Reflect. Respond. Rejoice.

The inexplicableness of it all. Either the Boston Marathon explosions were the acts of the insane or the “work” of the unheard. Regardless, innocence is the victim. An eight-year-old child waiting for his victorious father to complete the marathon is . . . what? Murdered. To what end? Because the “voices” had become too loud to ignore and the deranged driven to wreak havoc?

When New York City’s Twin Towers were leveled, it was reasonable to ask why would the perpetrators go to such great lengths, sacrifice their lives in order to kill so many? Some Americans don’t like such questions because it somehow suggests culpability on our nation’s part. That American imperialism, militarism and meddlesome foreign policy were somehow a factor. But you have to wonder, why were equivalent buildings, say, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil not targeted?

To what degree do American actions create the feedback loop that has foreigners lined-up to murder us?

Some anti-terrorism experts were suggesting on Tuesday that the bomb was crudely constructed, perhaps the creation of a homegrown terrorist showing solidarity with his foreign brothers. That would be a disappointing development as the predictable response includes the ratcheting-up of suspicion and surveillance of our neighbors (all citizens indirectly). Identify the culprits as American Muslims and that entire community suffers.

I don’t think it the work of crazy homegrown white boys (see Timothy McVeigh), as a U.S. government building was not the target. These spineless goofs/cowards are quite the puzzling phenomena. America is such a large, diverse nation that you can simply disappear to Obscure, Oklahoma or Remote, Oregon and live the independent life. Why slaughter innocence because the “guberment might take my guns?” McVeigh had such concerns.

That leaves the out and out crazy among us who “saw things in the window. . . heard things at the door.” This, to me, is unsettling. We like rhyme and reason to our explanations. Whenever I hear that someone was murdered, I ask, “Did he have it coming?” Of course that is a joke but we prefer a causal relationship to our violence. A jealous boyfriend. The aggrieved wife. The despondent “fired” employee. The deranged Second Amendment “patriot.” We prefer some underlying explanation—crazy at it may sound to us—for the (any) violence.

I don’t know where the investigation will lead or if “justice” will ever be achieved and truth served. What I do know is that life will go on. Not so much for the harmed but for the rest of us for sure. If your daughter is being married this Saturday, that ceremony of life will occur. Toasts will be offered. Exuberant dancing, perhaps even a Chicken Dance or two will get the attendees on their feet. And the exhausted couple will leave on their honeymoon, perhaps without a thought at all of the unfolding developments in Boston. Blessedly so.

That is one of the dichotomies of living. All of us to varying degrees sublimate the tragedies and sorrows associated with our species, with being alive. Very soon in our development we determine our outcomes. By age seven or eight I realized I wasn’t getting “out” alive. While disappointing—it is—what are we to do about it? As mythologist, Joseph Campbell so cogently observed, “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”

Reflect. Respond. Rejoice.

A Beautiful Life.

“Even in the centuries which appear to us to be the most monstrous and foolish, the immortal appetite for beauty has always found satisfaction.” Charles Baudelaire

President Obama was taken to task and the “liberal” woodshed for his recent comments concerning California’s female Attorney General. An old friend and political supporter, Obama said that Kamala Harris is “brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough,” as well as “she also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general in the country.”

It was that last observation, on her looks, that brought down the wrath of liberal women, that to comment on a woman’s physicality (appearance), in the context of her work, was inappropriate, sexist and demeaning of women. Being a feminist and a consumer of history, I am sensitive to any practice (speech in this case) that in any way demeans, limits or restricts a woman’s freedom, independence or opportunity.

Aside from beauty pageants, the consideration of a woman’s physical appearance is irrelevant to any “job” she pursues. Period. End of story. If laws (regulations) are required to eliminate job preference (promotions, wages, etc.) based on physical appearance, so be it. That said.

You’re beginning to see more “commentary” on how we, in the West, have placed too much coin on the pursuit of individual freedom at the expense of community. A favorite philosopher of mine Richard Rorty thought we need to pursue/balance both virtues. Both individuality (in its infinite expressions) and the commonweal.

One of the things that I love about America is that America’s women can freely walk around looking like goddesses. Not necessarily at 2:00 AM in rough neighborhoods (although I would like my America to facilitate just that, that no woman was ever in harm’s way, anywhere/anytime). But in much of our nation, there are beautiful women everywhere. They are ubiquitous as flowers. That America’s women—the goddesses among us—who publicly appear so, this represents a national value—individual expression’s of personal freedom. That said.

