I didn’t grow up with Jimmy Stewart, but appreciated him throughout the years.
Sometimes I think we miss out on some things in our youth so we can appreciate them later in life. Jimmy Stewart’s movies were among them. In my youth, I don’t think I ever saw one of his movies, including “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Don’t think I ever saw a John Wayne Movie either.
With time, I have been appreciative of his range, including the fact he served in the military while pursuing acting. Movies like “Flight of the Phoenix”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” “Rear Window,” “The Spirit of St. Louis,” “Harvey,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Vertigo,” and “The Shootist,” are among many he played, often real history lessons within those films.
I kind of liken it to “discovering” Louis Lamour books, late into a career, realizing the range of this author, also incorporating real life experiences and true history within the context of stories. Once I found those books, I realized I had plenty to keep me reading for years, then probably, after reading them all, starting over again.
Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series was kind of like that, but I must say that many writers of the past seem to have something today’s do not. But I can read both.
With Jimmy Stewart, we can rewatch each year, appreciate, perhaps some in book form, all the while learning something of real value. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, at the time, taught me much of politics within the construct of the story, but that got me reading and learning, asking questions. He is a man I would have liked to meet.
Regarding the picture above, “Flight of the Phoenix,” I believe it was one of his best acting roles, but also, the cast did a great job of creating a serious story and the way people react under enormously difficult circumstances. Some history and principles within the construct of an excellent story, I’ve watched it at least three times in its entirety. While my brain picks apart the mechanical problems addressed, the story as a whole relates to the world we live in today.
**One thing I like is without today’s “special effects,” far more effort went into script, story, and relationships.
If you knew exactly when the universe began, how it started, and the way the energy turned into particles, then a long way to stars, planets, and solar systems. If you understood how the entire planet sustains life, how the inner planet works together with the surface and above, the sun and other elements working together in an amazing dance of cooperation. If you could do the mathematics necessary to calculate colonizing Mars, even forming an atmosphere, then the necessary machines to house and feed colonies indefinitely. If you could create cybernetic shells such that you would never get another disease of any kind, then purchase an island of your own with all the cars and whatever. If you could do all this and more… what’s the point?
The happiest and most at peace people I know worry not, want not, and live a day at a time.
How much we’ve learned from real life experiences.
Thinking outside the box, in the real world.
The first book I read decades ago, I think sometime after lessons at the university, but also after teaching riding at three summer camps. While I always had a kind of “instinct” around animals, his books put the words to the music, opening a world of understanding. Actually, understanding horses helps understanding dogs, cats, even people, reading the signs present.
I think both Monty Roberts, the Horse Whisperer, and Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, from early in life, naturally noticed the world around them. We get to be the fortunate recipients of their work and reflections.
Animals, as I understand, read others’ energy and manners. It’s a sort of language to them. I’ve noticed often people have lost this skill. Learning to “read” people often opens doors of understanding but also averts problems one might not “see” just with ideas. Reading people.
This is from an older blog. After rereading the first book, perhaps after the second, I probably will have more to add, but I wanted to share something to encourage people who have considered riding to do so. There’s something about horseback riding, if one is listening, that opens doors of understanding. Horses, in their own language, are always talking, in a sense. But they are animals, with feelings and their own understanding. And they read people.
I think it was when a “friend”, who had a three-year-old, asked if I could train his horse. I said “yes.” I had never before trained any horse, but that wasn’t his question. He just asked if I could, and I knew I could. Had little idea how that was going to happen. But I was grateful for the prospect in training. I also knew that I had to do a good job because he was giving me a great opportunity. I think I learned more from the horse than I taught.
Here’s a short retelling. I came to his farm, I believe on a Saturday, and met the horse (with him). I stood with him (the horse) for a time, then got a lead rope to bring it to the fence. Petting, talking, grooming, and eventually cleaning the hooves. Nothing much. Just simple. Later, putting a pad and saddle on the back, just to let it get used to the pressure. Somewhere between that day and the next, I eventually tightened the saddle. Funny, when I would put the pad on, then went to get the saddle, he’d pull the pad off. Yes, they have a sense of humor. **Working with horses at summer camp helped.
