This will be short and to the point. I’ve referenced Pinocchio before. There’s a very important message there, and I wonder how much Walt Disney knew how hard he hit the nail on the head.
In the movie, Pinocchio, in not following the words of his “maker,” the clock maker, and his conscience (Jiminey Cricket), who wanted the best for him, he found himself with a lot of other kids/teens that were rebelling against what they also knew was right. And as they listened to the wrong voices, the wrong “influences”, it became more difficult to do what was right. They were “becoming” part of a different life. A wrong life.
In the movie, something I didn’t catch in my youth (I wished I had.), these kids/teens were turning into donkeys. The more lost they became, the less they could talk, and probably, understand. There’s another term, and it starts with Jack…, but I don’t want to distract. But that was the point. They were travelling the road of destruction. And that, I believe, was the message Walt Disney shared.
It’s kind of like this, as I understand. It’s where your heart is. It’s a daily walk. What choice do you make, daily? Is having a nice car more important than honesty with your family? Is having more, even top quality health insurance, more important than telling the truth? It’s a choice. All of life is. Daily. And with most, perhaps all, prayer. I believe, prayer is part of the road. But that is for each person to discover. I am just one person.
While fishing today, and not catching anything, and grateful to be outside enjoying the fresh air, I was thinking about how lives are so very different depending upon where people live, but also how they view their lives. And what seems like little to some, is plenty to others, and what seems like a lot to others, not so much with some social circles. I suppose, that has a lot to do with opinions and priorities, and how people share their time. But I didn’t want to get into all that. I was thinking of something more singular.
Andrei Sakharov, some might say, was Russia’s equivalent, or peer, to our Einstein. In his memoires, he takes you down the road to becoming a nuclear physicist, working together with other scientists, developing nuclear weapons that their country would not live in fear of other nuclear powers. And he shares some of his (and others’) thoughts, the weighing of purpose and meaning, but also the life of being a scientist in the former Soviet Union. And I found it, let’s say, very interesting, even a “culture shock or twinge” in seeing, as best I could by reading a book (meaning, not very well), how others viewed their circumstances. How they described their lives. How what they thought about.
In the former Soviet Union, and perhaps it’s still that way in many places in Russia, a family having two rooms and sharing a bathroom with another family would be a luxury. Andrei, his wife, and their children, often had only one room to live. For some time, they were living in a building with (I believe) five to eight other families, and sharing the bathroom was a necessity. They lived with difficulty in obtaining vegetables, and learned to live with less, and often walking was the method of travel. For them, passing through a house’s hallway with other families was quite common. Being around people all of the time, the norm. In some periods of his life, Andrei’s study (where he worked at home) was in the same room as the family. Sometimes, they had a second room, and that was shared as well.
There’s no way I am going to be able to “paint” a picture of this in the reader’s minds, but one day, perhaps in the years ahead, I will read the book again, and perhaps then I will have better words to frame understanding of how I perceived day to day living. But for now, I will just say, they were often a happy people, but how they perceived material things, family, and the social was very much unlike how I’ve become accustomed. But I also think, in many ways, though they were living a communist existence, within their lives, they learned what was more and most important. As I understand, to them, family was everything, and friendships were lifelong. And of course, Andrei Sakharov, who had known Natan Shiransky, helping the latter’s fight in the gulag, had worked for a democratic Russia, speaking up for human rights, including the rights of emigration.
I don’t remember, in strong details, but I do have impressions. I was thinking about the money he earned. While fishing, it occurred to me that our grade school teachers probably earned more than Andrei Sakharov as a top nuclear physicist, perhaps. For how he described the foods and clothing they could afford, how they lived, left certain impressions upon me. But there’s something else. He saved money. Somehow, while being married, his wife taking care of the home and their first child, he was saving, spending very little for himself. I imagine, for when they would need the money. And, after his first wife had passed away, when he wasn’t quite himself, he gave a lot of it away to charity.
At the time I read that, I was thinking, here’s a man, a top nuclear physicist, having no car, and was still thinking of other people, how he could help them. From his experience, from the world he saw all around him, having two rooms in a building was more than enough for their family. In fact, by many Soviet citizens of those days, it was quite extravagant. And I believe, working hundred hour weeks was not uncommon. For in his time, doing all you can for a cause was common. When he had the time, he helped others, also working to bring freedom to communism.
The reason for this article is perspective. I know of people who watch their retirement, watch their 401 Ks, watch their savings while diversifying, and watch all they have. Now, having said that, I am a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution, know capitalism is the means of success and independence, and know that the rich people are the ones providing jobs in a free country. No one asks a homeless person for a job. Government doesn’t know how to create real jobs: they can only take money from others, then use money they haven’t earned to create jobs that don’t improve an economy. There’s a real reason for that, but I won’t go into that here.
I have met people who have plenty, some rich, and they live thoughtful, hardworking lives, some creating jobs, and some giving to “real” charities, not the politically correct stuff. And I have met people, who are financially well off, but miserable. I gathered from this, early in my life, perspective is everything.