I objectify women. I have all my life. For whatever the reason, when I was in kindergarten I became enchanted by a classmate who broke my heart when she moved away that year. I couldn’t tell you what she looked like (although her joie de vivre comes to mind), but I remember her as beautiful. Where does that come from? As has been observed the heart knows what it knows and each sex objectifies the other. We do. Each sex appreciates beauty, both similarly and differently. That said.

Is there too much emphasis in America on beauty? Perhaps. Arguably. Has its consideration any place when hiring and promoting America’s workforce? We can all agree, absolutely not. To the degree that Obama’s comments undermines the commonweal (by undermining the status of women) he should be called out. All men need to hear from the women in their lives when their actions/comments cross the line. That said.

“Some guys say beauty is only skin deep. But when you walk into a party, you don’t see somebody’s brain. The initial contact has to be the sniffing.” James Caan

Know what? I wouldn’t limit “the sniffing” to just the guys. Slice it/dice it. Gals have preferences, too. Some seek the big brains. Others gravitate to big wallets. But if the brains and/or the bucks come in a handsome package, too, well, isn’t that just the beautiful life? It happens. Sometimes.

He’s Not Dead . . . He’s Married.

Marriage means commitment. Of course, so does insanity. Author Unknown

For some inexplicable reason Hugh Hefner’s name (of Playboy fame) came up in a recent group conversation and someone wondered if he was still living and I laughing suggested, “He’s not dead, he’s married.” Many yucks followed.

Hefner, 86, married 26-year-old Crystal Harris, a former Playmate. This was Hefner’s third marriage and her first. They were married last December. These sorts of “arrangements” are a bit baffling to me. Hefner obviously does not need to “get” married to have sex with Playboy centerfolds. He’s had multiple long-term relationships (relatively speaking) with “Bunnies” he’s featured in Playboy. One can hardly fault him for that. The question arises as to the motivation for the young Ms. Harris. Two reasons come to mind. She’s not particularly bright. Or, it’s that sexy bulge in Hefner’s . . . um. . . back pocket.

I’m inclined to think it’s a combination of both. She may not be the brightest bulb in the pack (although she certainly does light-up the page), but she is brilliant enough to grab the “golden” ring. A marital pre-nup was probably Hefner’s dowry (ah, the price one pays for youth), so regardless of the outcome of this, uh, union, Ms. Harris will be well compensated. As well she should be. This marriage was a transaction. As are all marriages.

One of the funniest things I regularly witness on Park Avenue is the gray-haired lad (in his 50s or early 60s) with a young, snot-nosed child in tow, walking slightly behind his pram-pushing “trophy wife.” She’s maybe 33 and is invariably yacking away on a cell phone. The child in the stroller is crying and our “lad” has the deer-in-the-headlights look of “My gawd, what have I done?” Cruelly, I inwardly laugh.

Marriage is a human construct. It’s not a gift from god, unless, of course, your god has a wicked sense of humor.

My 42-year-old, once married daughter thinks marriage 50 years from now will be a dramatically different institution. That, yes, marriages will occur; folks will legally “hook-up” to have children but expecting two people to be contracted to one another “for life” is untenable and presumptuous. You never really know the person you are marrying and people inevitably change. My daughter speculates that in fifty years, folks will be married (or attached) a number of times, reflecting how we change as we mature, just as our expectations (needs & wants) revise as we grow as individuals.

My sister (Saint Sandra of Socorro) has often remarked that marriage is the most difficult “thing” we humans do. It begs the question, why is that? Mythologist Joseph Campbell talked at length about the Golden marriage and what it takes to achieve its rewards. Campbell advocates the surrender of self to marriage. Talk about a difficult concept. Biblical scholar Jerry McCant observed that, “You can never be happily married to another until you get a divorce from yourself. Successful marriage demands a certain death to self.”

Euphemistically speaking, the death of “ones” offers the possibility of a life for two. Sublimating one’s ego poses the question, to what end? That is a conundrum all of us—at one time or another—confront.

Robert Anderson, author of Solitaire & Double Solitaire said, “In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.”

