Monday, May 31, 2010

What motivates you? Really? Time to find out.

It's been a while since I've got out of bed deliriously excited about what I will accomplish during the day.  To be honest, I don't think I can remember when the last time was that I did.

Mostly, I rise with a sense of determination that I will get a few things done, things that are mainly related to work.  Occasionally, that determination is garnished with a sliver of enthusiasm.

I think the size of the latter would increase if I wasn't so afraid of not making enough money to meet all my expenses. And I'm certain that the determination could easily be replaced with a raw, spontaneous and unflinching sense of purpose that aspires to put my creative nature to good and novel use, not just for my benefit but for the benefit of others.

With that kind of purpose, who needs determination? The need to create and the application of one's mind, body and spirit to the creative process is just gloriously congealed into one's purpose.  At least, that's what I've discovered.

In the world of cognitive psychology and in corporate and educational circles, this sort of stuff is loosely wrapped up in the concept of 'motivation'.  It's complex, as we tend to discover about most things we give words to.  But, I still found this video both entertaining and informative.

Surprising too, if you haven't really been paying attention to what motivates you (or been completely honest with yourself) and others.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And do let me know what you think.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A woman with hardly unique imperfections

Oh dear.

I can't help feeling a little bit sorry for her. If, as the media reports, she's been in financial strife for some time now, any easy money would be a welcome relief. Besides, 15,000 pounds a year for an ex-wife of a British Prince and the mother of potential heirs to the throne does seem a tad tight-a*sed. 

I mean, doesn't she have airs to put on and an image to keep up (or redeem), regardless of how badly she's tarnished them in the distant and recent past?  It must be hard to live on relatively paltry funds when you've become accustomed to a  considerably more lavish lifestyle. It must be additionally hard when society retains associations of you and the royal family in its selective memory, using that association as an excuse for hurtful mockfests at your personal expense. 

I've never been a royalist and although I choose to remain oblivious to most of their business, I do occasionally get myself a spectator seat at the latest royal circus the media has spotted, or deftly contrived, for our entertainment, ridicule and/or judgment.  Fergie's latest gaffe is one such occasion.

I can't help feeling that the media has been particularly unkind to her over the years.  I'm not sure why. Why I feel this way and why the media has been so.  I don't recall her going out of her way to seek attention. If anything, I often wondered what it was like for her to be cast into obscurity by the blinding light of her supernova sister-in-law, whom I seem to think she had a mostly good relationship with.

I don't even recall her doing anything especially bad or unkind.  But then, as I said, I've not made it a point to follow the royal circus. She might have been horribly mean and nasty for all I know. Still, on the basis of what I do know, I can't help feeling sorry for her.

I'm sure it must have hurt terribly to be called the Duchess of Pork, a slight accorded her for no reason other than her (over)weight.  And to be frequently made the butt of cruel fashion jokes and unfavorably compared with a model-esque sister-in-law must surely have cut deep and painfully. 

No, I'm not suggesting that any of this excuses her latest installment of 'lack of good judgment', but taken in context, it highlights to me the bullying nature of society's unofficial judge and jury - the media - and the very public humiliation of a woman whose hardly unique 'imperfections' have provided many of us with cheap entertainment. 

It's a shame, in so many ways, for so many people, including her daughters. I just hope Fergie survives this.   And I hope that we can all be kinder.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Unconditional commitment - it's a four letter word

This thing called Risk
I just can't handle it
This thing called Risk
I must get round to it
I ain't ready
Crazy little thing called Rissssssssssssk.

(With thanks and 'You're welcome' to Freddie Mercury et al)

To be honest, this is not a word or a concept or a 'thing' that I enjoy. Nope. I like my life risk-free, buttered all around and served on a bed of brilliant crystal, soft to the touch and shatter-proof.

And, to continue in honesty, I really deplore the claims that you cannot grow or progress or gain anything you value without taking risks.  Either the world is inherently flawed in its creative process or we, I, have failed to master its true machinations. I'd prefer to believe the latter.