From that to eventually sitting on him, with the rope still tied to the fence, then sitting for ten minutes, finally releasing the rope, which at that point, I thought he might buck. Having never before been ridden, what could I know? But thankfully, he just stood there, and after another ten minutes, I got him to walk around the arena.
My biggest lesson, which happened on another day, was when I attempted to lunge him. Since we didn’t have a round arena, just a large rectangular area, he kept running away. I guess he didn’t understand, dragging me through the mud a couple of times, which I then learned to let go.
Scratching my head, a farm hand happened by (I think he was enjoying my discomfort.) and suggested the tiny barn. Well, in that tiny barn, he had nowhere to go, so he would go around me. However, each time we tried it outside, he’d run away again. A thousand pound animal is much stronger than me. However, I was patient. I even talked to him. For some reason, after several tries, I think the next day, out in the open arena, he started going around me. I was actually lunging the horse without a rope! I didn’t know that could happen. I even learned how to get him to turn around and go the other way, just by how I stood and hand/arm language. We were working together.
I got a little from Monty Roberts’ book, but I learned, after that day, to more carefully listen to this horse. He was talking. I just needed to listen better. He was cooperating with me, might have tried before, but I was finally realizing there were two “creatures” in that arena (a human and a horse), and we were talking to one another. He was saying, I want to work with you but I don’t yet like that rope for lunging. Well, if he would lunge without the rope, I gathered we didn’t need it.
From that point forward, we progressed to walking, trotting, cantering, even galloping, to walking backwards, sideways, to opening a gate while sitting atop. I was patient. I “learned” from him to show rather than expect. Whatever I was attempting to do, which a book helped, I “showed” him, rewarding him for doing good, even if he just move an inch in the right direction. Through patience, understanding, talking, movement, petting, and direction, he was getting what this newby wanted to do. And I was learning from him.
All that took about two weeks, going out for an hour maybe three days a week. I went in without a clue, but came away having learned a lot, and the owner now had a horse he could ride.
***Here’s a take: to truly learn, one has to listen to the horse, learn its “language”, and sense energy, but also be mindful on one’s own energy and intentions/language. This is so with dogs and other animals. But one benefit, as I see it, is learning to read people. without words. I wonder, if people were more mindful of themselves and others, if we might better communicate?
I remember the last time I looked at a leaf. Amazing creation. Beautiful and looks simple. Yet a complex maze of pathways, design, and cooperation, all parts working together. From a simple looking seed, all the information needed to produce a large tree and these wonderful leaves. But something else. It’s alive. No scientist can fully comprehend. None of us can.
Then, consider a single-cell, far smaller than a leaf. The simplest of life forms. Yet, as scientists have discovered, far more complex than the laptops and desktop computers we type into at home. Far more complex than super computers. Every part working together. The skin or outer boundary knows what to allow in and what to keep out, even sending out and is itself an intricate system. The organelles all cooperating, working under the nucleus instructions, billions of molecules of information, all formed to provide present and future plans. An entire city of work. And alive, something scientists do not fully understand, nor can.
If someone asked me do I believe man could cause global warming, could cause any climate change much less dangerous climate change, or even raise the temperature one degree, I would be embarrassed to even try. What do I know? All I know is what I observe, have calculated, read, and listened to, many times to scientists with the same questions and more. They (the honest ones) don’t know so how could little ole me comprehend the immensity?
Scientists don’t even know how a leaf exists, but more so how it grows from a dead seed (Lifeless while unplanted and unwatered, sometimes saved in packets for years.). Scientists don’t know how a single cell knows what to do, nor how it is alive. They can record the happenings but not the how.
The question then is, how can anyone, including bloggers, have an inkling of an idea regarding political propaganda? How can anyone say, without doubt, that humans can cause global anything? And if we see they (some politicians and bought out scientists) “lie,” or “misinform” the public about such things, how can we trust them about anything else? We have to think for ourselves, but also, realize our own inadequacies regarding such topics. We’re not that smart. We know some things, but can appreciate the incredible world. But if we are honest, then we admit some things are outside our comprehension, but continued study and research can be enjoyable and fascinating. A leaf is fascinating.
