Tuesday, March 26, 2013

If Only (To My Daughter)

Rooch, some day -- maybe in twenty years, maybe tomorrow -- you will have these thoughts.

If only I could go back.

If only I could go back, I would know how blessed I really was back then.
If only I could go back to that old underground house, where the bathroom needed fixing and the lawn needed mowing.
If only I could go back, I would still have Tyler and Serenity in their bedrooms at night.
If only I could go back, I would still have Mom and Dad a couple of miles away.
If only I could go back, I would still have my church, where my family owned a pew and ate lunch together after the sermon.
If only I could go back, I would still have that sink full of dishes and all those dirty clothes.
If only I could go back, I would still have Terry, who only half-way got things fixed.
If only I could go back, I would appreciate how blessed I really was.
If only I could go back, I wouldn't waste a precious moment being depressed, unhappy, or dissatisfied.
If only I could go back, I would laugh with my family every day.
If only I could go back, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff -- and it was all small stuff.

But, I can't go back, no matter how many tears I shed. Dad knew, and now I do too -- what we wish we could change today, is often what we wish we had back tomorrow.

If only I knew today what I'll know tomorrow:

I would cherish today with Tyler and Serenity.
I would cherish today with Mom and Dad.
I would cherish today with Terry.
I would cherish today with Jesse.
I would cherish today with Snow Hill Baptist Church.
I would cherish today, even with all its warts -- because it's a blessed time.
I would cherish today, because it so quickly becomes tomorrow.
I would cherish today, because tomorrow I will say,

If only I could go back.

Sheeple vs. Alphas

Here is a quote from Albert Einstein that I like:

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

Frankly, watching sheeple unthinkingly respect authority irritates the heck out of me. It’s even worse when sheeple are put in authority over me, make stupid rules, and expect me to conform to them. It is the nature of sheeple to cluster together and value conformity far more than individuality. It’s what predicts how people will vote. It’s arguably safer for the (short-term) survival of our species, however changes are seldom made and new truths are seldom promoted by sheeple. They may mumble and grumble about inequities, but it’s only those who are less governed by peer pressure and respect for authority who lead the charge. We call such personalities Alphas. But, God is wise. Sheeple far outnumber Alphas. A world filled with a majority of Alphas would probably self-destruct in a week.

It’s not easy being an Alpha. In the minority, Alphas often lose friends (and sometimes family). They tend to worry excessively and grow large adrenals. Alphas are quick to battle for truth (as they see it), but Alphas should pick their battles carefully. Truth can breed fear and hatred when it calls for change. A difficult, but important lesson for an Alpha to learn is found in a French proverb that states:

When one has one's hand full of truth, it is not always wise to open it.

Because, as Robert Brault notes:

In the end, who among us does not choose to be a little less right -- to be a little less lonely.

And one final goodie from William James:

The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

It’s winning the war that matters, not the battles.

The Not Us

The "not us" will either be inconsequential or a primal, instinctive threat that must be reduced to a non-threat by subjection, assimilation, or elimination.