Posts Tagged ‘Perspective’

Just Something To Think About

August 4, 2022

I absolutely understand the pessimism about the current age, especially in those younger than me. I likewise understand why me saying, “It may not be as bad as you think,” is viewed with some disdain because *I* would have viewed that sentiment with disdain when I was younger too.

But here’s the thing . . .

If I’d been right in my thinking about how bad things were when I was younger, we’d all be dead now.

I Know I Did

July 26, 2022

There are times I weary of people bemoaning how “times have changed, and not for the better, because in my day we rode in cars without seatbelts, didn’t wear safety helmets and the like, and we survived!”

Which is true, as far as it goes, but I think most of us went to at least one funeral for those who didn’t.

It Worked For Winston Churchill

April 14, 2022

As I continue to teach my son about the values of patience and perspective, naturally I find my own patience and perspective being regularly tested, and this week has been a particularly challenging one on that front.

So much so that after numerous setbacks I found myself factiously thinking, “Maybe I need to aspire to become a functioning alcoholic because then at least I’d be functioning!”

There’s Also A Life Lesson In That, Come To Think

April 13, 2022

The more someone talks up the gift they say they’re getting for me, the less I’ve learned to expect. This isn’t (just) cynicism, it’s also self-preservation and courtesy because the more I build up the gift in my imagination, the more likely I am going to be unable to conceal my disappointment when the reality doesn’t match it.

“Is That Fair, I Ask You?”

March 31, 2022

Yesterday my son observed that (to paraphrase) it seems like in this world if you do ninety percent right, people will focus on the ten percent you did wrong.

He’s not entirely incorrect, of course (John Wilkes Booth will never be remembered for his acting skills, for instance), but I tried to convey to him that the scale of what you do right and wrong does tend to matter. To do so, I cleaned up (in a sense) an old joke I know:

A traveler was out hiking one day and got completely lost as it started to get dark. Before he lost the light entirely he noticed a finely made fence leading up the hillside. He followed the fence up to an equally well built cottage and knocked on the door.

“Excuse me,” the traveler said to the old man who opened the door. “I hate to bother you, but I’m lost and it’s too dark for me to find my way into town tonight, so could I stay with you until morning?”

“Of course!” the old man said. “I don’t get many visitors these days, so I’d appreciate the company. Did you find me by following the fence leading up here?”

“I did!” the traveler answered. “It’s a very nice fence.”

“I built that fence all by myself, you know,” the old man said with pride. “This cottage too, but never got any credit for it. Do they call me a master carpenter, no they do not!”

“Why is that?” the traveler asked.

“You know how it is,” the old man said with a shrug. “You kill and eat one hiker, and suddenly you’re ‘The Mountainside Strangler’ . . .”

Not Anymore, At Least

March 10, 2022

While I’ll use words like “unnecessary,” “unkind,” and “uncalled for” almost interchangeably depending on the precise sentiment I’m trying to convey, “unforgiveable” isn’t included in that list of near-synonyms for me.

And It’s Always Provided It

February 14, 2022

One of the many reasons I’m still a fan of comic books is because I’ve learned so much from them over the years. Since that may sound odd to you if you think of comics as “funny kiddy books” (an attitude that isn’t as prevalent as it once was, but I doubt it’s died out entirely), let me give you an example:

Some (okay, several . . . okay, many at this point) years back there was a Batman comic (please forgive me for not tracking down the exact issue) that involved a police officer who idealized Batman, and after a trauma he came to believe that he was Batman and started dressing up in the costume and killing criminals. Batman and Robin stopped him in the end, of course, and the real Batman expressed his understanding of the poor guy because (to poorly and inexactly quote from memory) “At the end of the day, who am I but another guy who thinks he’s Batman.”

To this day that still resonates with me, because at the end of the day, who am *I* but another guy who thinks he’s __________.” Over the years I’ve filled in that blank with a variety of words and phrases whenever I’ve needed some perspective.

But On A More Serious Note (Part Four)

February 4, 2022

I’m of two minds on if yesterday was an adequate wrap-up for the topic of the week, or if there’s more that needs to be said.

Actually, that seems rather appropriate.

The topic of suicide, like the act itself, can be a messy, convoluted business, and at the end of the day clear answers and feelings may not be in the cards. (What is it with me and gambling analogies lately?)

I’ve shared a little bit of what has helped me and others through those dark moments, and hopefully that will at least help you find your own reason(s) to live if you need it. Maybe I know you, maybe I don’t . . . but you’re not the first person to have those thoughts, and even if you were, that would still be okay. Life can be hard sometimes.

Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve to live, which is not true, but even if it were, consider this: Pick the worst person you can think of from history, a real monster . . . someone responsible for sickening atrocities that make it hard not to think that the world would have been a better place if they had never been born.

Somebody still loved them, and somebody mourned them and missed them when they were gone. Maybe it was only a single person, and maybe this historical monster didn’t even know that they cared.

But they did. There’s always someone. Always.

Maybe it’s me.

Good luck out there. I’m pulling for you.

But On A More Serious Note (Part Three)

February 3, 2022

And while I like to think that it has been sufficiently clear that my words are the words of someone discussing suicide as a topic, and not the words of someone contemplating committing the act itself, to say it specifically, it’s still on my day planner to outlive you all.

So why am I talking about it?

In part it’s the usual reason, the subject came up in a private conversation recently, so it’s on my mind, and I like to write what’s on my mind.

But more than that, everyone I’ve ever known well has admitted to me they’ve considered suicide at some point in their life, and maybe my sampling is biased (and I’m presuming that *I* am not the common factor in their consideration), but I couldn’t help but notice that everyone who felt able to talk openly on why they were thinking about killing themselves seemed less inclined afterwards to . . . you know, kill themselves. Those that I’ve known that have actually done the deed didn’t talk about it first . . . not with me, at least.

Sampling bias be damned, I consider that significant.

Or The Second, Or The Third . . .

January 6, 2022

“I give up!” my son proclaimed (loudly) while playing a game this morning.

“Forever?” I asked.

“No, just for now,” he answered.

“Good,” I chuckled, “because if I gave up ‘forever’ the first time your mother frustrated me, you wouldn’t be here.”