Quick Thoughts: Making a Difference and Honouring Future Ancestors

luis-alvoeiro-quaresma-VOaIhSvoCXU-unsplash.jpgIt’s kind of amazing how quickly things start to pile up and one’s good intentions, the proverbial “best laid plans,” are thrown to the wayside. When I first came back to writing here, my intention, my plan, was to write every workday. Slowly, I relaxed my goal to three days a week (as a way of going easier on myself with the fall returning — which meant things were picking up in my role as a public servant and as a professor). Then, things became so hectic that I was having a hard time carving out any time to write. Before I knew it, almost a month has passed since the last time I hit publish. Sigh.

As I said when I returned a couple of months ago, one of the reasons for writing is to get the thoughts out of my head and onto the page to make room for new thoughts. Even though it’s been about a month, that doesn’t mean the ideas haven’t stopped flowing. I’ve got a number of drafts in progress, so I thought that I’d go ahead and flush them out into a “Quick Thoughts” post.

Make a difference where you can. On Duhigg’s podcast a couple of months ago, there was a guest that had gone through severe trauma. All he can really do is focus on what’s in front of him. Listening, it made me wonder if it’s incumbent upon the rest of us to make a difference in bigger ways. I’m worried that I’m not expressing myself clearly here and part of me really wants to flesh this out into a longer article to nuance what I’m saying (i.e. anyone can make a big impact no matter their station in life), but I’m thinking about those among us who might be relatively lucky to be where they are. Are we obliged — should we feel obliged — to try to make the biggest impact we can?

Visualize and make it so. The “Meditative Story” from a few weeks back was also a good one. I struggle with stuff like this because it’s native to me. I grew up with influences like this (i.e. visualization, see it and believe it, etc.), but I recognize that it’s often written off as self-help hokum. Does that mean we should all dismiss it out of hand? Were all methods used today seen as the pantheon when they began? Am I using false equivalence? [Maybe.]

Oprah and Eckhart Tollle. Another good podcast episode (surprise!). This one is with Oprah and Eckhart Tolle. It really reminded me of that Anderson Cooper and Stephen Colbert interview from a few weeks ago. In the Oprah/Eckhart interview, Eckhart is talking about bumper stickers and how some folks will have something like, “I’d rather be fishin’,” or something like that. Then, he mentions how Ram Dass has a bumper sticker, too, that says, “I’d rather be here now.” For those unfamiliar, Dass wrote a book called Be Here Now almost 50 years ago.

Honour one’s future ancestors. I don’t remember exactly where I heard this, but I believe the context had to do with our responsibility to take care of the planet (which I’ll quibble with monetarily). The idea of us doing well by our planet as a way of honouring our future ancestors sounds lovely. Now, to quibble — there’s something about the messaging for climate change, environmentalism, etc. that just doesn’t resonate with some segments of the population. I’m not an expert here, but that part seems clear. I know that some folks try to personalize it as a way of hoping that it gets more people involved, but I don’t know that it does. Greta has certainly inspired quite a few people. I really hope that this momentum carries forward and we — as a species — are able to honour our future ancestors.

Published by Jeremiah Stanghini

Jeremiah's primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective. In the same vein as the "Blind Men and the Elephant," it can be difficult to know when one is looking at the big picture or if one is simply looking at a 'tusk' or a 'leg.' He writes on a variety of topics: psychology, business, science, entertainment, politics, history, etc.

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