Lifeview Reflection

LifeviewNow its time for the second part of the “Designing your Life” exercises. The first was about Workview; now…”Life”


REMEMBER, this is “my” exercise. My answers are not right or wrong. They are just how I view my world. The questions are designed to have any answer each person chooses to give; then reflect on the answers as its own learning experience. I also took an quick advance peek in the book. What comes next is to examine how one’s Lifeview may connect to the Workview for the same individual.

Why are we here?

No clue. I think it is much better to just accept that we are, and start creating some meaning and answer to the “why”–that is what humans have done throughout our known history. The results have been a real mixed bag of good and evil. I am hoping the meaning I create, or find, will be “better” as my life moves forward. Since I am not exactly a spring chicken, this becomes even more important, because time does not stop for us to find out why we are here–it just moves on.

What is the meaning or purpose of life?

We cannot be sure that there is “a” purpose–maybe many; maybe none, and life just “is”.   I heard the following phrase is written in some form in the Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism. Though I am not certain of the source, I believe the words to be simple and responsive to this question. Leave the world better than we have found it; that is our purpose. I cannot find a better answer to why we are here. Anything beyond that will have no practical meaning, and I for one want to give some meaning to the world I came to before I leave it.

What is the relationship between the individual and others?

The different answers to this question have created every variation of society we know, or will create in the future. It has affected every aspect of our lives; especially our view of “wealth and economy”, and “spiritual” world views. I am among those who believe we are all connected together; including the animals, trees, even the stones and the earth we thread on. This means we are each equally an “individual”, but not, and we are each “everything there is”, but not.

I still pray though not quite sure if it has, or needs to have, a specific intended audience. I do it to satisfy a need that feels personal and has to be attended to. So, I make up my own prayers. My favorite one is, “I am no one, I am nothing; I am everyone, I am everything”. I think it grounds me in humility of always knowing hubris is evil, but we are all the most important thing that has ever lived, or ever will. We are each a link in a delicate and boundless chain-mail; we each hold part of the fabric of life together.

Where do, family, country, and the rest of the world fit in?

Family is about “love” and maybe “loyalty”; country is about “contribution, co-existence, social values, and moving the society forward to a better place constantly”, the rest of the world, I do not see as separate from my family or “country”. I have had more than one country in my lifetime. I have come to honestly feel like I belong to the world, while I value and promote the “living and evolving” nation-state. As a species we are not ready for Star Trek’s version of a unified planet yet, and so we have to protect the pockets and seats that represent our best human values in politics, civil freedoms, forms of government that answer to the people, inclusion of all humanity for what they know, do, and contribute, and not what they look like or color of their skin; diversity means fostering the peaceful and steady evolution of the humanity, promoting environmental protection and upholding value of the life of other species; and that includes trees, plankton, as well as that ugly cat in the neighborhood that needs some food and kindness when you can deliver it.

What is good, and what is evil?

As a student of ethics among other subjects, I would answer that “good and evil” are both distinct and discrete, like “right” and “wrong”, but connected by nature; and if we were to use a visual depiction to show this, it would look like a ring–half dark and half bright, but without either half you would not have a complete ring.

As sentient beings, when born humans are incapable of  starting life as “good” or “evil” and do not know “right” from “wrong”. But, are each individually capable of both. How do we know “good” from “evil”?How doe we learn about them? That is a much better question. Our personal, familial, and societal values differ depending on the variables that place us physically in the world–somewhere. Thankfully, it seems, like the idea of “God”–even as we struggle, accept, or reject that concept in so many way–our better values are somehow hard-wired into our very existence. But, so are the seeds of evil. Unless we foster and “cultivate good stuff”, evil may fill the vacuum.

Is there a higher power, God, or something transcendent, and if so, what impact does this have on your life?

I do not know. Today I definitely think there is not “a” God–in that singular way it has been expressed in the most popular monotheist religions. When I say I do not know, I mean to describe this general lack of knowledge of whether existence came from “nothing”, and knowing that nothing is still something–something awesome and great I have noticed too–although my mind cannot describe it in my human ways. I have decided to leave that question alone. Not that I did not struggle with it, and did not spend years adhering to it in one form or another. But, in the end I have decided I do not need to believe in a “God” to struggle with learning what is “good” and “bad”. That should be enough–no matter if there is a God, or not. I just want to leave this world better than I have found it. Is that not as godly as anything can be?

What is the role of joy, sorrow, justice, injustice, love, peace, and strife in life?

Meaning. What ties all expressions of our existence together is our extreme need to find meaning, and our worst fear is the opposite being true. I choose to believe this life is here to allow us give meaning to the world we observe and reflect on.

