How Did I Get Here ?

In my never ending quest to appear at least semi-intelligent I like to read and research. I happen across a word or thought and start to pursue it. Too often I wind up down some dark alley and I ask myself,”What the hell am I doing here?” Something of the theme of my life. Crazy but fun.

The past few days I have pondered our current state of affairs. It seems like no one likes anyone. Back,white. Rich,poor. North, south, east, west. Liberals,conservatives. This is not new but seems to be approaching some sort of fever pitch. Critical race theorists want to blow up our current form of government and time honored traditions. The Proud Boys want to defend the motherland at all cost. The right wants to keep every penny to themselves and the left wants to run through it all in profligate glory.

 I could probably apply most of this to the International stage. Someone is always getting screwed or so they would like to believe. Each side wants to “take no prisoners.” I personally think this is getting quite scary. The cracks in society have become an abyss. People are questioning the founding principles of everything. Their governments, their religions and yes their sexuality. 

At first glance we recoil in anger and a bit of terror. Maybe we should just think it through. My kids gave me a subscription to Master Class. It is a series of courses given by notables on everything from cooking to design to political theory. I took the one on Critical Race theory and to be honest it was at the same time difficult and enlightening. You don’t have to agree but you do have to listen to what they say in an open minded way.  

I once listened to a talk by Louis Farrakhan. I just wanted to understand why he appeals to people. I can see why he makes sense to some. His arguments had plausibility. Of course some of you thought I was crazy for doing so. I think we are naive if we don’t. 

Today we have a world order that works..for a lot of us. Russia,China, South America and Africa don’t quite agree with us. That is a lot of people. Do we just ignore them? We are based on a lot of freedoms. Have we really thought them through  or just accept them as our inalienable rights? 

Today we esteem the right to bear arms. We have over 400 million guns in this country. And a lot of those are not in safe hands. We have freedom of speech but our universities shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It seems to me these rights come with a responsibility that a lot of us do not want to accept. 

I have been reading some articles written by Yuval Hirari, a Harvard professor in philosophy and history. He has written a book entitled, “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” He has a unique talent to question our current society and share some interesting ways to cope with it. Most of all is his ability to challenge what he calls “myths”  that we have come to accept and have the guts to ask if we should?

There is much that has been passed down to us over millennia. We are a people that like the narrative.

Whether it is folklore or the bases of natural law we take it on faith. It worked for Plato or Socrates and so it has survived the test of time. Or so it would seem. What if all that history is flawed or at least unworkable in today’s society? Yikes TTG, have you gone to the dark side? I hope not but let’s figure out what the dark side is. 

For many of us the dark side is anyone who does not agree with us. Often I have written about people’s aversion to contrary thinking. There is an inherent fear that if they delve into the anti or at least the unknown that they will be be infected with a virus or at least tempted to think that way. 

Critical Race Theory has its good and bad points. I hope there aren’t many out there that don’t think blacks have had a hard time over the centuries. Are we perpetuating that? Perhaps. The best teachers and doctors don’t go to the ghettos. They probably get the worst who are unemployable otherwise. Is that cultural and even premeditated? Not in my vernacular. 

Was it like this in prior generations? There is an odds on chance it happened. Do we blow everything up and start over?  Even in modern times we see the old newsreels of Little Rock and Birmingham with the spitting and German Shepards. Maybe some of you feel that was appropriate. I can’t!

On the flip side I am dismayed at reparations and countenance. History does not write a perfect script. If I tried to go back and right the many wrongs I have done, is that practical or prudent? I think not. We tear down statues and try to legislate decency. It has to come to total disregard for what has worked for millennia. It has worked for all of us no matter how badly we have botched things.We are not perfect but we have been lasting.

There are workers here in Flalaland who do the dirty work. They are from Haiti and speak French and sing all day. They are happy for one simple reason. It beats the alternative. For each and everyone of us from rich to poor we should contemplate that.  

As always 

Ted The Great 


Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class or geographic area. Quality of life, on the other hand, is a subjective term that can measure happiness. 

Conflicts are a fact of life.

Each and every one of us see things differently. We see different shades of green and red. The trick to survival in a melange of sorts. A little of yours and a little of mine. 

