just not worry about what happens to it.
I'm going to leave it where it is. It's not hurting anything. I've enjoyed it while I've
been here. When I'm gone, who cares?
EDITED, Three years later....
Now I have moved into the Hillcrest retirement community and given up 98 percent
of these possessions. I told my family and good friends to come by and take whatever,
and what's left will be sold by professionals in one big yard sale. They want me to
stay away from the sale and I can understand why.
I've been living in a small apartment in the Hillcrest community for six months now
and it's like a whole new life. I think it's the best it can be for a cranky 94 year old man.
At least I don't have those stones around my neck anymore.
WHAT THE HECK IS MUSIC ?
Neuroscientists tell us that when we hear music that we really like,
our brain releases a certain chemical called dopamine. Which gives us a
mental high. Cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana, etc.. also release
dopamine to give us the same high.
Of course we all know that music is nothing more than sounds. And
the sounds usually have a certain pitch and a certain timing or rhythm.
Rhythm seems to be more essential than pitch.
In most of the world, we configure the musical pitch to conform to
the twelve tone scale and arrange the notes that are played together so
that they harmonize. And we can understand harmony by noting the
mathematical relationship between the different frequencies.
Also we know that what sounds like music to one person may sound
like noise to another. But that's about all we know for sure,
I can get a pleasant high after drinking one martini, and I can get
the same high listening to my favorite music. I think it's true.
I also think that certain lyrics, (words) that conform to the
sounds, help with the high feeling.
So....Now I have to figure out exactly why I like certain sounds with
a certain rhythm, and other sounds are just noise.
To satisfy my curiosity, I made a little song entitled "BACKWARDS MUSIC"
You will hear the last eight bars of the song "Over the Waves" as normally
played by three instruments. Then you will hear the same eight bars with
the same three instruments playing it exactly backwards.
Sounds terrible to me.... But why ?....It's the same notes....
I guess I'll have to think about it..I need something to think about anyway.
.......What is it that makes music out of sounds and rhythm ?
To hear my Over The Waves Backwards, Click ……. HERE
FREE WILL Do we have it or not?
To put it simply, Do we really have a choice in the way we think and the decisions we
make throughout our lives ?
Scientists and philosophers have debated this question down through the ages and
after reading what my favorite hero, Einstein, had to say about it, I became somewhat
engrossed in finding the answer.
Philosophers use a language of their own when explaining it so it took me awhile to
understand, but it finally came to me and it was quite a revelation. So naturally I have
to give you my take on it..... This is what I believe.......
We make decisions based on just two things. WHAT WE ARE BORN WITH, and
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED .....We have no control over either of them....
WHAT WE ARE BORN WITH, is our enzymes, genes, or DNA that is mostly inherited.
We certainly have no control over this.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED, is from the life situations we have faced. Especially our early
childhood situations. Since what we learned early in life will effect all our later choices,
which will effect our choices even later.
I think it's important to understand this. We cannot control the situations we face or
the way we react to them, because the way we react is controlled by our genes and what
we have learned from previous situations. We think we are using common sense when
common sense is different for each one of us. Does this make sense ?......I personally
had a hard time with it but it finally sank in. I have to agree with Einstein, Schopenhauer,
and all the others.
In spite of the great scientific contributions Einstein made, he always claimed that he
was no different than the average human, with the possible exception that he was
passionately and intensely curious. He said he just did what he could not help doing.
He had no choice.
When we are faced with a time when we have to make a choice, We will often give it
much thought and concern, but whether we finally end up choosing this, or that, it will
be the result of what we are born with and the situations we have faced and learned from.
None of which we have any control over.
Now.....What difference does it make ?.....Well, Here's something to think about.....
We give credit and praise to people who are kind, caring and loving. But what about the
vicious murderer? Neither of them have any choice over their actions. Of course we have
to incarcerate the murderer to protect society, but instead of demonizing and punishing
him or even murdering him for that over which he has no control, we should feel sorrow
for him because of the genes he was born with and the situations he faced early in life.
Yes......when anyone, even our government, puts a human being to death, it's murder.
Look it up in the dictionary.
Yes....It does make a difference....And I think if people could understand it, the world
would be a better place.......Why am I writing all this?....I have no choice....
Do not be proud of your nationality, heritage, natural abilities,
brains, brawn, good looks, or whatever, You did nothing to achieve it
or earn it. It's Gods great gift to you.
Enjoy it but don't flaunt it. Be proud of what you, yourself have
accomplished and earned in proportion to how hard you worked to
achieve it, and you will gain the greatest gift life has to offer.....
