Being Relevant

I guess there comes a time in life when you realize you are becoming irrelevant. I think at some point during the space between my 60th year and my 61st year it has begun to happen to me. I dream almost every night of working…some job, and yet I don’t know whether I could physically do one if I could get one. That’s a feeling of inadequacy and uselessness I haven’t felt for 40 years. Things I used to look forward to have receded somewhat into the distance. Enjoyement of past activities are slightly beyond reach, just at my fingertips. I really think when they split you open and your body is operated by a machine for about an hour…something goes out of you. I talked with a couple of guys today who had the same thing done, and they both feel the same way about it. Did I die, and lose part of my soul….part of my will? Sometimes it feels like it. A lot of days I come off as being in a fog, or a funk. Who likes that? I see a lot of guys at my age still able to run marathons and play sports. Well, since I couldn’t run a marathon even before last year, I guess THAT’S irrelevant too. But..I could do a lot of things then which I can’t do now. I’m not old though. I’m not losing my mind, and I’m going to make sure that THIS year between my 61st year and 62nd year I prove that to myself. I am not quite ready for my elegy yet.

Be a Doer

We seem to approach problems from the view of a spectator instead of a participant. We always wish “they” would do something to make “things” better. I think what we Americans, we humans should do is to become “doers and not talkers” as someone recently told me. I could certainly do more. I started today by giving 50 dollars to a little Filipino nurse who I have seen at the flea market every month or so for the past year or more. She buys a trinket or two almost every time I see her. She’s going to send the money to some of her family there.

I know this is kind of an outside the box way of doing things. But I trust her more than the Red Cross. She always comes around with her Mom, who is a sly bargainer!

It’s not only that though…it’s looking at life from inside the game. Playing with a passion for the good of others no matter the size of the “good” No good deed is to small to do. No good thing is too small to bother with. From petting your puppy to donating a kidney…one is a lesser good, and one is a major life altering event. The only difference is the scale, the magnitude. All small things add up.

Sometimes all it costs us is a little time, a word, an encouragement. But we have to participate. We cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch. In all things, whether great or small the worth of our entire existence is in the doing, the worthwhile doing, the doing of good. Remember it when you tip your server, or when you give your blood. Think about it when you deal with a family member or a complete stranger. Consider it before you speak, and most certainly before you act.

Tomorrow is World kindness day. Wouldn’t it be a good day to start and just never stop?

Doing Good for Others

We seem to approach problems from the view of a spectator instead of a participant. We always wish “they” would do something to make “things” better. I think what we Americans, we humans should do is to become “doers and not talkers” as someone recently told me.

Maybe in this age, we could become more “getting up and doing physical good versus typing out stuff on social media” I could certainly do more in the real world, and less in this cyber world. Most of the time, what we do in the cyber world doesn’t amount to a cup of warm spit…as the old saying goes. After reading what the former president of Facebook said the other day about Facebook being designed to psychologically trap us all through positive reinforcement of our most basic human desires for recognition, I am bound and determined to spend less time on it. (but I am on it now, aren’t I?) I know that I probably will never totally give it up, because it is just too totally ingrained in our way of life now. I sometimes wish I could go back to 2008, and refuse to participate in it…but it’s too late. Whatever though.

We are what we are, and we do what we do. Most of us will never change, but if we cannot change, perhaps at least we can modify our behavior a little bit. We can put our phones down when we are having a meal with our families. We can go outside and play pitch with our kids, instead of scrolling through Facebook. We can do these little things and live a “normal” life if we just think about it consciously and consistently and make an effort.

It’s not only that though…it’s looking at life from inside the game. Playing with a passion for the good of others no matter the size of the “good” No good deed is to small to do. No good thing is too small to bother with. From petting your puppy to donating a kidney…one is a lesser good, and one is a major life altering event. The only difference is the scale, the magnitude. All small things add up. One of my good friends has a saying that “no good deed goes unpunished” and sometimes I feel that way myself. But, I continue to try. The day that we forget how to try and do good to others is the day we lose our humanity forever. God help us that this does not happen.

Sometimes all it costs us is a very small amount of our time, a word, or a simple encouragement. But we have to participate. We cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch.

In all things, whether great or small the worth of our entire existence is in the doing, the worthwhile doing, the doing of good. This is a follow up to the quote from John Wesley which I published the other day, and it’s so very true.

Remember it when you tip your server, or when you give your blood. Think about it when you deal with a family member or a complete stranger. Consider it before you speak, and most certainly before you act.