But, I encourage people to read Andre’s memoires. I think the perspective and his experiences might bring awareness of values many have forgotten. While communism is a terrible and horrific system, and we see efforts to turn America into that, there are those within the suffering that learned lessons of life that are above their circumstances. And no, I would never encourage causing suffering that people might learn. Far be it from me to even suggest that. But we can learn from the experiences of others, as they shared in books. We can learn that what is happening, via the media and thought police, and all those medicare commercials designed to get you living in fear of health problems, led to what others stopped in their countries on the way to better circumstances. Many of those in former communist circumstances are wondering how we don’t see what we’re throwing away in this country: our freedoms and opportunities.
But the biggest thing, I got from the book, his memoires, was perspective and importance.
For all of humanity, every time we understand something, anything, more questions arise. I remember a good question: what is at the end of the universe? Or: What is the universe expanding into? Or: What is nothing? Then, there are cells and atoms to explain.
Regarding getting to the end of the universe, which many scientists explain is speeding away faster than we’ll ever travel (perhaps), some are indicating the universe is circular (I haven’t really read much on that.), meaning how we conceive of things is not as they are, so we might not even be asking the right questions.
But I will share something of an observation, and this is for readers and true scientists alike. If you lived a thousand years, you would never understand a fraction, not even a millionth, of all there is to know. In fact, you don’t even know yourself, fully, if much. For all of psychologists’ efforts, they do not understand the human condition. Perhaps, some have parts, but it’s still ongoing. What they have are some observations, and have seen what they see as “successes” from treatment, but they don’t even know if the treatment is really a treatment, just a short-term treatment, or a distraction of false hope. I have to say this, even if some are offended, because there’s nothing wrong with talking with a psychologist, as a couple people I know do, but I see something wrong in believing the other person has your answers. Perhaps, in talking, you will have “ah haaa” moments, and those might get your on your way. But you’ll still have the rest of your life to live, and you can’t live waiting for answers. Only you can find them, if you do. But be patient. Many pray and find their answers. Over time.
I watched a commercial about a psychological drug that helps with depression. One phrase went something like, while we don’t fully understand how this works…. Also, there were side effects, some dangerous. You are not just a jumble of atoms and cells. You are not a computer. No one can push these buttons, tweak these wires, or enter these functions, and all is well. Can you get some help. Yes. In the short run. But no psychologist or psychiatrist has all of your answers.
Life is an adventure, but there are things, I believe, we are to learn (or unlearn) along the way.
**One more thing. Some of the happiest, well-adjusted people, who’ve had full lives, are the one’s not spending their days figuring it all out. That’s not even a consideration for them. Yes, they ponder from time to time, but they live their lives daily.
Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words. To those who don’t follow the rabbit of reason down the trail of understanding, you are living like the man above. To those who allow others, even experts, to make their decisions, you are living like the man above. To those who don’t take personal responsibility for your own decisions, you’re not following the breadcrumbs of reality.
This is how the propagandized, the puppets of propaganda, think. They actually “think” without thinking. They feel intelligent because the puppet masters have lobotomized them into buying cr#p as real.
Never do I ask others to believe me. Never. I speak or write, then tell you it’s on you to discover whether I hold any real information. I remember a couple of times when a couple young people told me they agreed with what I had said. I asked them why? I explained, unless they can see it for themselves, they don’t really understand or agree with me. They must learn to think for themselves, and not because I said so, but because they realize it.
If you don’t think for yourselves, I mean, really ponder and follow the trail of understanding, this is how they see you. And they’re right, for your not demonstrating real thought.
Though these single cells look simple, they are incredibly complex, all parts like little computers, working together with other little computers, under and over-riding complex programming far superior to super-computers. No scientist(s), in the most elaborate laboratories, with all the research, super-computers, and materials available, can cause one of these to happen. By principle, they can not happen on their own.
Now, outside your imagination and science fiction books and movies, attempt to prove, even demonstrate, how in the world the first picture can become the second. Eyes. Ears. Heart. Liver. Gall Bladder. Skeletal system. Balance. Etc. Remember, for the first cell to become the second (us), trillions upon trillions of positive mutations must occur, all moving in a positive direction. We know, the vast percentage of mutations are negative. And every step of the way, since those mutations, incomplete, would cause the “animal” to be less than able to survive, for how could an eye, ear, or nose in the making be of any good? Think.
Now, consider all the different creatures of the world, on land, in the air, under the ocean, of varying sizes and abilities, all from the first picture. Perhaps trillions of different species since the advent of the Earth, all from amebas. Imagine.
Explain this amazing creature.
Or this one.
A blue whale. Weighs as much as 30 elephants. Imagine.
Imagine how an eye, must be complete to function properly, began from an ameba that had no idea there were things to see. No single cell would have even had an inkling of vision, and no matter growth, would never have pined to see. Why would an eye ever form, and what good would a half developed eye be. Remember, the complexity of the eye, the need for a connection with brain, and all the rest. Trillions, probably over quadrillions of mutations, all in a positive direction, with no idea whether it becomes something. And we all look the same. How?
I am very glad that I am part of creation. Someone thought of me, then made me. Aren’t you glad?