As I Was Saying…
Dementia has set in. I finished my blog last week and then hit delete instead of copy. No doubt it was a masterpiece but I could not recreate it, so it is lost forever in the abyss of cyberspace. It had to do with a wonderful conversation I had with one of my hospice patients. Nothing deep but an education on fruit picking. This wonderful man of 93 had been at work for too many years in the citrus groves of southeast Florida.
He explained the process in great detail including his role at driving the “goat” which is a vehicle that wound its way up and down the rows of fruit trees hauling buckets to be filled. The real gist of the story was you could not pick the bounty until the dew dried. The packing center would not accept it otherwise. It amazed me the wheels of progress had to come to a halt awaiting the vagaries of Mother Nature. Doesn’t happen too often these days unless you happen to be in the path of a Nor’easter.
Conversations in hospice take on many forms from the casual banter to deeply philosophical ones. You never know what is going to happen. It got me thinking as to the whole manner that interaction takes in our lives. The many lines of communication from the spoken to the tacit. From oral to written they shape our beliefs or challenge them if we let them. They set the tone for our days and our future.
Today we all think in terms of hits and likes or dislikes. Face to face is more of a rarity. We get our news in bytes and don’t often take time to digest, savor and deem it worthwhile or not. You get up in the morning and the barrage begins. It is amazing how whatever you hear sets the tone. North Korea launches missiles. Shootings in a Florida school. Trump is on a rampage. Stock market is plunging. Hmm,I guess life is going to suck today.
Going to the gym someone is bitching about this ailment or that. You are on a treadmill and the local sage wants to convince of his political point of view and you are held captive. Then out of the clear blue, you have an unexpected and highly interesting chat about something you have never even heard much less thought of. You are keenly aware and all ears as you learn and a stupid little thing inside of you says this is cool. Your mind gratefully acknowledges the new horizons.
Maybe all of this is just me. Maybe my porous cranium is too open to suggestion. Fun for the feeble minded. Maybe I just realized I can have some control over my frequencies and all this chatter is good. I guess when I am bombarded with dire consequences I literally want to change the conversation. Take a different tack. Not always easy.
Now you say just walk on the sunny side of the street. Avoid the gloom and doomers. I think that is admirable but copping out to a degree. I watch the news and have settled on PBS as my option. I tried to watch CNN but the top ten stories are about Trump. Is anything else going on in the world? FOX is FOX. Fair and Balanced is not exactly how I would describe the fare. I am taken by the demeanor of both networks which is a cross between petulant and piercing. My reaction seems to be preordained.
Let’s forget about the Blitzers and Hannitys. Let’s just get a few people together for a cup of Joe or perhaps a nice red. We will keep it light and varied. Not long into it someone throws a topic on the table beyond golf or March Madness. You have an opinion but wait to see what the groupspeak is. Invariably someone takes center stage. You can be sure it is not middle of the road. Do you dare voice a counter? What are you nuts? Dilly, dilly and all that. Cheers!
I profess to be middle of the road with neither side particularly appealing to me. Still I do have my inclinations and truly find it difficult at times to give objective study a try. I think that is more than human. I am a Catholic or at least a Christian. Can I really absorb and analyze an atheist viewpoint? Good question. I am against government largesse and involvement in everything but can I not reach out a helping hand to a poor person or see the good in the hard work of an illegal immigrant?
Everything is not black and white but our methodology says otherwise. It’s my way or the highway. You are with us or agin us. This seems boring and totally uncreative to me. Can you really feel self satisfied in your own thinking if you don’t at least consider an alternative? Here is La La land as we go down life’s highway we seem to be more entrenched and stubborn than ever. Is it because we are wiser or all the more stupid?
I don’t know about you but I feel I have so much to learn. A friend is visiting and she brought a new type of technology for aching bones. No, it is not single malt! I am not a believer yet but I am more than willing to hear her out and even try it. Have you ever been a doubting Thomas to the point you can’t even see a glimmer of discovery in our world ?
Let’s retake the conversation. Not to our own likings but to a mix of ideas and cultures. This is not a Kumbaya moment but let’s not let ourselves being overrun by “the current line of thinking”. If you feel like you are stifling you probably are. Open the windows but don’t jump.
Ted The Great.
Oranges are mostly picked in March and April. A semi trailer can hold approximately 60,000 lbs. Willie and his crews could load up to three trailers a day. He got $100 per trailer. He told me he had whites, blacks and Latinos working on his line. The Latinos were the hardest working by far. Willie was black.
As of 2017 38% of Americans consider themselves consider themselves conservative in their ideology and 38% are liberal. That leaves 24% in the middle or moderate as the case might be. I have searched for tests to say which I am. They are on the internet under “Tests for Liberal or Conservative” Have scored all over the place which means they are invalid or I cannot be defined. Take your pick.
Idealism is the belief that we should adopt moral principles, even if they have negative effects on our lives. The idealist is willing to suffer in order to do what she thinks is right. Pragmatism, on the other hand, is a rejection of idealism. If the Idealist’s principles get in the way, the Pragmatist does whatever is deemed as practical, with no concerns for morality. Now that is something to chew on