***A last note: Before anyone could state that humans cause global warming, I would ask them to explain how a leaf is alive, grows, or knows how to be. Then, I would ask them about single cells. If they cannot explain how a seed becomes a leaf, but also, how it has life, or how a single cell could possibly form by pure happenstance, though scientists know this to be impossible, then how can they understand the planet? If one can’t explain the proportionally much smaller, how the far more complex?
Listen, watch, observe, and be patient, even with yourself.
We can all talk and understand, but not always coming from the same place. As one said, we may be speaking English (or whatever language you use), but we’re not always speaking the same language. I have found this to be true wherever we travel.
Here’s something, from a different angle, that I considered while reading a book in which Lt. Colonel Oliver North returned to Viet Nam, many years after the war ended, working together with others to the benefit of that country and people. He related some of the interactions with government officials, business owners, and others, which to me, was quite eye-opening, but also, heartening.
While reading this book, of which I am nearer the end, I thought about some of his thoughts regarding Communism, its implementation and various forms, but also the perceptions and usage by people for their own reasons and purposes. Then, while they were visiting a museum of sorts, I believe it was a guide he talked with. He disagreed with some of the words, and so asked a guide, if she actually believed what she was saying. Her response got me thinking. She said something akin to: It doesn’t matter what I think. It’s what I was told to say. I pondered a moment, then thought, that’s it! There are tons of people that say things because of job requirement, peer pressure, family pressure, and political pressure. So many have received inoculations because of these pressures, then rationalized their actions, now forced to encourage others or realize they lied to themselves.
For years, I taught in public schools, adding quality lessons and projects where I knew the worsening curriculums and practices were not very useful in preparing our youth to succeed tomorrow. But I think, to some degree (I can never completely know another person or their mind, but I can witness where they are at that time and what they say.), others had various reasons for becoming teachers, but I must add, not for the purposes of truly preparing the students for tomorrow: at least, not in my mind, as they should. I must add here that I don’t think my methods of teaching are the only way, but in fact, as with my students and in writing, I’ve always encourage others to think for themselves, but with responsibility. For I can learn from another quality teacher, perhaps adding their expertise to my experience, hopefully to the benefit of the students.
But I pondered upon what that guide in the book said to Lt. Colonel Oliver North. It explained so much. It may explain why some of my family, some of my former friends, and some others I’ve known, are propagandized. I suppose it happens with doctors, nurses, police, psychologists, the guy at the seven-eleven type store, and elsewhere. They stop thinking for themselves. They stop following the rabbit of reason down the trail of understanding, if they ever had. They go along with whatever direction is most popular and prevalent. And of course, there are various degrees of this. Some go along, and against their understanding out of fear, need for work, not wanting to be alone in the world, and so forth. Then, some, by leading the propaganda bandwagon, they become popular, liked, loved, appreciated, but knowing all along they’re not honest. But some have no problems with that. For awhile, at least.
If I say, there are two types of people: those who follow the rabbit of reason and those who are propagandized, I would be doing like so many lazy authors who just are looking to be popular. Can’t do that. Why? Because I haven’t met everyone. Also, some people, I can see they’re confused, some doing the best they can within their lives, but surrounded by pressure, perhaps of their own making, but perhaps they can’t yet get out. So, they have to talk the “party line.” Like the guide who told Mr. Oliver North. Remember, when asked if she believed in her presentation, she replied with something akin to: It doesn’t matter what I believe. This is what I was told to say.