But how do I sustain such a belief against what appears to be an overwhelming body of evidence to the contrary?  A body of evidence that seems to give support to the claim that I so deplore?

I think I can do it my redefining what I have thus far thought 'risk' to be.  No more shall I see it as the treacherous wilderness I must navigate, fraught with endless possibilities of attack, pain and despair.  No more will it be the loathsome suitor that I must court as the torturous means to the rainbow's end.  No more shall I hide in its ominous shadow, afraid of being noticed and summoned to undesired action.

Instead, I shall redefine risk as love.  Love? And what might that be? Or passion. Oh? Do tell.

Unconditional commitment. According to Kiekegaard. Whose work, Either/Or was mentioned to me by C.Bosco.  That's what passion is - unconditional commitment.

Can you imagine that? To be unconditionally committed to something so that notions of risk and failure and pain and disappointment have absolutely no room, no meaning in your worldview?   What kind of life would that be?

Perfect. Passionate. Wondrous. Glorious. Truly beyond belief for it would supersede all beliefs and all need for beliefs.

Actually, to me that would be the only worthwhile meaning of life. That life would be love.

Give it to me baby!

Better still, I give it to myself.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

These vague feelings that had been prowling around my mind

Four million deaths since 1998 in the Republic of Congo.

Less than $1 for a day's work in a rice field in Thailand, provided you make your quota. If you don't, your wages get docked.

An innocent man who's already spent 12 years in a prison in Texas for a crime he never committed.

A twelve year-old girl in Afghanistan who was set on fire for refusing to marry a man thirty years older.

A  three-month old infant in Nigeria dies from a preventable disease.

A protester shot in Bangkok.

100 million more Indians living under the poverty line today than six years ago.

Part of my TV dinner.  This is the world at 6pm on a very normal day.  There is nothing abnormal here, neither my reaction (or lack of it) nor the events that have occurred and that continue to occur.

The words of Phil Collin's 'Just another day in paradise' keep running through my mind. What an odd, odd thing.  Or is it? Perhaps it's as normal as everything else on this very normal day.  But paradise?

Have I lost sight of what's normal?  Is it just as normal for me to be blogging about it?  Am I really interrogating the meaning of 'normal'?  What is this really about?  Is there anything I can do?  Do I want to?

This afternoon, I had a chat with myself. I asked myself what it was that I really wanted?  As images of a grand home, loving partner and family, wealth and world travel fleeted through my mind, another set of images hung around persistently.  Images of homeless people, children dying from preventable diseases,  people living in stinking, putrid squalor and children and adults laboring long hours everyday and not always earning enough to feed themselves.

I asked myself if I felt guilty about wanting the things that I wanted and if having them would be denying those who didn't and couldn't.  No, I didn't feel guilty and no, I didn't believe that.

I asked myself if I still wanted what I'd previously identified I'd wanted as they appeared in those images. Yes, I did.  So why was I still feeling this unease? 

I realized then that more than what I'd wanted for myself, I wanted to share with those people what I knew and believed - that they could have a better life if only they'd believe it were possible.  I just wanted to share with them what I knew and believed, and, if they wanted it, I would help them in whatever way I could. 

My spirit lifted then upon this realization. It was the first time I'd fully articulated these vague feelings that had been prowling around my mind for what I now realized, had been years, in terms of their associated desires. This was perhaps the least  normal thing about my day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My confession today is that I...

I realized something today, something that I'm afraid to admit but that I want to. It will be one more inhibition to liberate myself from.

I happened to watch The Notebook last night. I should say early this morning, after I had finished a couple of writing assignments.  It was well after 3am and although I could have easily gone to sleep, I just felt I'd rather watch a movie.

I enjoyed every bit of it. Every bit. The charm, the innocence, the longings, the desires, the laughter, the poetry, the scenery, the music, the beauty, the sadness, the thwarted affair.

No, no, that's not true. I did not enjoy the sadness and I certainly didn't enjoy the cruel turn of events nor the pain before its eventual resolution.