Many tire of the game.

The Cosmopolitan Texan – Not An Oxymoron

A good man can make you feel sexy, strong and able to take on the world…Ohh sorry that’s vodka….vodka does that. Anonymous

Ha! Ha! I’m writing about a good man this week and I Googled quotes on the “good man” and I came across the above which caused me to laugh out loud.

What makes a good man? The first quality that comes to my mind is kindness. Is he kind? Not only to family and friends but to strangers as well? Is he generous of spirit? Does he have empathy? Does he connect with humanity and see his story as part of the fabric of life?
Kindness, generosity, empathy, connectedness are often considered “more” feminine qualities yet they are the first attributes I would use to describe my good friend and confidant, the quite masculine Louis Hughes.

Mr. Hughes was my age, 64, when he hired me in 1986 to work with him in the Development Office of Winter Park Memorial Hospital. This Tuesday past, he celebrated his birthday. Hughes, today, volunteers three days a week in the WPMH emergency room. We lunch several times a month.

Louis Hughes grew-up on a West Texas ranch. During the Dust Bowl Days no less. He experienced the greatest gift any of us every receive, that of the good parent(s). That and oil leases, eh, Louis? Hughes “left” Texas to be educated in the East, served in WWII, eventually living, working and parenting in the Northeast. He worked for Harvard and The University of Pennsylvania Development offices before arriving in Winter Park in 1984 to become the Vice President of Development for WPMH.

The first thing I noticed about Louis was his sartorial habit. He wore three-piece suits everyday. A bit of a clothes-horse myself, I judged his ties rather conservative. His attire contributed to an over-all initial impression that Hughes was formal, formidable and somewhat unapproachable.

Hughes is a snob. He’ll deny it. He’s well read. He likes art. He’s cultured. He plays the piano. Today. He’s been places, seen things. He appears to be the type of gentleman who will not indulge in small talk. It’s all a façade. Not his cultural attributes, his veneer of aloofness. He doesn’t take himself seriously. Hughes resists, however, sophomoric humor (which I do employ) yet will indulge my uncouth, “common” observations. We both appreciate beautiful (in every sense of the word) women. He’s a wonderful, delightful man with which to enjoy life.

Two closing observations. Hughes married for a second time to Arlene “Petie” Showalter of Winter Park, Florida. She was the love of his life and they had over two decades of happiness together before her death.

A final story. Louis and I would, upon arriving for work each morning, stand at the development office receptionist counter for ten or so minutes, coffee in hand, and discuss the “nature” of life. Much laughter ensued. One day, Louis, said in passing, that at one point in his life he had four children in diapers. You could have picked my jaw off the floor.

I only found out some years later that all four of those once-diapered children were adopted. His love for his four children (Ned, Margaret, Justine & Jeff) has been unconditional and unwavering. They give him much joy.

Hughes is a prince among men and on his 91st birthday, vodka is unnecessary (champagne, perhaps) when singing his praises. Happy Birthday, Lad! More!

What Does This Country Need?

What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar. Thomas Marshall, United States Vice President

The cigar quote is attributed to Woodrow Wilson’s two-term Vice President, Thomas Marshall. Presiding over the Senate and after listening to an interminable senatorial speech on what America needs, Marshall allegedly leaned over to a colleague and offered his pithy assessment of what the country required. And, of course, Marshall is remembered today. A footnote.

What do you think America needs today? Seriously, if you could wave a magic wand, what would you implement/initiate that would make America a “better” place?

I think the nation is “half-measuring” itself to the dustbin of history. We seem incapable of achieving two important tasks: 1.) Determining (as a society) important national priorities and, 2.) Agreeing (a consensus) on how to achieve/pursue them. I am sadly disheartened regarding the course of America.

Is there one particular example that best exemplifies where 21st century America finds itself? I am sure that my more reflective readers could provide an illustration, or two. Send me your examples but I insist they be unambiguous as to how they clearly demonstrate the nation’s descent to mediocrity.
I make the distinction between specific acts of self-interest (recall Alaska’s bridge to nowhere), which was merely legislative “PORK” run-amuck. It is a timeless practice, based on greed and power. No, I want clear-cut examples of systemic deterioration of the national fiber.

Among the many examples that immediately come to mind, I’ve one that clearly captures the challenge confronting the United States.

