I’m not too fond of shopping, but I like Kroger

Bird Droppings April 17, 2023
I’m not too fond of shopping, but I like Kroger

About eight years back, I spent nearly a week using ice packs as heat extractors for my computer until getting the fan fixed. It was interesting. Two similar thoughts came to me this morning as I started the day out. One I heard on the radio going to Kroger to get groceries and get gas for my wife’s car, a line from a Tom Petty song, and the other thought is from the Harry Potter books and movies. Almost fifteen years ago today, a new Kroger opened near our house. What a glorious day I found another place where happiness abounds. I think it is mainly because the store was closer and huge and always had good products, and I like to cook, so it was nirvana for me. 

“I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings. Coming down is the hardest thing. Well, some say life will beat you down. Break your heart, steal your crown. So, I’ve started out for God knows where. I guess I’ll know when I get there.” Tom Petty  

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” Professor Dumbledore to Harry in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” by J.K. Rowling

John Dewy advocated for learning through experience and building on past experiences to build future experiences. I can almost apply Petty’s lyrics to education and how we have standardized and bastardized learning teaching to the test. Focusing on war efforts and the constant accumulation of things/wealth in politics seems more important than doing any good. Of course, the philosophy of the ends justifies the means that could be applied. That was the approach when the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo, and some people had the attitude, well, it’s only a pigeon. Sadly, once there were billions of passenger pigeons flying over the forests of the east coast, and yes, it is only a pigeon, except we can never at this time replicate that one; it is gone. A week ago, I was discussing with a former student. Where does it end?

When it is gone, the Alaska wilderness can never be replicated, but if the end justifies it, many people see no problem. About a quarter of the known musk oxen survive in the Alaska wilderness sanctuary. However, as I sat this morning, perhaps a better, brighter thought from J.K. Rowling through Dumbledore’s character: “It is our choices that show who we are.” I wonder how soon Harry Potter books will be classics. Teachers will analyze the plots and develop theories on why Rowling characterized Harry as a boy or teenager and why an owl is his companion versus a weasel or pygmy shrew.

I recall eleventh or twelfth grade English and Ms. Stern and the classic novel “Moby Dick” According to her, the ship represented the world, and Ishmael got stuck on that ship. What was Melville telling us? I always thought it was a great story and history of New England’s whaling industry. I enjoyed the story but not the analysis, and when I wrote my opinion about it being historical in the reference, I was told in large red letters it was wrong, according to Ms. Stern. Many years ago, our choices, not our abilities, were the doctrine. I still think the same about the book and believe Ms. Stern was wrong.

” Ability is of little account without opportunity.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.” Thomas A. Edison

Is it about being at the right place at the right time, or is it our choice? It is also about applying and choosing when opportunity provides a window and the plot thickens.

“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.” Elbert Hubbard

Humility is an added aspect of today’s search; seeing in others that ability is almost an intuitive aspect of humanity.

“The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.” Booker T. Washington

This morning, I checked on my wife, who worked on her computer, fixed her breakfast, and curled up on the recliner. The grandbabies had not gotten up yet, and I would make breakfast shortly. So, I am catching up; I read several emails, posted some baby pictures, and went for a short drive after they left, so now the computer is working. One former student who emailed me spoke of realizing school was nearing the end, graduation was only a few weeks ahead, and now they would have to make a way in life. That same email concerned a friend stationed in the Middle East. Watching the news doesn’t give justice to friends and families with loved ones overseas in harm’s way, as I think again choices we have made. I received an email from my son reminding me to review some emails to remind my wife to proofread and proof his essays—three emails of the seventy genuinely caught my attention.

I started with a Petty quote, which may apply to a graduate and a job search. So many of the following what we do with our lives is our choice, and how the world will see that choice depends on the direction and choices. It is not the ability you will be known for or how great an actor or musician or football player but what you do with your talent is seen. Family is crucial, and friends equally and consistently seek to learn more by reading, writing, thinking, and reflecting.

“If there were no writers, there will be no readers” unknown source

“Choose wisely,” it has been said, and, in the end, some do and some will not. So today, take stock of where you are, look at the road ahead, and pick that path that will direct you where you need to be.

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” Basho

We all look for quick solutions, five-minute abs, six minutes of wisdom, and a one-minute egg in today’s hectic world. Wisdom is not on the stock exchange; it is not a brokered commodity. It is more here now within, and it is a journey. The journey is not easy, and to be involved in finding wisdom, only those who travel that road will genuinely become wise.

“True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.” E. S. Bouton

Several nights ago, I was bored. Justified seemed missing, and I found Darby O’Gill, the Little People, and Star Trek, “Star Trek Insurrection.” The plot revolves around a planet where all is at peace. The few residents, all 600, have forsaken technology for art or literature, for the aesthetics in life, and for all that they can make of themselves. Interestingly a weaver studies for 40 years to become an apprentice and apprentice another 40 to become a master weaver of rugs and tapestries. These people live on a planet whose innate radiation prolongs life and rejuvenates their cellular structure, giving them time to accomplish what is inside them. It sounds so easy when the time allows it.

Daniel Day-Lewis, an actor and now cobbler, took a five-year hiatus from movies to study cobbling (shoemaking) in Europe from the masters. As the Star Trek movie progressed, a comment was made about a perfect moment, a special moment that stands out. Captain Pickard mentioned seeing Earth from space for the first time; many astronauts recall that moment. One morning, it was a sunrise over the Atlantic on Cumberland Island with the waves splashing about and the most brilliant reds and oranges I have ever seen. A shrimp boat slowly moved through this picture, yet the boat was insignificant in its awesomeness.

As Pickard spoke with this woman on this planet of a perfect moment, she offered to learn to make every moment perfect, and the movie continued, and soon he saw a hummingbird flit to a flower or pollen blown from a flower.

“Wisdom is like electricity. There is no permanently wise man, but men capable of wisdom, who, being put into the certain company or other favorable conditions, become wise for a short time, as glasses rubbed acquire electric power for a while.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am intrigued as I read various thoughts on wisdom; for some reason, I am always drawn to Emerson. He was controversial yet perhaps one of the greatest thinkers and poets of his time. He was alluding to wisdom as a temporary entity in his statement. The following quote is an interesting statement from a President who often misunderstood

“Wisdom oftentimes consists of knowing what to do next.” Herbert Hoover

“Wisdom begins at the end.” Daniel Webster

So often spend time simply doing, not seeking; we spend time worrying about which path to travel, preparing our needs for the journey, and worrying about the destination. We forget to go, and there we are, no better or worse, only we are where we were to start. Among all things is the destination, but the destination is not necessarily the end but a point B of line AB, and still, there is C, D, E, and much more. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and thoughts and always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)

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