Oh, you might say that it was Hollywood doing what Hollywood does best - sell you a fistful of unrealistic dreams that you can lose yourself in for an hour or so. So what? What's the harm in losing yourself and all your stuffy and starchy beliefs and proclamations about the 'real' world if only for an hour of your life'?

As far as I'm concerned, nothing.  Nothing at all. On the contrary, it might actually reignite your dying imagination, release you from your self-imposed exile from LIFE. True LIFE. Not the life that you've become conditioned into but the life that glows naturally within you like a flame that refuses to die no matter how hard you or anyone else tries to snuff it out.

Isn't this the reason why we are so drawn to such 'flights of fantasy'?  Because they have an inimitable ring of truth to them?  Because, surely, this is what we most desire?  Because, let's be completely honest, this is what makes us happiest?

It might help you realize what it made me realize, or should I say, admit - that I do want that pure, shameless love, the kind that you would devote your life to. The kind that makes everything else pale into oblivion because it is so fulfilling, so nurturing, so life-giving, no needless of explanation or reasoning.

The reader of the notebook says, at one point, something to this effect:

I have not achieved anything of significance in my life. I haven't acquired fortunes or invented anything. I haven't done anything that might be considered noteworthy. But I believe I have fulfilled the purpose of my life because I have loved another so fully and completely.

I'm a bit of a cry babe. Typing that just brought a lump to my throat and the tears all but fell. For goodness sake, can there be a more beautiful purpose for one's life? I certainly can't think of any. And my confession today is that I do want to experience the complete joy and awe and pleasure and rapture and beauty and freedom of being so completely devoted to one other.

How Do I Love Thee

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
for the ends of Being and ideal Grace,
I love thee to the level of every day's
most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
with my lost saints,-I love thee with the breath,
smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Parallel universes and The Law of Attraction

Inspired by the idea of 'parallel universes' or 'many worlds', I have this rather intriguing thought.  It is further prompted by my observation of how my daily ration of 24 hours get spent.

Most of it, as you can easily guess, is spent appended to my laptop.  The next largest portion is spent asleep, although if you must know, it's usually between 4-6 hours and sometimes much less. 

It's not that I have trouble sleeping.  If anything, I get cross over the fact that I'm gobbled up by sleep in one almighty swoop without so much as three seconds to orientate myself in the direction I wish my dreams to take. 

No, I sleep easily and am grateful for it. I just don't have a great need for a great deal of sleep.  There's just so much that I want to explore and think about and, of course, write about.  And this is where the parallel universes/many worlds thing comes in. 

The theories, extrapolated from the realms of quantum mechanics, propose that the dominant, physical form that I'm currently occupying (in my case, it's the 'me' that's writing this blog and that I've been talking about thus far), is but one of an infinite number of forms or realities that I am simultaneously occupying, the other 'me-s' or forms or realities inhabiting (or creating) parallel universes.

Each form of 'me' is created, supposedly, by a thought of mine, a decision or choice that I make. In theory, all possible choices, which clearly are infinite in number, exist, each in a separate, parallel universe.  Mind blowing?  Yes, it is rather.

The question I have to ask, though, is why is it this form/reality of me that I seem to be most, if not only, aware of?  Why am I not aware of all the others or at least some of them?  I consider this a valid question on account of the fact that I spend most of my time being this particular form of me.  I am rarely in any other form of me, to the best of my knowledge.  Except, of course, when I am dreaming.

If I wanted to spend more of my day in other universes besides this most obvious one, I suppose I could spend more time dreaming.  However, there are the demands and conditions of this dominant universe that I would still have to meet or fulfill such as taking care of my pet, paying my bills, answering emails and so on. Those are things I'm unable to avoid as long as I maintain a presence here.

But all this makes me wonder about the power and use of thought. If each thought creates a parallel universe, I suppose it stands to reason that thoughts of a similar nature will create similar looking universes which could possibly coalesce resulting in a mega universe that seems to dominate all others.  Could this be the reason why I experience  my current life as the most dominant form of me?