In the summer of 2012 the Texas Republican Party agreed to the following provision in its Party Platform: Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills . . . which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

To go on record, publicly no less, that as Republicans you oppose teaching our children critical thinking skills is a staggering indictment of the nation as a whole. Why oppose critical thinking? Because it might challenge one’s “fixed beliefs?” What? Critical thinking might actually lead to behavior modification? For shame, that we ever change our thinking or –horrors!– our behavior!

My goodness, Jepson, I’m not sending my kid to school so she learns to think for herself! Sacrebleu!

What does it say, that the governing political party in the second largest state in the United States goes on public record opposing higher order thinking skills, critical thinking, because—bottom-line—authority may be challenged?

This is at the crux of much of human history. Time and time again, authority opposed change because change is threatening. To power. To privilege. To wealth. To what is known. To the status quo. To the “sacred” unchallengeable verities.

Fortunately, for humanity, such rearguard reactionary actions never succeed in the long run. Change is as predictable as each new day. Mercifully so. No nation, no people remain “in” power forever. We like to think we (Americans) are different in that regard. That history is irrelevant, that we will be on-top forever.

To oppose the teaching of critical thinking facilitates America’s decline and is emblematic of us today, as a culture. Someday future Americans will sadly ask, “What were those people thinking?” The answer: we weren’t.

Nay, Republicans are actually on record opposing it.

I Can Take No From
Anyone But You.

Ah, love. Is it like pornography? You’ll know it when you see it?

I marvel at human beings. We’re this complex soup of chemicals that one moment we’re higher than a kite on adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin, such, we’re “riding high in April.” Only, to be (at times), “Shot down in May.” Sing it, Frank!

I confess to thinking babies are cute. I don’t think that necessarily makes me a girly-man (although I do like fabrics, too); I imagine our species is chemically induced to think as much. Consider the alternative. That we (men & women) didn’t go “Aw-shucks” at the sight of the newborn. Young love, however, is much more interesting to observe than the immediate byproducts of our, hmmm, unions. Young adults (so beautiful and physically lean)—all ga-ga in love—are such a hopeful expression of what it means to be human. Being in love puts a kick in your step, is inherently hopeful and, I think, makes you more generous toward your fellow man.

That you are in this chemically-induced state of euphoria and that it is attributable—directly linked—to your being enthralled with another person is a fairly predictable (regular) human experience. I read a study suggesting that it takes oh, about 90 seconds to determine if you “fancy” someone. And it’s based on body language and the “speed and tone of their voice.” Not so much on what you say as how you say it. It’s initially all about how you look and how you talk. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but what’s the definition of superficial?

And why is that? It’s the lament women worldwide wail. That, that . . . MEN! . . . are all about the physical. I hate to disabuse my feminine friends but that GONE IN 90 SECONDS phenomena mentioned earlier applies to both sexes. And I again ask, “Why is that?”

Why would the human species place such a premium on what we today determine to be superficial, all surface—substance to be determined later?

Because, contrary to what anyone might suggest, there is no more meaning to/in life than the perpetuation of the (a) species. Arguably, pursuing the meaning—any meaning—in life is an individual trek (and expression). But from the perspective of our species, making babies (and having them live) is it.

We are hardwired, chemically induced to copulate. At some core, primitive level of our being (if you will), our attraction to one another (male/female) is predicated on perpetuating the species. All those wondrous chemicals that our bodies so eagerly produce when we first encounter “our desired” are created so we will “create” the next generation. It’s all about sex. In the beginning.

Actually, I am not convinced it isn’t the underlining impetus for all human encounters/ unions/bondings (at any age, even in your 80s). These chemicals (Better Living Through Chemistry, for sure) we so willingly manufacture are with us, to varying degrees, all our lives. We may have sex in our 80s with no chance of a baby outcome but how we came to be in the sack (so to speak) may be the result of the same driver that has us making love in our 20s. It’s really not so mysterious after all. Perhaps.

I am reminded of that famous—so hauntingly melodic—country-western classic, I Can Take No From Anyone But You, that this Valentines Day, a hot “Yes!” be on your lips. Go ahead, blame it on the drugs. You’d be justified.

At The Dance.

Ah, such goodies I have for you.