According to psychologist, speaker and author Guy Winch, most people who consistently refuse to admit they’re wrong do so because they have incredibly fragile egos. Their subconscious feeling is that, if they dig in their heels, they can protect themselves from the consequences that might come from their imperfection and fallibility. Winch also notes that some people go to extraordinary lengths in this process, even changing facts and convincing themselves of new realities in their own minds to escape culpability.  Hmmm.


Newspapers, social media, noise, heat, inflation, shootings, wars, COVID, abortion, government, religion, education, Supreme Court, LGBTQ. Did I miss anything? If one were to consider all of these in unison as an attack on our psyches, we should all be committed. 

Some of us are blind and or deaf. Some of us choose to ignore all this. For those of us who have not exited from everyday life, my heart goes out to you …and me. I decided to take a deeper drive. 

Maybe we are gluttons for punishment but Kathy and I like to tune in the national and local news. On the major networks I think you have to go through a grim reaper audition to be an anchor. Lester Holt, Norah O’Donnell and David Muir, Wolf Blitzer and I don’t have a clue who is on Fox, have got gloom and doom down to a science. Smiles and a soothing tone are verboten. Just he facts, ma’am !

In houses all over our wonderful land you don’t need a clicker. It stays on the same channel all day long. How many times can you watch shells in Ukraine, a raging forest fire or the latest totally confusing info on COVID? People, it is not going to change. Insanity is said to be doing the same stupid thing over and over again. Yes I am guilty too. 

I had a woman patient in hospice a couple of weeks ago who was beautiful, classy and more than aware of her situation. We talked for quite awhile. She related her story of 70 plus years and there was a reverie that was enchanting. She had fun as a flight attendant but had been sober for 40 years. Her smoking too much for too long brought her to death’s door. She was calm and accepting. 

Her greatest joy was being a teacher of English to high school freshmen. She pushed them and challenged them to be better than they thought. When they arrived back after Christmas break she had placed a sign saying “Honors English” over the classroom door. If they did not believe they belonged, they should not go in. They all did. 

As we talked, she spoke softly and I had to strain to listen. A good thing in its own right. I asked her what she thought of today’s circumstances.

She put it simply…a lack of gratitude. Not just being an American but just being alive with all its wonderful implications. Not worrying what one didn’t have but what they did. Rich, poor, white, black, we just don’t get it. Pretty poignant. 

She went on to speak of acceptance. Today she said, everyone has an excuse for every little thing. They whine constantly about their plight. Look at us, with my litany above in mind. We are wary and fearful. We almost sit helpless and critical of so many things. I know people face hard times. But no matter what or how bad we have it better than someone else.

I came home deep in thought. I wanted to jot down notes to try to get it right. As I pondered I heard sounds outside. We were having our house painted. The crew was Hispanic. They were laughing and singing in the hot Florida sun. Somehow and some way life was good. I wonder how many others feel that way about what they do?

The definition of serenity is a state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. It sounds corny and a little Kumbaya but think about it. If only for a few moments a day set all the bullshit aside and just get lost in thought. Just like my lady friend have gratitude, be thankful. I guess what I am saying is be spiritual. Not necessarily in a religious sense but thinking inward and not about “stuff”. 

The synonym for serenity is tranquility. It’s early morning here in Flalaland. The sun is just hinting at a black sky. It is beyond quiet. Kind of cool. A great way to start my day. An interesting thought is that big glowing orb comes up every day right on schedule, everywhere on our planet. I guess we all have something in common. Enjoy it. 

As always,

Ted The Great


Another woman a couple of months ago greeted me with a big smile when I asked her how she was doing? She simply stated she was very happy. She knew she was gong to die and was ready. After we chatted for quite awhile I held her hand and gave her a hug. I said, “Wow, your hands are cold”. She looked at me with a smile and a twinkle and said,”And they are going to get a lot colder soon”  I guess that is a better definition of serenity. Her candor blew my mind.

Steps to serenity:


Don’t take things personally.

Breath and step away. Don’t dwell on it. 

Avoid toxic people. Just leave them alone. 

Laugh at the world and yourself. 

Sounds like a plan.