This brought up so many memories. I’ll share a few in quick speed: 1) While at a coffee shop, three or four ladies all talked the same as the leader, one more so, getting brownie buttons from “the leader”, but nothing they said held much water. But I could see the “following”, master to her followers. 2) At one school, while talking with a fellow teacher about the “money” we were getting “extra,” I explained that I didn’t need all of mine and perhaps we can return it to the taxpayers. She said, we should spend it so we’ll get more. Later, she indicated getting all the money we can because we have to get “ours,” or some such words. After all, she indicated, everybody does that. And that was one of our teachers. 3) While talking with a man wearing a mask, clearly upset, I asked him, saying: “You do know the virus is just another flu, don’t you.” He nodded, but as his wife was directing, I gathered from what he said, he had to go along. *That thinking was later supplemented by another man saying the same thing: He didn’t believe in the vaccine, but got it because of the family and social pressure. **I guess we’ll see what Novak Djokovic does. If he doesn’t get the vaccine, they will destroy his name. “They” have to because one free thinker is too much for them. That’s a message to you and me. 4) Remember Natan Shiransky? He was the man from the former Soviet Union who had finally emigrated to Israel with his family after nine years in the Gulag. He mentioned three types of people (He did a good job, generalizing I believe, but also knowing variations on the theme.): those who blindly and truly believe, those who go along but are in conflict, and those who always follow understanding.
That’s what we’re seeing today. I must add, I do find following the rabbit of reason down the trail of understanding difficult at times, but what choice have I. I asked to understand. But I also, in observing, seen my own errors. That’s for me to learn. But many are not willing to follow the rabbit, perhaps even blaming the rabbit when he gets them into difficulties. Some people want to follow understanding only so long as things are prosperous, friends are a plenty, and their money is ever-flowing. Then, there are those who have always been honest, that to them being the only way. Then, there are variations on the theme.
But there’s something else. Money. Power. Popularity. Gain. Being in on the crowd and more. You may never really know someone until a road block occurs. Yes. A best friend. Perhaps. But until…. Like teachers who go along with horrific curriculums, a terrible socializing of students, and self-talk about how they’re doing their best within difficult circumstances, but in reality, they’re not good at anything else, it’s about the money and retirement, but also medical benefits. They’re in denial. They may be doing the best they can, but they’re not willing to follow the rabbit all the way. Or a man who becomes president but stands for absolutely nothing, a complete puppet, maybe because he’s owned by all the past favors, but also, so he can be in the history books. A huge price tag. We hope he’ll wake up.
What we’re seeing today, with all the pressures regarding global warming, hate speech and crimes, ant-capitalism, injections and masks, and more is all about transforming your mind. But they know they have to completely change you. They have to demoralize you. Yes. They have to separate you from what you know and love in your heart, truly. Thankfully, I believe, more and more people are awakening, some who have always been awake are sharing, and the obviousness of what’s been happening, including to a great tennis player, is shining a strong light of understanding. And as the propagandists use the media, politics, and the internet, so do people who see and understand the mess. Never give up. Keep following the rabbit of reason down the trail of understanding. Be honest with yourselves. Only time will tell.
***One more thing. People develop incredible escape clauses and excuses. But here’s what I believe a wonderful thing. No one gets away from what is real and honest. It’s always with you, every step of the way, whether you follow or not, but it’s there to be followed.
The look to understand. To see without a separate lens.
Unblocking the mind from propaganda training. Seeing clear.
Who is safer to ride? Those who are untrained, perhaps unthinking and careless, or those who appreciate, learn, and train? Of course, the answer is obvious. Training, whether to become a fireman, help patients, race cars, or participate in other sports always benefits.
I was very fortunate to attend a university with a horse riding program, then took full advantage, helping with shows as well. Later, teaching at summer camps, I appreciated more the lessons.
For the purposes of education and understanding, we bring the importance of our second amendment rights, though it always seems, the blogging world appears afraid. I suppose, the political “pressure”, though online, is a gravitational force of opinion. But I gather that makes it ever more important to properly “educate”, “notify,” but certainly, to get readers thinking for themselves. Above is a training session picture.
Guns never harm. I have seen many firearms at dealers and they never once harmed anyone. Here are stats, in the real-world, which I believe was reported by the CDC for 2019:
Accidental Deaths per 100,000 people.
Pedestrian Accidents: 2.21
Unintentional strike: 0.24
You’re safer in a world armed than in a world riding bicycles, sitting in the home, or driving. Yet, we don’t see ads, sports figures, and politicians taking our bicycles away, keeping us from walking, and setting laws to get us out of our cars.