.SELF RESPECT ......which equals HAPPINESS........
P.S. I need to add this little example........My son Has a hobby that
he very much enjoys. He takes photos of beautiful young women in their
scanty underwear and uses a computer program to insert them on
interesting backgrounds. He then publishes these photos throughout the
internet and claims that he is making these beautiful girls so happy when
they find that their natural beauty is so widely distributed around the world.
I'm wondering......How can showing off a gift make someone happy?
Winning, means you are better than someone else.
Depending on the level of someone else, you may still
be terrible even though you won.
Rather than wasting your time trying to be better
than someone else, strive to be better than yourself.
I think I should say that this was written by an
old man who was never better than someone else.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
In the 1700's, when the United States was fighting for independence from Great Britain,
Americans were quoting William Pitt, and saying.
"While foreign troops are landed in my country, I will never lay down my arms.
Never, Never, Never"
Question: Where are people saying these same words today?
Answer: Look for them in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and
over 100 other countries throughout the world where
the United States has stationed military forces.
I sent this to the "Letters to the editor" of our local newspaper.
They wouldn't publish it.
RIGHT AND WRONG
Some say that right is right and wrong is wrong...Period...Others say there is no
right or wrong....that thinking makes it so.
We all agree that wrong is the opposite of right and that right is good, fair, correct,
proper, and best for everybody, but these are only words and we don't agree on what
these words mean. So it must be true that it's all in our thinking and we think differently.
People who know about this say that our thinking is determined by just two things.
FIRST---What we are born with like our genes, enzimes, dna....
SECOND--What we have learned from the situations and experiences that we
have faced, early in life...
We have no control over any of these things that determine the way we think.
In our country, these factors that determine our thinking are usually much the same.
But in a far away country, they can be quite different. So naturally, what is thought
to be right or wrong in a far away country may be quite different than what we think
is right or wrong.
War is never a conflict between right and wrong......It is a conflict between two
different rights, or two different ways of thinking. How could the Germans during
world wars one and two think that they were right? I think that with their over-patriotic
leadership and lack of understanding with the rest of the world, they had no choice.
We Americans fear people who don't think like we do, so we go to their country
and drop bombs on them, and then they fear us and come to our country and blow
themselves up just to kill a few of us.
If the people of the world could just try to understand each others way of thinking
and allow others to think and act the way they choose as long as they are not harmful
to others, our world would certainly be a more peaceful place.
Over time, thinking can change. We Americans have to remember that a few
centuries ago, in our own country we thought women were too dumb to vote and that
some people should forever be slaves.
Let's just leave others alone and they will evolve like we did. Today, there are many
peaceful ways to promote what we think and help other people find a better way of life.
All this is just what I think, and my thoughts are beyond my control. I'm not certain
that I'm right because there is no right.
Now I think I should get off my soap box ....Right may not be right, but enough
is enough......and I'm tired of thinking.
I've often wondered why so many professional golfers, tennis and especially polo
players and race car drivers are good looking and basket-ball, base-ball and foot-ball
players, not so much. But I think I figured it out. Here's my take on it.
Golf, tennis, polo, and race cars are a rich man's sport. You have to have a golf
course, a tennis court, a race car or a horse to engage in these sports. So only rich
kids can afford these sports and rich kids are better looking than average kids.......
Why is this so?....... Here's my take on that.
Good looking women like lots of money so they marry rich men. Then they pass
their good looks to their rich children who play rich men’s sports.
Does this make sense to you?
And while I'm on the subject, Here's another question. Are good looking people
happier because of their good looks?
Another story about good looks.........When I was in the army in Anchorage Alaska,
one of my buddies, Louie Fosen, would spend hours in the rest room, combing his
hair and picking at his face, (he had slight acne) before going into town on Saturday
night to charm the ladies. He was not really good looking, but he had a fun personality
and was quite the ladies man.
As he was primping himself in front of the mirror, I would hear him say over and
over again......"Oh Lord, Why wasn't I born rich instead of so damn good looking?"
To sum it up.......I think that personality is much more valuable that looks. Good
looks can sometimes be a curse. especially for women, when it leads them to thinking
that it's all they have.
HERO or TERRORIST ?
We call our boys in the military "Heroes", We call the boys they are
fighting "Terrorists". I don't quite understand these labels and have been
thinking about it for some time.
