Saturday, November 27, 2010

Persistence of Vision

Sometimes one gets locked into a way of thinking. Happens to a greater degree as one begins to age. By the time you are over the hill, your thoughts become ossified. Sometimes when I spend some time with a bottle of red wine, I examine my preconceptions.

Sometimes this is fruitful. Sometimes not. One thing I am certain about though, is that this exercise is the only certain way to allow you to navigate an uncertain world. We are constantly deluged by a wave of facts and opinions. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain which is which. It is only through a ruthless and thoughtful culling of our thoughts and goals that we can find our way.

But it seems that this kind of behavior is getting to be increasingly rare. I am having greater difficulty do this essential function as I grow older and more intellectually ossified. I would posit that, as a culture, the collective ability to perform this critical self-evaluation is becoming vanishingly small. I think that this deficit is keyed to the fact that few, if any, of us has ever made a decision with serious consequences.

Oh, we will talk about how tough we have had it, but the truth of the matter is that the greater bulk of us have ever had anything but the good life. We complain bitterly about our lot in life, but the worst that has ever happened to any of us is that we had to take a job and a lifestyle lower on the bragging chain than what we would have preferred.

 There have been astonishingly few people in America starving to death, for the most part the homeless situation is under control. Crime is relatively low. But I think now the decisions are coming with greater and greater consequences. The worst part of the problem is that what appeared to be a good decision in the golden past may have devastating negative repercussions when the rules of the society change.

 There are a lot of folks out there with big, fancy houses and nice that will find that their decisions in an uncertain future may have serious negative consequences. Decisions made in during the reign of a previous world-view have lots and lots of freight attached to them. Many times, with a little work, the decisions can be made good. But it takes constant vigilance to do so, along with a healthy dose of self-examination


Mayberry said...

It is definitely time to re-examine one's perceptions and priorities. Unfortunately, most refuse to do so. It will be their undoing...

russell1200 said...

Having just finished the book Methland, I am not sure I would agree with your hypothesis that everything is just fine.

Having worked out in the field in construction many years, I can assure you that there is a whole other america out there that people don't even know exists.

Its not the the same as reality TV cop shows, but it has that flavor. Combine in the pay-check to pay-check living of many people while their wages are slowly eaten up by inflation and you are getting there.