Posts Tagged ‘philosophy


Four-Way Stop Signs

There is no better place to observe the instantaneous social understanding between two people than a deduction of the behavior exhibited at a four-way stop sign.  In just less than half-a-second each respective observer evaluates, computes, decides, trusts and shows gratitude.

Evaluation in the speed that the other car is traveling – “are they stopping? Will she stop? Nice car, but not as nice as mine.  She’s cute, but only a 7 from where I’m sitting.  The demeanor of her face states an ease that should be expected on a sunny sunday morning such as this – nowhere to go in a hurry, just driving from A to B in her cute little three-year-old white Acura.”

“She’ll stop, you can go,” my sub-conscience tells my right foot as the computation makes way to decision from the evaluation of her speed and the demeanor of her face and my foot listens pivoting downward on the gas and my truck and I accelerate forward as she stationarily passes me on the right, even amidst her stopping at her sign as self-predicted a quarter-second prior.

I look.  She looks. We lock eyes and mine rotate upwards ever-so-slightly saying, “Preciate-cha.”  And I continue on to the B for which I am destined and so does she.

And she, certainly, in that same blink of time went through the same process of evaluation, computation, decision, trust and gratitude – ‘red octagonal sign with the letters S-T-O-P indicates the necessity to remove right foot from right peddle, transfer horizontally to the left to the adjacent peddle to which the right foot should then rotate downward at a pressure appropriate to decrease the velocity of my car so as to fit like a glove just before the wide painted white line that is perpendicularly oriented adjacent to the aforementioned sign.  As there is a good looking guy in a red truck beginning to accelerate, I should come to a complete stop and look at him prior to re-accelerating forward.’

This morning, in this brief encounter, the 7 in the white acura and I shared an instantaneous mutual understanding of how to each exist in the moments associated with stopping and going at a four-way stop sign.  The experience is one of many that are typical and so crucial to each of our respective existence and, in this case, the well-being of our respective vehicles.  These are the momentary processes that makeup the DNA of the rest of our respective days, to our whole lives up until now and also the lives of those whom we each know and, to an exponentially decreasing degree, the lives of those whom we do not know but whom know the ones that we do know.

Far beyond the complexity of Google or of cellular telephones or the putting of a man on the moon is the ability of the human mind to quickly process and react to such seemingly insignificant daily social connections, which in every way map the history of Man in respect to the Micro and also the Macro.

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Do More Now.



The most important thing in life is not sex, love, nor rock and roll; it’s companionship.  It’s not power nor wealth of fine things, good stories nor an appreciation of expensive wines; it is the friends we make and keep or maybe even just know for a short season but appreciate in a single airplane conversation or over dinner or on the other side of a cash register.

It’s the age-old question; ‘If a tree falls in the forest and no one was around, did the tree fall?’  Or was it just always laying there lifeless on the ground with no roots and no reach.

Every now and then I meet people like this.  People who seem to have been perpetually lying to the whole face of their world or merely lying there in it, tucked back there deep beneath a warm blanket; fetally comatose  with their arms wrapped across their ears as if guarding against a grizzly bear who seeks to crush their skull and drag them back to his cave for a later-in-the-day consumption.

It makes me sad to think of these rich-poor people who fear real life with the rest of us.  And we’ve all been there a time or two.  Too lazy to make conversation.  Too selfish to listen.  Too scared to keep searching.

But believe me, we’ve gotta fight off that great big bare feeling of loneliness because it just isn’t so; that is if you have the gumption to dare to be yourself away from that island desert cave in which you may otherwise find refuge.

” The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.” Amelia Earheart

Make connections with your world.  Within every conversation, there is a transaction of life.

Do More Now…




In the last few months at my new job working as the sole “sales guy” for an international painting company I’ve had the privilege of spending a lot of time with several Brits who’ve been over in a regular rotation.  Mostly driven by simple Golden Rule humanity and nudged with a smidge of self-motivated corporate politicalness, I’ve taken it upon myself to guide them through the staple pieces of what it is I know to be American culture. At lunch, we eat Five Guys. At dinner, we drink Bud and eat bloody red steak and gravy-filled mashed potatoes. Last week me and this old chap went to a Monday Night Football game. While the game was terrible as the Jags lost greatly in a slow, boring fashion, it being his first “real football” game, The Brit had a huge time and so did I.  My fun, if nothing else, was in respect to the enjoyment I found in accompanying the introduction of positive experience to others – kind of like watching a toddler blow bubbles as their face, full of excitement, re-introduces the significance of the given act to you.  It was a real blast explaining the game of football and thinking on the otherwise obvious little intricacies of the game and on the way people treat one another or how and why we cheer or boo one team or the other and once you start to see bubbles you notice all of them in their wondrous enormity.
But it was what he mentioned a few days later as we sipped down a Thai Red Curry that has caused me to re-evaluate the importance of that big-little word which is this post’s title. He said, and I paraphrase in an italicized english accent, ‘I really appreciate the way everyone stood at attention during the singing of the national anthem. Even the little kids who were sitting next to us behaved and sang. They knew every word. In the U.K., if we were at a futball match and the national anthem were played, as much as thirty percent of the crowd wouldn’t have even stood from their seat. As a former serviceman, I really appreciated that.’

Even now, that really gets to me.  Why wouldn’t a citizen take pride enough in their country to honor its flag and stand by its side even when the goin gets tough?  Why not cry for My Country Tiss of Thee?  Why not be the first in line to kick some Iraqi-Nazi-Communist butt?

Patriotism, per Wiki, was first used in the Elizibethan era as a term for “fellow countrymen”.   Since then, it has been stretched and molded to become a punchline to draft servicemen.  Still, it is the glue that binds nations and states of minds to prejudices and labor unions and it may be most apparent at Barbecue engulfed tailgate parking lots outside college football games.

(And I’ve come to enjoy watching the fans at the football games almost as much as the game itself – the colors and the fashion show; the songs and the elaborate pageantry and the flags and mascots and all the hoopla; the worship of entertainers and contempt of the striped-shirted whistleblowers, but only if not in your favor; the expert conversations of monday morning quarterbacks and how separation makes way to cohesion as the painted-face little girls and boys smile-down comfort-burgers as big as their heads and how these collaborations around ideas bring us together on cool orange and brown leaved days)

But Why Patriotism?

Understanding that there are many possible explanations, I assert that Patriotism, in all of it’s many forms, is the manner by which we connect with the world through eachother.  It is like a great big hug and there is much warmth therein that keeps us through the cold times and we are drawn in as if a kid who stares at the bubbles that blow in the wind and hover for awhile and until they inevitably pop.  The adult in is thus discouraged in the midst of this earthshattering, lifechanging exposion.  Yet the kid in us knows that it was just a bubble, and he’ll just dip and lightly whoooo’s the wand again, certain that this one will be different, because wait till next year, we will rise, we will make things right this time, because we will never fail to begin.

Begin again and don’t ever lose the wonder and faith of the kid within,

Do More Now.

My Previous Vocabulary.

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