Wednesday, September 01, 2021

One Day at a Time

 While planning for the future is good, looking too far ahead often gets one in trouble.  It is better to think that what works well in the present, provides the stepping stone to the future -- and so one must ensure that is done as well as possible.  Otherwise, one gets too far ahead of themselves, and is often tripped up.

Those are the words of wisdom embodied in the advice to build one's house on a solid foundation -- lest the slightest shift in the winds of fortune, blow one away.  Then, if one runs out of time and money, those coming after them, can continue to build on what one left behind -- as their legacy.

Not to think in this manner, means the next generation will always have to start from scratch, repeating the same mistakes of every previous generation -- and so it is lamented that history only repeats itself, rather than building on the previous generation's work and knowledge.  In that way, some cultures pull ahead, while many others remain in the Stone Age -- casting rocks as the only thing they know to do.  Implied in that, is the fierce struggle to get to the top, but once there, they have no idea what to do but to keep everyone else down so they cannot get ahead of them.  That is the proverbial zero-sum game in which there can only be one winner, and everybody else must be losers -- and there is no greater meaning and purpose beyond that.

We know that as the life in the worst of conditions -- where nobody can go to sleep comfortable and confident in knowing that when they awaken again, they will still have everything they went to sleep with -- and not that everything can be taken from them at every moment.  That is the fierce struggle for survival among many of the beasts of the world -- as well as a few cultures that must die out for that lack of planning for that secure and prosperous future.

That is what culture is: the foundation upon which everyone else can proceed on further.  It need not be perfect, but it is at least a start in the right direction, and if it turns out to be the wrong direction, it is recognized as that rather than erased from memory.  A written record of being wrong, is often as valuable as no record of being right -- and how we got there.  It is a paper trail -- of what we did right, as well as what we did wrong -- and not merely keeping the right, and erasing the wrong -- to make ourselves seem infallible.  The process is every bit as important as the solution -- and by that, we know how to discover that again -- each time we need to.  But merely holding the answer, tells us nothing about how to get there again -- if we lose it, or lose our way.

So much for knowing all the answers -- but not knowing how to get there.  The truth of any matter is not discovered once for all time -- but is rediscovered each time, and even refined and improved in each iteration.  That is the process of evolution -- and not the countless, unvarying repetition for ages.  That is not an accurate portrait of reality.  Every person doing something, adds a little bit to the process -- whether they realize it or not.  It may be their lack of understanding, as well as greater insight.

And so life turns out differently -- for everyone of us.  So to believe everyone will have the same outcomes in life, shows a real lack of understanding of anything.  That is to believe that one can just do anything, and the results will be the same -- but that is how many think, and that is the sorrow in the world.  

When people no longer get the desired results from what they are doing, it is not that doing all the right things no longer works -- but quite obviously, that they are not doing what they think they are doing.  In observing people presumably doing the same thing, the astute observer will notice right off, that is not the same thing -- or anything.  That frequently occurs when a person loads a bar with so much weight, they can do very little -- if anything with it.  Eventually, they just get injured -- to no beneficial effect.  In fact, that might be the pivotal event which signals the end to all further doing.

Before that happens, one is better advised to go back to the simplest of beginnings -- which was when good things began to happen -- and when they strayed from those foundations, bad things began to happen -- even while they think they were still doing the same thing.  Or just as bad, to get no results -- which leads them to the futility of all further efforts, and any connection of cause and effect.  They merely hope for the next miracle drug -- the next panacea.  Life is beyond their control.


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