Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'm not going to mention him

I rarely see a news report that begins with any other topic than him. But I know that my life, especially my internal emotional life, focuses on what I choose to focus on.  Mindfulness meditation and plenty of research on happiness shows the value of purposely selecting what I think about rather than letting the media companies or the newspapers direct my attention where they think it should go.  

I realize there is good evidence that the planet I live on is getting warmer.  The country I live in is in some turmoil.  It is not too bad.  We aren't facing genuine civil war, most people seem to behave themselves pretty well.  More kids are graduating from high school in the US than ever before. About one third of Americans have a college degree:

General attainment of degrees/diplomas


Age 25 and over

Age 25-29

Some college



Associate and/or bachelor's degree



Bachelor's degree



Master's and/or doctorate and/or professional degree



3 more rows

Educational attainment in the United States - Wikipedia


I used to teach a course on the future and it gave me plenty of chances to learn about the fears of college students.  I remember a student who was worried about volcanic eruptions and geo-thermal heat.  Many were worried about crime or drought or floods.  

You and I both know that we are now alive and that the days we have left are almost certainly getting fewer.  So it seems to me that if we have a limited supply of days, hours and minutes left, we should not allow him or anybody else to monopolize our time.  Well, if it is really a great pleasure to contemplate him or anybody else, go right ahead.  And sure, if you are an appointee with a high level mission, keep at it.  It is your duty to yourself and us all.  However, if you have had quite enough of him for a good while, get a pad and pencil and make a list. I say "No more than 8 or 10 items" but it is your list.  This is a list of things you would like to do or to just think about.  Stars and the universe?  Macbeth?  Getting some new shoes?  The groceries you need?

Pick something from the list and get to work.  Carry out the action or write 100 to 300 words about it.  You can write down what you currently know and/or believe.  You can make a list of questions you would like to have answered.  Then, go ahead with the action or the writing.  In 30 minutes or so, you will have lived without vague fear or nameless dread for a while.  Congratulations!

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