I personally have never known anyone who harmed another with firearms. Never. Not one. Some, I’ve known or know, carry, some hunt, some take part in competitions, and others just have for protection, and no one has ever been harmed. But they’ve known those harmed by the other means above and more. Always follow the rabbit of reason.
To think for ourselves. To make understanding common. To encourage comprehension for a brighte future. To prepare the next generation for a safer tomorrow. To keep our country safe.
Sometimes, the story is ongoing, full of things we’ll never see, but still can appreciate.
Driving to a canyon the other day, pondering upon a check engine light, which I think I’ve since repaired, but time will tell, I looked up at some beautiful mountains. Interesting how sometimes, what you look at, have looked at numerous times, you suddenly see in a different light. I wasn’t thinking anything. Just the drive, where I was going, maybe a coming hike, the check engine light, and the scenery. Those mountains have been there a long time, and they’ll be there a long time after people I know have gone on, myself included. For some reason, that put a smile on my face.
After a while, I pondered, if we didn’t worry about this and that, didn’t try to “fix” a planet that doesn’t need help, didn’t try to fix others when we keep forgetting to look at ourselves, didn’t try to keep Novak from playing tennis to pressure him into giving up his principles, didn’t try to solve other people’s problems, but each country worked out its own difficulties (I’m being rhetorical, not socialist. Of course we should help others become free or maintain freedom.), and thought more of others than ourselves (Perhaps, we all need to work on that one.), the mountains would forever be standing there, the Grand Canyon would continue to amaze passerbies, and the clouds would continue with the rivers running from up high down to the oceans. As if we weren’t there, thoughts and all. Those beautiful mountains, without worry, faithfully going on, proving food and shelter for many of the denizens. They live on….
That reminded me of something a relative once said, when my peers and I were quite young. No one will help you. Okay, okay. What does that mean? Of course, parents care for you while you’re young, and sometimes or often, good friends lend a hand, and when stranded, someone stops to give you a lift or call AAA. Also, and I have seen this, when you really need help, even if you’re not looking, someone happens by. But I have pondered if the “idea” of looking for help, reading self-help books (I looked at one once, for 2 minutes, then put it back. Can’t remember the title. That was decades ago.), doesn’t create more difficulties then they solve. Just a pondering. But often, it seems to bear out. I have noticed that people so busy in helping or getting help don’t seem happy. Almost like, outside their “problems,” real or self-created, they don’t know what to do with themselves.
Two people I know, have known, who live day to day, and I can’t imagine them worrying or reading self-help books, have always seemed at peace. Not saying they didn’t have difficulties. Quite the contrary. I’ve heard of some very difficult times. But they seemed to keep going forward, not dwelling on the past (Still remembering, of course.), and talked about things in the present. Something to ponder.
One president drug up all the cockroaches out from hiding. We get to see it all….
Right now, the fans have more say. Do we realize?
Perhaps the greatest men’s singles tennis player in the world (I still think John MacEnroe is the best all-around.), Novak is not playing having been prevented for reasons I don’t fully understand, but I have some very good guesses. I think, and readers can confirm, that he has not taken the vaccine, but follows all protocals to prevent getting the virus, but also to prevent others from getting this flu virus. Thus far, if I have this correct, he is very conscious of taking care of himself, and his family, but has felt the vaccine is not in his best interest. And guess what? He’s denied access to a major, perhaps more. Some “rules” were utilized to keep him away. Are we seeing the puppet masters at work? I believe so.
I will probably have to revamp this article later, but when I heard the news, following him and Rafael Nadal, knowing Rodger Federer and these two have done somethings perhaps never to be duplicated, I had to say something.
Everyone knows their years are winding down. And if I have my antennae right, Rafael may become the best ever, Novak being denied because he wants the “choice” over his health. If Rafael, because of being vaccinated (and he was so supportive of the vaccine mandates), gets the prize of being the best, he’ll always know what happened. Is it fair to both men? To the fans? The question is whether Novak will continue to follow what he knows is right in his heart, or go along to get along and perhaps win the big prize, caving to political pressures, but at a cost to himself. That’s a big question.