Does this therefore imply that if I were able to change my thoughts so dramatically, so qualitatively differently, and keep having more and more of such thoughts, I could actually create a different dominant universe?  A different reality of me?  Is this what might be behind the Law of Attraction? 

What do you think?

Parallel Universe Of Self  Parallel Universes: How to Live in a World Where Everything You Desire is Already Yours  Beyond Reality Evidence of Parallel Universes  Exploring the Fifth Dimension: Parallel Universes, Teleportation and Out of Body Travel   

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe: Working Through Social Anxiety  Channeled Messages from a Parallel Universe  The Parallel Universe of Liars (Single Titles)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh, what do I do with all this inspiration?

The fact of the matter is (funny how I resort to cliches when I really wish to make a point), if I took just one thing, just one solid idea and devoted my entire life to it,. I would be, well, devoted I guess.

My point, which I haven't yet made, is this: There are so many brilliant, useful, high-energy, supremely good ideas that float into my consciousness in the course of a day and I wish I could embrace each one of them consummately.  But the very thought of devoting my life to one of them stirs within me a mild panic. 

What about all the other things that I need to do and think about and put into practice?

Let me give you just a sample of the marvelous ideas, insights, exhortations and inspirational prompts that I've currently got at my disposal (what an odd phrase that is in this particular instance).

"Change your thoughts"
"Slow down"
"Priorities lead to Prosperity"
"You cannot transcend what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself"
"Why you must outsource"
"When you realize that prosperity is your divine heritage, you should persist in claiming it"

I apologize for not including the names of those to be credited for these gems as they come from a variety of sources including Orna Ross, and Beliefnet.

So, what am I to do?  So many wonderful things to live by. How do I incorporate them all?

I suspect that the trick is to embrace just one with as much devotion and faith as you can gather and in time, you'll experience the benefit of everything else.  Problem is, how do you quell the doubts that charge at you from the shadows where they've been waiting?  Waiting for that moment when you are in the light, having seen the light?

Doubts that remind you of failed attempts in the past and that forewarn you of impending doom?  Doubts that want to persuade you that you could be doing something else, something better, something bigger, something more rewarding, more exciting, more creative, more transformational, more innovative, more giving, more glamorous, more cool, more worthy, more 'you'?

Short answer? I don't know. 

But what I have been doing is enjoying the feeling that those truths evoke in me.  I mean, changing your thoughts of fear and dread to magnificence and freedom is a wonderful, wonderful feeling!  So is the thought of getting someone else to do some of the work that I currently have to do so that I can do more of the work that I am really good at.  And as for prioritizing, oh, what a great feeling that is to know that you're giving your energy to just those things that you know are important and that contribute directly to your sense of wellbeing!

Don't I just know how good all that feels?  And isn't it just so worth spending a few moments allowing all those wonderful feelings to wash over me? Yes, yes, yes.  It absolutely is. And I've found that when I do, good things start to happen. 

Someone calls and offers me some money.  Another person invites me to participate in an information exchange seminar on loss and grieving and oh, by the way, would I be interested in volunteering for a research project involving interviewing homeless people, each of the three sessions scheduled to start at 3 in the morning. 

Someone else sends me an email from their BB in the middle of cooking dinner (how lovely to be thought of and missed in the heart-warming activity of cooking) and another email tells me what a lovely picture I took of a vintage car and gives me some information about it and thanks me for thinking of her...Yes, all these wholesomely good stuff happens when I just lose myself in good feelings and dreamy visions. 

And it so happens that in the midst of all this, I created a (yes, yet another) new blog. It's rich and dark and filled with intoxicating aromas. I mean, you'll know you're in Coffee Heaven when you visit Espresso Makers and Coffee Lovers :)

If you do, do leave a comment or let me know in some way that you've dropped by. I should love that! Oh, and to tell the truth, I'd love to know what you think of it and if you have any suggestions for it or for any of the things that I write about and that you patiently and generously take the time to read. You know I absolutely appreciate it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Soft impressions of a day with my daughter

These are just some of the impressions of this Sunday gone that I spent with my daughter. 