Many of you will already know from whence I speak. I’ve a book and movie by the same name to recommend. Here’s what Bosley Crowther, movie reviewer for the New York Times, had to say August 13, 1963, “The film that Luchino Visconti and his star, Burt Lancaster, have made from Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s fine novel The Leopard is a stunning visualization of a mood of melancholy and nostalgia at the passing of an age.”

The Leopard was published in 1958 and made into a movie five years later. I highly recommend that you first read the book and then Netflix the movie. The writing, the book is spot-on marvelous. The movie is gorgeous.

It’s Burt Lancaster as the lead who makes the movie so fascinating to watch. Lancaster plays a Sicilian prince in 1860s Italy. Everything is changing. His world is disintegrating. But what’s a prince to do? He hunts. He reads. He conducts scientific experiments. He carouses. He leads his family. He debates with the family priest. He’s sexy. Ironic. He’s a modern man (of sorts) lamenting the loss of his privileged status. He has faults. What man hasn’t? But as one English lady observed of the Prince, after reading the book, “There is a man I could have loved.” And how difficult could it be to have loved the likes and looks of Lancaster?

I cannot specifically remember how I first came to read The Leopard but I was still an impressionable teenager. I missed the movie’s release in 1963, probably not seeing it until Blockbuster Video opened in the late 1980s. What I do vividly recall was my utter fascination with the author’s creation of the primary character, the Prince, a man at the pinnacle of the social order who clearly understood that his day in the sun was inexorably passing. Not only was Italian nobility being replaced by—of all things!—a bourgeoisie middle class but the Prince was now one of the “old ones at the dance.”

I could easily live in Italy today. The land, the food, the history, the art, the climate, the people, Italy is a grand experience. And to have, once-upon-a-time, lived there as a Prince on 700-year-old estates, well, sign me up.

Burt Lancaster was born in 1913 and was 50 years old when The Leopard was released. He looks about as good as a man can look (in life/or movie). He’s trim. He’s fit. He’s handsome. He’s educated. But he’s melancholy. Life, alas, hasn’t stopped, hasn’t paused even briefly for him, a Prince no less. Time unfortunately does not defer to title or social class.

The last 45 minutes of the movie is a gaudy, extravagant ball where the Prince dances with a rapturous Claudia Cardinale, whose character, Angelica, is described in the book as “tall and well made, on an ample scale; her skin looked as if it had the flavor of fresh cream, which it resembled . . . and emanating from her whole person was the invincible calm of a woman sure of her beauty.” So lush a woman that one man upon first seeing her could “feel the veins pulsing in his temples.”

I’d cry, too, as does the Prince in the movie. So much beauty in life—sigh—so quickly gone.

The Leopard captures that dichotomy of human experience, hmmm, shall we say, beautifully.

A Creation Question

Ah, so sweet the irrational mind
That grasps a dogma to humans unkind.
Extolling a truth, creating the line
That somehow their faith is superior to mine.

When I first wrote the above little ditty, I labored a long time over whether it would be the rational or irrational mind that believes what it will (does). We like to pride ourselves that we arrive at decisions/actions from a rational, reasoned perspective. Alas, sigh, but were it so.

So many examples from which to draw. Would a “humane” culture, for instance, create/countenance a healthcare system that doesn’t care for all its citizens? Should we contemplate (assuming carbon-based climate change is real) authorizing the Keystone Pipeline to transport, arguably, the dirtiest petroleum (Canadian oil sands) on the planet?

The above two examples require collective action based on a public debate of the pros & cons, the merits of the argument. Alas, sigh, but were it so. If I were unilaterally making policy I would answer “No” to both. I support universal healthcare for all Americans and would not “permit” the Keystone Pipeline.

But. I am sure you notice that there is a “But” to nearly every human decision. For example, should I logically pay for the “poor” decisions of my fellowman? If you smoke cigarettes today, is it possible that you do not know the accompanying health risks? I think not. If you are obese should your fellow citizens pay for your resulting diabetes and heart disease? Same goes for cigarettes.

The Keystone Pipeline will either take the “product” to Texas for refining or it will be piped across Canada to a Pacific port (refinery) and shipped to China. That’s a fact, Jack. The carbon is going to be released into Earth’s atmosphere regardless of whether or not the United States authorizes the pipeline. Here’s the reality. Deny the pipeline and the environment will still suffer but fewer Americans will be employed.

