A Day in the Life

*Sometimes, we just sit and look.

**Why does one person fish from the shore while another chooses a boat? We’ll never know. Decisions are made daily, thousands of them, and we aren’t privy to all the influences, reasons, and personal ideas. And we never will be.

                Something Mr. Albert Einstein wrote that I very much appreciate.  While bringing forth thoughtful understanding to several subjects, including war, solutions to the atomic engineering issues, anti-Semitism, and beliefs, among others, he also realized what he sees doesn’t necessarily mean solutions: in the realm of this world.  I believe the time he spent alone, the time he spent reading and considering, the discussions he had with other intellectuals, are also areas he realized was to him (and them at times) alone.  In other words, what he understood and believed does not spread across the globe as he might have wanted.  For various reasons.  Some are related to past experiences, peer pressure, work surroundings, practical ponderings, fear, anger, hope, thoughtfulness, real-life considerations, alternative beliefs, family, gauging the times we live, and personal motivations along with other ideas.

                Let’s look at this from another perspective.  As one who has read, tried this and that job, I came to realize ways in which anyone can learn anything from the perspective of understanding. In other words, understand a topic first, apply yourself, and each person can do many things. But that only succeeds with choice and motivations along with other reasons and influences.  For instance, I’ve read about electricity, circuitry, and read diagrams, but I’d be bored taking on such a career. So, personal interests and circumstances are part of why we make choices. As such, I explained this to my students in a variety of ways, through a variety of lessons and projects, and taking the time to await opportune moments.  And I realized, what I see will never be what everyone else sees.  And that works in reverse as well. But also, it may be that it’s better we are different, provided we’re responsible. 

                As such, while what Mr. Albert Einstein proposed regarding possible solutions for world peace, it works in theory, but in the real world, we’re talking to people of varied beliefs, experiences, and motivations.  And as I once said, if world peace were possible, then we should also find countries demonstrating the success in singing arm-in-arm around campfires, supporting one another, and happy faces throughout the day.  However, reality rarely matches with theory.

                Now, going back two paragraphs, why will it never be what everyone else sees?  Because little things occurred to me while different things occurred to others.  Some things are significant to me while other things are significant to them.  Our lives are different.  We chase different rabbits. We follow different trails. And some things are so subtle, one has to be very watchful and patient before realization takes place. We have different interests, experiences, and read different books.  As such, we won’t all see eye to eye on everything.  Why is that good?  Because that’s the way of life.  And through people having varied interests, experiences, and outlooks, we can also learn from one another, hopefully in responsible ways.   But I don’t believe we’ll ever have all countries believing the same things. That doesn’t mean we don’t try. But we do our best, communicate, and live life a year at a time.

                For instance, on my own, I doubt I would have ever wanted to learn how to fly.  Oh, I would have been still fascinated by birds and bees, pondering, but I’m not one to venture into the air.  However, because others have and there are training centers, I took the opportunity to learn, and the experience of personal flight was pretty cool.  And that was because of others’ interests and motivations.             

                Albert Einstein, like many thought, observed, pondered, read, researched, and found his ways of describing possible methods of improvement.  While I can see, in a sense through his eyes, why he liked the idea of a world government, I believe wholeheartedly that would be the worst to take place.  It possibly works in his mind, but it doesn’t transfer to everyone. And I have my reasons, as he has his, based upon readings, experiences, and observations. One is that what works very well in theory does not often make it to the practical, everyday world.

                Take anti-Semitism to consider.  I’ve asked this question before.  Why on Earth would people target Jewish people, who comprise a small part of the world?  What could possibly be their reason(s)?  Well, I can only look at a few things, for now, but I think it will make the point.

                In recent days, I’ve noticed a reaction (in myself) to something in the past and present, which I won’t go into here.  I believe it goes back many years, seems subtle, but it’s there just the same.  And I asked myself, why is that reaction in existence?  There’s no logical reason for it, doesn’t help anyone, and certainly I can see a thoughtful answer.  And yet, it still exists, like something apart yet there.  That’s enough for this. I believe others have seen illogical or reactions in themselves they may not be able to explain. Like fear of spiders, which I love watching, or preference to social or to working alone as did Einstein.

                Take any individual who is anti-Semitic, and there will be reasons none of us might understand logically. In fact, I believe an anti-Semitic person could not explain themselves, logic having nothing to do with their feelings.  Einstein alluded to a small percentage of the population, one that can’t possibly defend themselves against a majority.  I’ll stop there.  I thought about that.  And it brought to mind the times I’ve seen stronger people attacking weaker, or higher numbers suppressing smaller numbers.  There is something in “human nature” that often expresses itself in a bully role, and they like it.  In other words, some people like suppressing, attacking, and putting down groups for reasons of their own, but which apparently they enjoy for whatever reason(s). And I’ll wager this: some people find themselves behaving thus without comprehension, some wishing things were different.

                He also alluded to many Jewish people’s love of learning, working to excellence, and making wherever they are better, including business.  And while I appreciate that, not everyone does.  Why? In fact, some people would seek to remove, cast out, and/or destroy those who follow the beat of a different drummer. Why?

                In various working scenarios, I have seen people who like their status quo.  They want things to go a certain way because “things” have always worked out that way.  They don’t want change. However, someone comes along who doesn’t toe the line, who remains themselves, is honest, and finds better ways, and the others are scratching their nails on the chalkboard, gnashing their teeth, and looking for ways to either destroy, get rid of, or suppress.  In other words, they fear excellence, independence, and thoughtful deliberation.  They fear change. They want to be the top of the line, but at a lower level, and keep anyone new down with them.  We’ve all heard of the concept: big fish in a little pond. Some people won’t allow higher quality.

                When I was a teacher, I sometimes met a co-worker who was amazing in certain arenas of education.  So, I observed, listened, and from time to time, asked questions.  I was never threatened by excellence. However, I also noticed others gnashing their teeth, working towards getting rid of that person.  And sometimes, they succeeded.  For myself, I wanted to learn and understand, but also to employ the things I’d learned and understood, for I also knew each instructor was an individual with individual talents, but also that students could learn something different each year: from different instructors.  And I thought, that is good.

                Einstein had some very good and thoughtful ideas.  And many of us have some good and thoughtful ideas.  But I believe, including myself, none of us have all the answers.  Why?  Because there are as many views and ideas as there are people in the world.  And all too many will never listen to any one person who has all the answers.  I guess, we’re not built that way. 

                Here’s one thing I believe.  It’s the heart.  If the heart of a people is good, overall we’ll make better decisions.  But we won’t know what each and every decision will be.  We only believe, overall, they’ll be good, which in the long run, makes for a better country.  And I believe in prayer. The founding fathers understood.

***We can learn so much from what is around us. Patiently.

**It’s a funny thing. The more we age and observe, the less inclined we are towards most or all advertisements. Speak plainly we say.

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