One of my favorite places to be

My daughter wanted a picture so I obliged with my mobile camera

We went to the markets at the riverside and treated our senses and our cravings to the assortment of clothes and shoes and jewelry that were on display on a perfectly crisp day. We even bought a couple of mile long sour gums, one flavored bourbon and cola and the other sour cola.  Alright, they weren't quite a mile long.

Aside from having a 'Porterhouse steak' with chips, salad and a glass of red for lunch, we also had a glass each of very poorly brewed 'marsala chai' later in the day, served by an unhappy young man with red hair and a mo. Still, it was a gorgeous tea house filled with all things tea including a tea pot with a giraffe's neck and head for a spout.

My daughter wasn't all that chaffed when someone asked if we were sisters but she crowed away when somebody else said she thought she was no more than sixteen.  Hello??? Since when does a twenty-two year old want to look sixteen???

I loved every moment of the day. I really did feel very mum-ish. 

Peter Sadler Brown 55 Ounce Tea Pot  Bodum Assam 4-Cup Tea Press Teapot  Primula Flowering Tea Set with 40-Ounce Pot, 6 Flowering Teas, and Loose Tea Variety Pack

Friday, May 7, 2010

Could I become a prostitute?

I wonder why they say that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. I'd actually like to know who first said that.

I've just had a look at Yahoo! Answers and what an eye-opener that has been!  There were three responses that I found particularly interesting.

The first was that Rudyard Kipling refers to prostitution as "the most ancient profession in the world" in his book 'Black and White' (how very appropriate) back in 1888.  I haven't read that book but I'm now just a little tempted to, mainly to see what the context was for his statement.

Then there was a reference to this fascinating research on monkeys conducted at Yale.  Apparently, they trained some monkeys to use money to purchase various items such as grapes and treats like marshmallows.  Before long, the male monkeys had figured out how to pay females for sex.

Now, I really wasn't ready to believe this. I mean, nice bit of imagination there, but really?  So, naturally, I looked for the original source material i.e. something from the Yale researchers themselves.

I was disappointed that I couldn't find it. I did find this article, supposedly by a more reliable source than the one at Yahoo! Answers, which discusses some Yale research. It doesn't, however, mention any 'sex-for-money' or 'money-for-sex' transactions by monkeys.

The third response that I thought was worth giving some thought to (mainly because I'd already been pondering it before going on my search for answers) was that other occupations such as child-bearing, child-raising, hunting and gathering had all probably preceded the sex trade.

Now, appealing as I find this argument, the part that could be challenged is whether any of these other occupations involved payment of some kind, and importantly, whether the payment was of an explicit and formal nature in which the agreeing parties were clear about what they were agreeing to and what the 'payment' would be.

I'm suggesting that only when these conditions were present could one say that the 'occupation' (work which was not not necessarily compensated)  was a 'profession' (work that was formally compensated).

According to that distinction, I would say that occupations such as child-bearing and house-keeping have not been, and are still not, considered 'professions'.  On the other hand, prostitution of the body for money or some other agreed form of compensation might well have been a profession, albeit one steeped in controversy, from days of yore.

The thing is, while prostitution commonly refers to the trading of sex, the concept can be and sometimes is used more inclusively to refer to any transaction involving an 'unworthy' cause.

Right, I know. Define 'unworthy'.  Well, I best leave that to each one of us to determine because, as you know, our ideas about what's worthy can be quite different.  Besides, at least some prostitutes sincerely believe they are serving a very worthy cause indeed.

But you know, all of this is just a preamble, a pretext, if you will, for my real agenda.  Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not at all suggesting I've been insincere or disingeuous in making mention of it.  Just that it wasn't my purpose to discuss prostitution in this post, at least not as as idea for debate.  What really prompted me to write this post were two things.

