Liberalism

For some years now, the term “liberal” has been equated with all things derogatory.  Liberalism is not an evil thing.  But the idea that liberalism is an evil thing, is an evil thing.

Worthy of note then:

The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. Russel

The business of Liberals is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. –Chesterton

Conservatives usually prefer twin beds, which may contribute to the fact that Canada has more Liberals. Newman

Turnabout is fair play.

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The Dragon

Many lament the world in which they find themselves. Though it is often a world of their own making. They desire the world to be different than it is.  And because it is not, they grieve, and curse both God and men.

If you wish to find peace in this regard, do not lament the story because it has more dragons than princesses.  Ask not for things to be as you wish them to be, but ask for things to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil life.

The dragon has his uses you know.  I am told of a story concerning just such a beast.  It was the knight who asked the dragon “Why do you breathe the fire and scorch the good?”

“I am a dragon,” he replied.  “This is my calling.  DragonHowever, we need not engage ourselves in battle.  Nevertheless, we must find resolution, or we will find ourselves on that familiar stage and we shall bear our grievances in earnest.  You seek to destroy that which I am wont to do and for which cause I was created.  Surely this is not proper.”

And the knight gave great thought this. Straightway the answer was made plain. In return for the knight’s surrender of the possibility of a dragon slaying, the dragon would be allowed to belch his fire, albeit to burn the villager’s waste, preferably on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.  And this the dragon did with great enthusiasm for he had discovered that it was greater to be of value, than to be successful.

You should inherit a propensity to extract every ounce of good in evil.

Adventure

AdventureYour own birth marks the first of many adventures that form the character of your life behavior. Some never venture far beyond that first step.  Ask yourself, “Am I at any moment prepared to sacrifice who I am for what I might become?”

I recall a dear friend in the psychiatric profession who cautioned me when I implored of him that I had a desperate need for security…”There is no such thing as security. Only opportunity.”  This was brought to bear during my first maritime excursion when a friend offered me a deep sea fishing experience.  I was not excited about the prospect of the hunt and became more anxious as we traveled farther from shore.  In retrospect, and in keeping with my friends comments, the operative principle here is that one does not discover new lands without losing site of the shore for some period of time.

Let us then apply this insight. If then you are afraid of the new in exchange for that which you already know, then you will have few new ideas for fear of some of them bearing little fruit.  Yet it is better to have many ideas and have some of them be wrong, than to be always right and have no ideas at all.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable, but is more profitable than a life spent doing nothing–Shaw

The fruit is at the end of the limb.

Have you taken to a hot air balloon flight? Do so.  Para-sailing? Do so. Do you refuse to fly at all out of fear? Climb aboard that lunar barge my friend because though you may fear death in that experience, you are dead already, for a rut is only a grave with the ends removed.  Remember that we have been challenged by Socrates to examine ourselves.  You cannot truly know yourself without risk. Linus, with his blanket in the dryer.

Take the great adventure.  And do so with all your being at once.  It does no good to leap a twenty foot chasm with two ten foot jumps.

Final Comments

 

When the mother goddess approaches you at life’s end, do not find her asking, “Why were you never yourself?”

Many attempt to live up to someone else’s expectations.  What a pity then to face death and have someone else’s life flash before your eyes.

Control Issues

Epictetus, a First Century B.C.E. philosopher advised that ultimately, the only thing withing our own power (control) is our WILL.  Even our own reputation is not within our control. One often speaks of a lack of will power. This is an appropriate term and may well be applied here. It is important to remember that things which are in our control are by nature free and unhindered. This may seem like a contradiction.  And indeed it is a contradiction if you believe that which is free to be in your control and that, for example, what belongs to others, you believe is yours. Remember, that which is truly in your control is your will.  The ability to determine and discern the very things which are and which are not in your control.  If then you wish to be at peace, unhindered, and free, then you will concern yourself only with those things which are truly within your power.  And this answer has been provided for you here. A number of years ago, the artist “Sting” recorded a song entitled “Set Them Free.” Remember some of the lyrics.  Essentially, the chorus of that piece continued a refrain: “If you love somebody, set them free.”  This too is a contradiction for many.  For in matters of love or interaction with others, we frequently have at the core of our relationship, control issues.  If however you wish to be free and unhindered, and not lament your situation, then indeed you must set all things, and people, free, for this is the only means by which you will achieve true happiness.

Knowledge

Due diligence. Always. Research your sources. Take care in your undertakings.  You cannot foresee everything, but you can always foresee something. Err on the side of caution in this regard.  When purchasing a basket of strawberries, it is always profitable to know that the bottom half is sometimes rotten.

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Marriage

MarriageIt may be said with some accuracy that if people continue to marry those whom they do not love, they will invariably continue to love those whom they do not marry.  I’ve been able to maintain many loving realtionships with women by holding fast to this principle. But I am twice blessed, for my wife is also my friend.

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