Vernal Equinox: Spring is here…

There are two days in any year when the day and night are equal in time; perfect equilibrium of dark and light. The moment this happens is called an “Equinox”. The one that occurs right between winter and spring, is scientifically known as the “Vernal Equinox”

I have always called it “NoRooz”, two words, “New” and “Day”. Happy Spring! For over at least 3000 years so many people, in one way or another, in the open or in secret, have celebrated it. “Happy Spring Peeps! Happy Nowruz” This is one new year event that makes some scientific sense to me at least; even as I love all “new year” celebrations.

ver·nal e·qui·nox
ˈvərnl ˈekwəˌnäks,ˈēkwəˌnäks,ˈekwēˌnäks/
noun: vernal equinox; plural noun: vernal equinoxes
  1. the equinox in spring, on about March 20 in the northern hemisphere and September 22 in the southern hemisphere.
    • Astronomy
      the equinox in March.
    • Astronomy
      another term for First Point of Aries (see Aries)

You Reap What You Sow

DT1567Say you take about twenty-five (25) years and just tolerate innocent ignorance.

Say you realize the innocent are ignorant and try gently to move them in another direction after you have cuddled and protected them for many years. When you try, you will find out it is a tad bit too late. For a quarter century you allowed the “ignorant” system to take root and foster its growth. The resistance you will face will be ferocious, illogical, emotional and very strong.

This will cost you….personally. They will misunderstand you. They will think of you as a “know it all” who wants to teach them a lesson they do not need to learn–an “elite”; maybe even a “coastal elite”. It will cause distance between you and some of them, and those who sympathize with them, even as you love them individually. It will not be pleasant.

I have no idea if this is worth the price. I do know it is a price I have to pay, because my very nature says to …”do something!”…and I always do. I wish I knew how to have done it when it would have had more of a real effect.

I was going to quote the Bible here, but after I read what was available, I decided it was all fostering “ignorance”.




My Workview Reflection


I am in the midst of reading and exercising “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. It is intended to literally help you design the life you want “now”, which may change from time to time. As it opines, the life you want is not the same when you are a teenager, a working young adult, and later if you are lucky enough to be an “empty-nester”.

I have reinvented my life several times; sometimes moving from a place of fear; sometimes ambition, and always because I wanted to–it was a decision. Taking risks to overcome your fears requires embracing them and squeezing them to death. Chasing ambition is not a sin when it is done with good and worthy intentions. Change takes courage, unless it is hoisted upon you, which it often is. But, if we learn that reflection is helpful, as opposed to obsession, then we can have some control over how our life might change.

I am reflecting on whether I know enough about my own life to redesign it again. I would never say one last time, because I know that is foolish. Once you have gotten used to knowing and acting on a desire to change and better yourself in any way, you know that so long as you are alive, some change is always feasible.

Reading the book on designing your life I thought would be appropriate, because as a lifelong learner, and a teacher, I am always open to someone teaching me the ropes in something I want to take on that will save me time and trouble. It is time well invested. Either at the end of this book I will say wow, I knew all of this already (Fat chance!), which means I will be free to make my own plans as I always have. Or, it might teach me how to go about my next re-design armed with some new knowledge and a tool box I did not have before (much more likely outcome).

I am not sure if I will do these exercises from the book in public. But, if I think I want to, I might post them. This one I am about to do is “Workview Reflection”–off to exercise peeps!

The Unbearable Lightness of Writing a Great and Readable History Book

I like that title. Among other invocations [e.g. The Unbearable Lightness of Being] it points to an invasion we are experiencing right now noticed by many; ignored by some, and celebrated by enough people who have never known the past, or have forgotten it. The story happens in and around the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, which outraged many, but not enough to do much about it. It was tolerated or ignored otherwise for decades. If you do not have time to read the book, then try to find the movie and watch it. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This statement over time so repeated has turned into a cliché’ and a truism. But, it is simply true. Human civilization pretends to be established and enduring. But, as a species, including the age of the oldest bones ever recognized to be human-like, we have had the equivalent history of a fruit fly’s life span on this planet compared to the actual age of this Earth.

There are too many who yet cannot remember the past, and have no idea it matters. Those who donot remember the past, can drag us down the same rotten path over and over again. You want a more accurate picture of what human history has entailed? Then be lucky enough to get a copy of Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and read it; especially the foreword that explains why he wrote this book.

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian 

Silk Roads cover

Daylight savings: what if Autumn never comes back again?


It is 11:05pm…in less than an hour we will all lose an hour; that absurd concept that no longer serves a purpose anyone can clearly articulate. I am sufficiently annoyed and motivated at once about writing and so it is a good time to start this blog.

Above is all I could manage to write last night before I went to bed. Had to wake up very early; in fact planned on waking at 5:30am and take one of the cars to have the tires rotated. Since the time was already changed as a result of DST, it means when the alarm woke me it was–or would have been–4:30am, if it was yesterday. But, in our “homo sapiens” way we contort, try to bend and manipulate everything; including time. So, the place I woke up to told me it was 5:30am. Where did that one hour go? No one knows and no one really bothers to ask. This is mainly because we “think” we get it back when fall comes around next time and we “fall back” on the DST and get an “extra hour”. How is that an extra hour? It is something that was taken away, and someone–benevolently gives it back to us like a gift? Did we really have it though if it never came to pass? Makes no sense. Even more of concern is what happens if one dies before next fall season? Would one ever get that one lost hour back?

It took me about an hour to set up this blog and likely more to think up and draft this first post. What is the point? Life itself is the point; nothing else is really there. For some reason I decided my time was well spent in doing this–that is all.