First, that a friend, J, (yes, another of my many friends whose names start with J!), said to me recently:

"What you need to do is to marry a wealthy old man who would look after you financially, require no more than 15 minutes of sexual gratification per month, intense as that may be and which you would have to satisfy uncompromisingly, and whose date of demise is vividly foreseeable. "

To which I'd responded, "Well J, since you have what seems like an iron-clad plan and given your connections in political, philanthropic and social justice circles, I'd say you'd be the person to find me just the man".

You may be relieved to know that we both roared with laughter during this conversation. Then again, it's possible that you might be offended by our humor.

The second reason I wanted to write about prostitution is because, yes, I'll admit it, I had thought about doing it.  I'm hesitant to say 'considered' it because that suggests rather more of a commitment to the idea than just a thought that I entertained as briefly and as unsentimentally as I could.

It happened during the time that I was really struggling financially. 'Scraping an empty barrel' woudn't describe my circumstances at the time nearly enough.  It was dire.  Two things came to my attention during that period.

One, I'd heard that an acquaintance, married with kids, was doing some nude modeling for a government-subsidized arts course.  The other was a documentary I'd watched about lap dancers and prostitutes. It gave me an insight into how some women really do feel about a 'profession' that many people find loathsome or at least degrading and that many governments officially prohibit.

Some of these women actually see themselves offering a much-needed service which they happen to enjoy. Some, with university degrees, had made this their career choice over other more 'respectable' careers, citing the freedom and flexibility of being their own boss as important reasons along with the financial rewards.  One woman spoke about how her husband and children were aware of her work and were quite comfortable about it.

So, I wondered, what would really be so wrong about me getting paid for sex. Yes, I am deliberately putting it bluntly.

Would I be taking a man away from his wife or would I be helping him stay in his marriage?  Would I be helping a man build his confidence? Would I be helping him de-stress?  Would I be helping him experience intimacy without feeling pressured into any kind of commitment (other than having to pay me, of course)? Might this be my service to humankind? 

And, most important of all, how would I be paying for this choice of profession? Which part of me would it destroy? Or set free?

I realize this post feels like it's been stripped of all emotion. The truth is, I hate the very thought of having sex with someone for any other reason than the pure joy and passion of it and of him.  Yes, I guess you could accuse me of being horribly old-fashioned and inhibited.

I do think it would be great to free myself from these and so many other inhibitions I know I'm trapped in. But for now, this is how I am and I'm okay with it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The coffee, some snickers and our opinions

If you had a vested interest in my wellbeing, you would likely reprimand me for what I recently did.  No, it wasn't anything terribly unforgivable.  I mean, there's a chance you might actually understand and empathize with me. At the same time, you'd also be thinking that I really ought to know better, show a little more restraint, be a little less impetuous.

Alright, alright, already. I'll tell you what I'm talking about.

A caffettiera.

Yep, that's it. See, I told you it wasn't anything beyond forgiving. It probably isn't terribly exciting to you either.  But, under the circumstances, it happens to be very exciting for me and a tad extravagant. Under the circumstances.

Let me explain. With my slave labor writing, I'm working long hours and getting under what I need for rent, food and the rest of it. You're familiar with the usual expenses.  So, why did I go and spend $18 on a Vittoria caffettiera - you know, the kind into which you put ground coffee in a strainer, add cold water in the base and boil the water over direct heat so that the coffee goodness trickles into the base leaving the pillaged grind in the strainer.

Why? Because after giving up coffee for years, and then recently drinking more and more of that fraudulent instant stuff, I was starting to have a desire for the real thing, made in the most traditional way my modern day living and means could afford.

And so, when I finally ventured out to do my weekly shop (although this time it was more like a day short of two weeks) and happened to see this caffettiera at this most reasonable price, I allowed instinct and sheer desire to override my rational, computing mind which was futilely telling me I couldn't afford it.

Well, I could afford it insofar as I had the money to pay for it then. It just meant there was even less available for those other, non-negotiable, pesky expenses. But, I was able to banish such inconvenient truths from my mind long enough to place the golden box into my trolley, wheel it over to the cashier and have it checked out.