So what is the rational decision on either of these issues? And what exactly should be the “determining factors” for each? Does the creation of American jobs trump environmental desecration? Are we “morally” complicit—understanding what we do about carbon and climate change—by sanctioning the pipeline?

Are human beings exempt from accountability when it comes to personal healthcare issues? If, I, as an individual make a determination to smoke and/or be obese, should I expect those who do not smoke and/or who maintain a healthy body weight to subsidize my poor decisions?

Even more fundamentally, If I choose to control my fertility by having no more children than I can afford, should I be expected to subsidize the offspring of irresponsible adults who sire/bear children they cannot sustain? Is that fair (also consider: the resulting children)?

As odd as it may seem, we too often arrive at irrational decisions from a rational process—a rational process driven by our preconceived notions as to the truth-of-the-matter. In essence, we start a decision-making process flawed from its inception.

Rather than start from “the” truth, I recommend we begin from the pragmatic. Start from what works (Or, what we theorize might work). Sublimate the urge to argue/legislate/condemn based on your idea of “the” truth.

If you must, consider what works as “the” truth. (Read: Charles Pierce, John Dewey & Richard Rorty)

Ask: what are the realistic consequences of embracing this (any) viewpoint? And . . .

Importantly, what kind of a world are we creating for our grandchildren?

I Can Take No But Not From You.

I’m thinking of “I Can Take No But Not From You,” as a song title and chorus lyrics for a country western song. I think I can write a song. And to have “I Can Take No But Not From You” as a starting point well, visually, I’m already picking-up my award in Nashville. Yea Baby.

So, I could use some help. Add an idea, your “eight words” and our success will be a collaborative effort. Publish here your words.

Give it up for “I Can Take No From Anyone But You.”

c.

What?
No Par?

This is a personal favorite essay and has been published before in the Observer. Life, at times, is so sorrowful that it can be a challenge to remain optimistic. The environment, unemployment, disease, war, alienation, violence, suffering, humiliation, death. Let your voice ring forth, even though doubt and uncertainty be the human condition, hope, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “sings the tune–without the words, 
And never stops at all.”

I wonder a bit about those claiming they don’t keep score. Not so much in the win/loss column but in some reflective “total scheme of life” manner.

What we all have is time. Some assert that if we live a particular way or believe a particular notion that time is endless. No matter how appealing that idea, I cannot subscribe. As much as our emotions may desire—our bodies (and minds) will deny. Consciousness is temporary, fleeting and far too short.

We’re all on track (birth to death) so keeping score ought to be a relatively straight forward process. But we are not issued, we are not born with a helpful scorecard. We tee up for the 18 holes of life and soon discover there is no par.

Wouldn’t it be far easier if each of us was born tightly clutching a tiny scorecard in his or her little hand. Birth would be our first hazard and no matter how well we shot the “rapids”—mom would record, would deliver our first score.

So we trek through life, frequently without a clue, not only looking for meaning but searching for the “way” to live as well. Most of us come to grips (denial/acceptance) with the transitory nature of our existence. Absent, however, is the universal scorecard.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay on “Compensation” prompted this little treatise. Emerson is writing, to a degree, about score keeping. Reread Emerson’s essays for a jolt of sanity.

I believe time is a river that for awhile we travel.

By what benchmarks do we evaluate that journey? By our physical possessions—what we have accumulated? Our knowledge? Our effort? Our passions? By compensation? Or, by any meaning we simply give it (our lives)?

“How am I doing, Coach?”

Compared to what? One of the misfortunes (a sadness) of human life is our apparent need to compare ourselves with/to others. We are so wrapped-up in “Keeping Up With The Jones,” not only in material possessions, but we unthinkingly adopt their shopworn ideas and absurd values as well.

Tragically and comically, we track our lives on someone else’s scorecard.

We are born with a song in our hearts that is unique and distinctive. WE ARE! Some of us sing early. Some of us sing late. Some of us never sing at all and some have their song beaten out of them. For the most part we write our own scores and for some it’s “three strikes and you’re out,” and for others, it’s an “Ode to Joy!”

We are born as water poured into a teakettle and as we boil along and vapor away, we sing our songs. We do, however, pick the song we sing.

And that, my fellow choir member, is the most important score of all to track.

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