Do You Wear A Pocket Protector

֎ ​​ I remember as a young man​​ only buying shirts with two pockets on them. ​​ The reason was that in one I had a pocket protector with several pens stuck in it and the other was used for​​ notes, or whatever else I accumulated during a normal day at the office. I think you can tell how complex a person’s life is by how many shirt pockets he has. Mostly, my shirts are minus any pockets. Occasionally, when I have to dress-up, my shirt will have a pocket on it, but most of the time there is not a shirt pocket to be seen. ​​ I have seen men wearing pants without any hip pockets on them, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet. ​​ I guess I could do that because most of the time I carry one credit card, my driver’s license and a $20 bill in the case that I use for my cellphone. ​​ I doubt most women could do that, my wife could overhaul a car engine with the stuff she carries around in her handbag. ​​ Heck, my daughter has to rent a forklift to carry the bag she carries around. ​​ She has a keyring with about 50 keys on it and she can identify the purpose of only 5 of them. But, then again, I’m guessing most of us have keys in our possession that we have no idea of what they open. ​​ If shirt pockets are indicative of a complex man, then it stands to reason that a shirt with no pockets belong to a guy without a worry in the world. ​​ In other words, a simple guy, with a simple, uncomplicated life. ​​ I wanna be that guy! ​​ I have made up my mind! From now on I only want shirts with no pockets! ​​ Katherine Gerould said, “The real drawback to the simple life is that it is not simple. ​​ If you are living it, you positively can do nothing else.” ​​ Isn’t that Just great? ​​ Now I have to come up with another plan.

 

 

֎​​ "The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is."

​​ - Desiderius Erasmus

I am certainly inclined to agree with that quote. ​​ We have all heard that, “happiness is the journey, not the destination”, and I also feel that is true. ​​ But, I kinda like the first quote best. ​​ I was 48 years old and, as a supervisor, felt I was qualified to be the next manager of our department. ​​ Instead, someone else was brought in to be the manager and I was distraught. ​​ After several weeks of worrying about my situation,​​ a miraculous thing happened! ​​ Without me being aware of it, the ambition that sweltered deep inside of me​​ disappeared. ​​ I didn’t immediately realize what had happened,​​ but I felt a sense of calm spread within me,​​ and I knew that something had changed. ​​ Eventually, it became apparent to me that the inner peace was a result of me accepting that I would never become the manager. ​​ Careers seldom turn out the way we plan​​ and that’s when you have to accept your fate and be at peace with who you are and​​ what you have accomplished. ​​ Maybe, you didn’t achieve all you wanted​​ but, perhaps, you got a lot of it done, enough that you can be happy. ​​ That’s what happened with me, I was ready to be the person that I was. ​​ John Cowper said, “Ambition is the grand​​ enemy of all peace”. ​​ Hmmm, wish I had said that.​​ 

 

֎​​ "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward."

​​ - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Up until a few years ago,​​ I considered myself a conservative. ​​ But as I have grown older,​​ I became aware that I should help those less fortunate than I. ​​ What brought that about, I think, is observing those around me, giving and helping without expectations of those efforts being responded to in-kind. ​​ I believe that selfishness​​ may be the one part of our DNA that we can change. ​​ To make that change does not require surgery, drugs, or a sit-down with the Dalai Lama. ​​ Empathy is easily acquired if you realize your life is great because you have been blessed with great opportunities​​ that others have not been exposed to. ​​ 

I think that as a conservative I believed everyone had the same opportunities and only some accepted the challenge and made a good effort to put them to full use. In other words, the beggar was homeless & jobless because he was shiftless and lazy. ​​ All the while acknowledging that laziness is the hardest darn human affliction to overcome. Have I become a Liberal? ​​ I think not. I believe that I’m somewhere between the two ideologies: ​​ wanting others to work for what they have, and realizing that bad things happen to good people and that I should help when possible. ​​ I want to tell old Franklin that, yes, I still think I am a​​ conservative,​​ and I constantly strive to put one foot in front of the other​​ 😊.  ​​ ​​​​ 

 

֎ ​​​​ A couple of​​ weeks ago,​​ we were warned by many weather forecasters that hurricane Florence was headed across the Atlantic Ocean, making a beeline straight for the east coast of the USA. Needless to say, we watched it closely as it approached our shore and, at some point, the 140-mile-wide cone they drew of its path​​ included us. ​​ We were inside the cone by a very small margin. Finally, it was predicted to come ashore within 4 days and many areas were warned to evacuate. I prayed many times for the Lord to spare us, but​​ in the meantime, we started bringing everything inside that could be blown, or floated away (we are 12 feet above sea level). A Category 5 storm would bring devastation. ​​ I called and made motel reservations for four nights at an inland area city about 2½​​ hours away. ​​ As we retired for the night I told my wife that the radar showed the storm had shifted a little south (away from us) and we were now slightly outside the cone. That gave us a small amount of relief. ​​ The next morning​​ we arose early,​​ and I dashed (sort of) down the hall, booted up my PC and went directly to the weather radar and the graphic showing the storm’s projected path. ​​ It told us that the storm had shifted a little farther to the south, so we were a little more removed from the cone. ​​ I​​ waited until noon, watching carefully, and then called the motel and cancelled the reservations. ​​ Sure enough, the storm came ashore​​ in North Carolina​​ as predicted (away from us) and has ruined many, many lives and destroyed so much property. ​​ We have close friends in some​​ of the areas that were almost annihilated and it didn’t take long for me to realize that by asking The Lord to spare us, I had unconsciously asked him to shift the storm away from us onto someone else. Needless to say, I have walked around for many days feeling guilty for making such a request. I guess that I have to believe God made the decision on his own, without regard to my pleas, and that he thinks I place too much credit to my imploringness.

Alex Carrel said, “Each individual thinks himself the center of the world. Nothing seems more important to us than our own existence.” ​​ Sadly, I believe that sometimes it is true. I just have to remember the next time I make a request​​ to include the caveat that if that would shift misfortune to others that he denies my plea.  ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

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