I could barely contain my excitement. Couldn't wait to get home to make myself and my friend, J, who'd accompanied me to the store and who'd raised his eyebrows and pursed his lips at the sight of my treasured box at the checkout, a real cup of coffee. He was too polite and too kind to actually say anything, to my great relief.  At least, not until I began making the coffee and mentioned how very reasonable the price of the caffettiera was.

"Is it? I wouldn't know. I don't have time for those kind of things."

"Why not?" I asked quite innocently.  I mean, why would there be any guilt around a question like that anyway?  "You drink a fair bit of coffee, don't you?"

"Oh, that's all just pretentious stuff that pretentious people do telling us how to make our coffee".

That's the thing about J. I never know when he's going to shock me with another one of his narrow-minded, dismissive opinions.

"All these people who talk about fine coffee and fine wine. They're just a bunch of pretentious time-wasters (I'm sure he would have preferred to say 'wankers' but he desisted out of respect for what he assumes are my sensibilities). Why don't they go do something more useful?"

My equally opinionated mind started thinking: You know, for someone who's done a PhD, you're such a pathetic inverted snob.

Needless to say, I shared none of my private thoughts with J. Instead I remarked, with as much casualness as I could manage, "Oh, I think it's just wonderful when people find something they're passionate about (silently thinking: unlike you, you pathetic thing) and dedicate their lives to it.  I mean, it doesn't matter what it is as long as they're passionate about it.  That's a life well spent as far as I'm concerned".

Meanwhile, I'm still indulging in private, judging thoughts about J like what a sorry loser he is for thinking that he's doing the world the greatest service by teaching mature age students high school mathematics and oh, yes, how to use Microsoft office, something he'd had to learn from me in order to teach them.  And what a pathetic case he was for feeling so self-important now that he was teaching these students at, oh yes, aren't we impressed - university!!!.  For goodness sake, I'd done that years ago and I'd taught actual tertiary courses not some piddly high school subjects!

I have to confess. I really dislike J for his opinionated, inflexible views about pretty much everything.  I mean, having an opinion is one thing, You're entitled to it.  Believing what you choose is also your entitlement. But dismissing other people's opinions and views with such finality and brusqueness is hardly the behavior of a wise person, if you ask me. And J does that. Often.

You could ask what right I have to expect or even want him to be wise. Well, I can expect and want anything I like as long as I know how to accept the consequences of either having my expectations and wants satisfied or kicked in the teeth as they often are by J

He thinks he knows everything about science and politics and world history and that his opinions are the only ones that are valid.  And whenever I've provided evidence or raised questions to suggest that he doesn't have all the knowledge he claims to have, he simply kills the discussion with some summary dismissal borne on the wings of a forced snicker, "I don't agree with any of that".

Yeah, right. Just don't agree.  There's so much of the blooming world you don't agree with and even less that you are willing to accept.  And then you wonder why you feel miserable and depressed.

Well, I haven't  revealed to J my opinion about him because I don't enjoy saying things to people that I know would upset them. And it would upset J considerably if I told him exactly how I felt about him and what I thought of him. That said, it's not as if I detest him. I just do dislike intensely some things about him.

And it's not as if he doesn't have a pretty good idea that I don't care to spend too much time around him.  But I've learned to focus on the better aspects of a person and get my kicks out of that.  And J does have some endearing qualities. He's got a good and kind heart and has helped me in more ways than I can ever repay him for. But I've learned not to invest my emotions in conversations with him that can be grotesquely severed with a blunt "Oh, I don't agree with that" or "There's no Science behind that" and an irritating snicker that often accompanies it.

(Oh hello, when did you last read up on Quantum mechanics?)

Still, he did admit to enjoying the coffee I made with my new caffettiera.  Not that it would've upset me if he hadn't. I like my coffee and that's all that really matters.

Capresso MT600 10-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Thermal Carafe  Mr. Coffee 8-Cup Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker   Zojirushi EC-BD15 Fresh Brew Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker


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