I can understand that both "Heroes" and "Terrorists" are soldiers who
are at war, and I can understand why someone might want to be a "Hero"
because I was one myself. (My folks were after me to get a job and joining
the army saved me from having to go to work). But "Terrorists"? ......Why
would anyone want to be one of them? They are so evil. Coming to my
country and killing people. So I researched the 9/11 terrorists through the
internet and found out to my surprise that they all seemed to be well
l educated, polite, serious, and deeply religious. So I decided to put myself
f into the position of a "Terrorists" to see if I could understand why anyone
would want to be one of them.
As a Terrorists.
So here I am. Born in what some call a third world country. From a
middle class, close, loving family. I'm well educated and proud of my
heritage. Big armored tanks are roaming the streets and bombs are
falling from the sky, killing my friends and family. What can I do?
I have very few options. I pray to my god every day and ask for
guidance. God tells me I can pack myself with explosives and go to where
these "Heroes" are and blow myself up, killing a few of them, or I
could place a land mine somewhere to destroy one of their tanks. But
these tactics will not make much difference to an enemy that is hell bent
on controlling my country and my way of life? They have killed tens of
thousands of my people and it seems that killing is the only thing
So I must do God's will and become a "Terrorists". I must go to the
enemy's country and kill as many as I can....I have no choice.
As a Hero.
So here I am. Born in America and joined the army so I wouldn't
have to get a job and go to work. I go to far away countries and kill
people in order to protect American Interests. I don't put my life in much
danger because I have all the best tanks, bombers, guns and armour and
the enemy has almost nothing.
I don't really understand the what and why of American Interests in
these far away countries but I like being a hero. I'm well paid and get
lots of veterans benefits and respect.
Now....Back to thinking
I am wondering if I've missed something in my reasoning. It seems to
me that for the true dictionary meaning of the words "Hero and
Terrorist", We have them exactly reversed. Would not a "Hero" be
someone who gives his life to defend his country against a foreign
invader, and a "Terrorist" be someone who without putting his life in
much danger at all, and for no good reason whatsoever goes to another
country and kills people???
I just don't understand.........
Religion and Patriotism
My nephew, Tom Cook, sent me this video link, telling me to watch every minute
of it to find out who my enemy is. It is a message to president Obama from Brother
Rachid, a former Muslim whose father is a well known Iman. Brother Rachid is a talk
show host who claims to have converted 150,000 Muslims to Christianity..............
Below is the link and my response to Tom........
Thanks for the introduction to Brother Rachid and his ideas about who my
enemy is. I took your advise and watched the whole video and It got me thinking
about enemies. The dictionary says that an enemy is someone you consider a threat
to your security and the way you create an enemy is to threaten his security.
This is my interpretation of that......
IN ORDER TO HAVE AN ENEMY, YOU HAVE TO BE ONE
I have to admit that my great country has threatened many peoples security
around the world by dropping bombs on them and killing thousands, thereby cr
eating a lot of enemies, but I don't consider them my enemies because I have
always done my best to promote peace and understanding instead of murder.
Brother Rachid feels threatened by anyone who does not believe as he does and
he can find plenty of bad things in other religions which threaten him. And those of
the other religions can find many bad things in Brother Rachid's religion and feel
threatened by him. So they are enemies. It doesn't matter who is Christian or Islamic
or Buddhist or Hindu or whatever. They are all just religions, advocating good things
and denouncing the bad.
I strongly believe that the greatest enemy of mankind is RELIGION (as Einstein
believed) All the Gods of all the religions of the world preach the same principles
of love, compassion, forgiveness, ect. but they all want to be the only God, and
anyone who does not believe in them is an enemy and should be stoned to death,
beheaded, or burn in hell. Why can't these Gods just get along with each other and
practice what they preach?
Of course it's very comforting to believe in some higher power that is watching
over us and guiding us, but that doesn't mean that we have to blindly follow word
for word, some ancient writings like the Bible or Quran that someone dug up in a
cave somewhere. I have my own God and he's always with me-------like right now.
I remember John Lenin's song "Imagine, a world without religion" ......
What a wonderful idea.
Now I should mention what I strongly believe to be the second greatest enemy
of mankind----PATRIOTISM-----Patriotism, like religion is the need for security. In
every country of the world, people feel secure amongst their own kind, and feel that
others who live and believe much differently than they do are a threat to their security.
The definition of an enemy....... Just because we happen to come into this world in
a certain spot where people have certain beliefs we are enemies of people in far away
countries who have very different beliefs...... That's patriotism, or you might call it
nationalism, and it exists in all the countries of the world.
Now Tom, you asked me to find who my enemy is and I've done my best to
explained it to you. My enemy is RELIGION and PATRIOTISM .....That’s what threatens
my security........So I’ll get off my soap box and practice what I preach,
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