But it’s a continuing message to you and me. Why? Because we stand apart: thinking for ourselves, unwilling or unable to stop thinking for ourselves. And it’s very important that we encourage others to be truly free,, responsible, and always follow the rabbit of reason down the trail of understanding. We want people to cooperate, but never against what is true and important. Parents have this to do in raising their children. Teachers, well, I don’t think any “good” teachers exist in public propaganda education camps anymore because of the vetting process, weeding out honest and responsible, well-educated instructors, but perhaps in private and other arenas…. Good teachers have it to do in properly raising awarenes and providing quality lessons without putting too much of their own rhetoric in them, unless the information is honest, heartfelt, true to American principles and our constitution. Others have it to do by being true to themselves, thus able to be true to others, and then, by example and words, provide for others what real freedom looks like.
To those who haven’t, you may be doing yourself, and others, a favor to read Natan Shiransky’s book, “Fear no Evil.” This is a very good and decent man, having been through everything, yet never forgetting his family and those he worked so hard to free. It is because of men and women like him and Andrei Sakharov, among many others, that so many are free today. I hope Novak has the time to read his book.
I don’t want to say too much, here, hoping that people read and listen to his words: the words he actually spoke, but also knowing the context. There are plenty of sources, many easy to download. Personally, I listened to his “taped” speeches (some) and read a couple books with his speeches, then read some writings about this man.
While growing up, it never occurred to me that people looked at each other different depending upon how they looked. Never thought about it. My parents never said anything. I just saw people. Looking back, I realized I experienced bullying, usually when we moved to a new place and we were the “new” people in town, and partly because of “appearances”, but I won’t go into that here. I just thought that some people in the world were mean, bullies, and that was that. They get too far into your space, then out comes the fist. To some degree, I think I was fortunate to think that way. It’s not a race or group against me. It’s always individuals. So, if I like or dislike a person, it’s that person that I like or don’t like. Even if people sometimes act in groups, a puppet master goading, it’s still individuals allowing themselves to be used as bullies or otherwise. We all make individual choices.
I cannot realistically think that race is good, bad, or otherwise, because it’s always up to individuals making individual choices. Yes, it can and has become more difficult within “groups” (Notice the quotation marks.) because, I suppose, we can become subject to pressures within our own “groups” to think a certain way. But again, it got that way from individuals choosing not to stand on their own principles: Principles that are good.
But from time to time, we do see individuals standing on principles, like Ghandi, Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Junior, and many others, including Lt. Colonel Oliver North recently posted. And they remind us that we can, but often, will be targets of those who don’t know how to think for themselves.
I think, in part, some resent those who do stand on real principles because they make them look bad, because they don’t know how to be honestly independent.
As I grew up, I realized the world is filled with problems, but also there are those that can never rest until they create world-wide problems. We see many in Washington, but unfortunately, they know how to co-opt people’s minds, take over their wills, and change what truly is to what they want people to think, for their own agendas. The vaccines are a great example of how easy it is to propagandize an entire people, even countries, and cause divisions, which I believe has always been their intent, distracting us, getting us to worry and struggle against each other while they fulfill their real plans. You have to think outside the box to realize what I, and others, are saying. Those masks are just markers: easy to scan markers to see who doesn’t think for themselves.
Again, I strongly encourage people to read Martin Luther King Junior’s own works, listen to his speeches, and learn the real history surrounding as best you can. I’ve been reading a few blogs regarding this man, watched some commercials, and listened to some sports people, but what I’m seeing are a ton of people who really don’t understand him, don’t understand what he stood for, nor comprehend the simplicity of his messages. The media, politicians, some sports people, and many others are twisting his words through rhetoric, messaging, actions, and programs. They either don’t understand Mr. King’s words, or don’t want to, following an agenda which does not promote equality and compassion, but something far different.
But it’s worse than just that: Many are using his words of peace and freedom to create divisions, resentments, hates, and struggles. Many of them actually are racists and hate, wanting others to hate.
We’ll end there. What I believe Mr. King wanted was fairness for all. People treating each other with respect and honor, but also expecting responsibility and honesty. And yes, a marriage is between one man and one woman, raising children with love and morality.