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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Perspectives

We all know people that are intelligent, but cannot find their way out of a building. I have heard many, many people say of someone "they have no common sense". Intelligence is sometimes defined as the ability to acquire knowledge. Knowledge is really about facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience. Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life and how to implement it.

Here are a few words of what I hope is knowledge tempered by wisdom:

1) Not everyone shares your beliefs or opinions.
2) There are over 7 billion people on this planet. That means there are probably well over a      million beliefs and/or opinions on almost everything.
3) Your beliefs and opinions do not make you right nor them wrong.
4) Others beliefs and opinions do not make them right nor you wrong.
5) Although there are absolutes in both "right" and "wrong" they are much less in number
    than we all imagine.
6) Neither tolerance nor acceptance is approval, nor does it need to be. 

A bit of commentary: Perspective and "common knowledge" is relevant to almost any belief or opinion. Remember it was just over sixty years ago that the "unbreakable" four minute mile was run by a human. Scientists, physicians, and other "experts" had expounded upon how this would never be achieved by a human as it was physically impossible. 

Speaking of "experts" that know better than we common folk, there have been people literally burned at the stake for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun. It was commonly accepted that the Earth was the center of the Universe for more than a millennium. For the same period of time it was "known" that disease was caused by miasma or "bad air". Sick people were bled to cure them as recently as the late 19th century.

As for more "modern" knowledge, how about these: You should not go swimming for thirty minutes after eating as you will cramp up and drown. We only use ten percent of our brains and if we could find a way to access it all we would be super-humans. You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to be healthy. How about the "fact" that the Great Wall of China is visible from space. All of these have been proven false. (if you were not aware of this, sorry - but it's true!)

For 2017 let's try to be tolerant. You do not have to approve or agree with what others believe, but try to accept it. Who knows, they may be proven right one day!

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you all you need and at least a large portion of what you want!! 


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Reindeer Tale

I actually wrote this as a post for Christmas Eve/Christmas, then forgot to actually POST it! So, it was wait until next year or post it now. 

Most of us have heard of the "famous" reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen; and of course Rudolf TRR. But, have you ever thought about the other reindeer?

I happen to have obtained some information on another one - Marvin.

Marvin was another reindeer along the same designs as Rudolf - a bit of an outcast. However, he had no redeeming physical quality like a red shiny nose. He also was not liked by the other reindeer, you know - no reindeer games, etc., etc. He spent most of his young reindeer life trying to win the admiration, friendship, and/or affection of the other reindeer with almost reckless abandon. But, to no avail. Reindeer can be quite clique-ish and quite judgmental. Once shunned it is almost impossible to reintegrate into reindeer society without the Big Man's endorsement. Marvin had seen Rudolf's success and so wanted it for himself.

Marvin tried working on his flight tactics. He would fly around doing different stunts and maneuvers, but eventually realized he did not have the skills of a Comet or Donner. He was devastated. To help alleviate his loneliness he started hanging out with the elves and around the Claus's house more and more. When the Head Elf, Bernard, would come out Marvin was right there. "Looking good today Bernard! Are you getting taller? Anything I can do for you?" 
Marvin was always there trying to become fast friends with Bernard. 

As gregarious and accommodating as Marvin was with Bernard, he was even more so with the Clauses. "Good Morning Mrs. Claus" he would shout out as she was working at breakfast. "Lovely day isn't it?" Then inching over to the door he would poke his reindeer snout in and ask "Anything you need today? I am here to help." Then there was usually a comment like "My, my, Mrs. Claus I think you are getting younger every day!" or similar. "Where is the Boss, by the way?" 

With a booming "Ho, Ho, Ho" Santa would arrive in the kitchen for his breakfast. Marvin was right on it - "Good Morning, Santa! How are you? I'm not sure what it is, but something Mrs. Claus cooked up smells wonderful! I think you are in for a great breakfast!" Santa just looked back with a "good morning Marvin". "How can I help today Santa? I am here for you." Marvin would always ask. "Just let me eat in peace Marvin". Santa would reply. "Yes, sir! In peace it is. Just let me know what I can do. I will be right out here sir!"

Later, in the workshop Marvin would be right off Santa's shoulder. If Santa was reviewing the toys and gifts, Marvin was listening and observing it all. If Santa liked a gift, Marvin would expound upon its wonder. If Santa had a negative comment, Marvin would shake his head and tell Bernard that he could probably do better. He was always there with a comment and an offer to help. "Can I get you some hot cocoa Boss? Tea? I am here for you. Don't overdo it!" When lunch came Marvin said "Let me fly up to the house and get it for you Santa. Just sit right here. I will be right back."

This kind of behavior was not good for Marvin's acceptance by the other reindeer, and in fact was really hurting his standing with the elves as well. That just made Marvin double down on his efforts with Santa. He was on the spot with a drink, a comment, or a supporting role as best he could. 

There is more to this story, but I will address it later. By the way, you may have guessed it by now but as stated above, Marvin was not a red-nosed reindeer as was Rudolf. He was Marvin the brown-nosed reindeer; and would be forever known as such.