We all start out in life as self-centered beings. It's a necessity to survival. Problem is, in our current culture, we too often fail to grow out of this sense of entitlement. If we want it, we should have it. We believe the world owes us. Not true. But it happens all the time — this belief that the universe revolves around us. Thinking and considering and acting on our personal desires and feelings before considering the needs of others. It's the culture in which we live. It's the culture we've created. It happens when every kid gets a participation medal.
We all want to be rich. I know I do and I'll be the first to admit it. But I'm not sure my definition of "rich" fits with traditional thinking. When you describe someone as rich, you are typically not talking about their fat content. That's reserved for rich foods like triple-chocolate, salted-caramel hot-lava cake. When we say someone is rich, we are not saying they are fat — we are saying they have lots of money.
They nearly literally come from nothing — or so it seems. And then they multiply. You might start the week with just a few and end it with a proverbial swarm. They're officially called drosophila melanogaster; it's a big name for an itty bitty bit of an ordinary fruit fly. I've always thought of them as nuisances that fetch a free ride home on my bananas but it turns out they have serious scientific significance. That's because drosophila melanogaster and humans have many of the same genes — a whopping 60 percent. Shocking, I know!
We all need a happy place, or at the very least can benefit from one — or a dozen. Take your pick. You don't have to limit yourself to just one happy place. Go ahead; grab a few. They're free! A happy place doesn't have to be a place, per se, but it can be. It is a state of mind sometimes brought on by a physical location, but it can be achieved by any number of conditions: country music, classical music, hard rock, a lullaby, complete silence.
Humans are united by common bonds. We might be tempted or maybe better put inclined to focus on differences, but we are all united in the human condition and we share more common experiences than we might realize (or even want to admit).
How are you? What's up? What's new? How about this crazy hot (cold, rainy, dry) weather we've been having? Have a great day! Small talk. We've all participated in the chatter, often not even thinking about what we're saying. It's rote communication. Blah, blah, blah. But what do people mean — really — when they engage in this routine conversation? And what do they expect as a response?
It was dead, or nearly so. A massive maple tree that had marked the seasons and passing of time for twice as long as most humans grace the earth. Each spring his buds reminded us of life anew. He'd sheltered us from the intense summer sun and gave a brilliant colorful display each autumn. He stood strong and steady during the frigid winter months.
My husband and I recently indulged in a couple of days away as a couple to celebrate our anniversary. When we partake on such expeditions, which isn't often, we both understand the significance of the outcome. That is, the outcome upon returning home to a house inhabited by our three sons — some official adults, some nearly so.
It's one of the first things new parents do after counting to make sure there are 10 fingers and 10 toes: They name the baby. Names are chosen carefully and with great attention to detail. What sort of mean nicknames could kids in the schoolyard find to taunt little Dicky with? Will a weird spelling haunt a kid for life? Does the name of choice rhyme with any swear words? Do initials spell out anything with negative connotations? Will the name make a smooth transition from childhood to adult life? So much to contemplate.
Look around — they're everywhere. Not smartphones, but they frequently work in partnership, like Fred and Wilma but in a less caveperson style. People wear them on the wrist like people used to wear watches, which they are, but that's just the tip of the flintstone, dear friend.