646. It Is Not Necessary Always to Speak of Weighty Matters

It is not necessary always to speak of weighty matters. Sometimes there is more value to be had in a conversation that centers on pointless trivia. It seems to me, from reflecting on these anecdotes about Dr. Johnson, that it is better for our well-being to seek out associates who have something pleasant and constructive to say for themselves, rather than spend our time with those who are branded with perpetual scowls. There is no need to pass judgment on all things, or pronounce a verdict on every question. There is wisdom in levity, and longevity in lightheartedness. Cant has its uses; so let us use it in good health.

Quintus Curtius, “On Idle Or Trifling Speech”

637. The Situation Selects the Man

” … Weapons and provisions are illusions, and do not make a man or a people strong:  only strong character can do this.  Yet hardship has a way of raising up men of good character to leadership positions.  During times of peace and quiescence, men of great character and leadership ability are often passed over or hidden away.  Their talents and abilities are rarely appreciated by those who know only comfort and security.  When we neglect men of talent, character, and masculine virtue, and exalt the incapable, the corrupt, the venal, and the incompetent, we put our very security at risk.  But in times of crisis, everything can change.  The situation selects the man; and the man masters the situation through force of will.”

– Quintus Curtius

632. Leading

People who have had terrible experiences are not looking at first for explanations of someone else’s belief in their innate metaphysical responsibility of the awful experiences that have befallen them, like rape or loss of a child or serious illness. They are looking for empathy.

That is not particularly difficult to understand, if you come from my world. What is difficult is showing empathy to the people who don’t understand it.

But leading by example should still work. It has to. 

607. I Still Take Notes

I can’t find the black book, although I aim to. When I do find it, I will note this dream.  About this woman.

Even though it does not make any sense, I feel that I like it somehow. There was something playful about it – and about the woman, whom I have not seen – aside from one occasion – in 25 years now.

Not until now, that is.

587. Abuse

“For I have heard that most of that which bears the name of learning, and which has abused such quantities of ink and paper, and continually employs so many ignorant unhappy souls for ten, twelve, twenty years in the university (who yet, poor wretches, think they are doing something all the while ) – as logic, etc., and several other things (that shall be nameless lest I should misspell them) – are much more absolutely nothing than the errantest play that e’er was writ.”

– Aphra Behn

573. Applicable

A wise commentator said about our national soccer team in the FIFA World Cup:

‘ I don’t understand the people who want us to play beautiful football – we don’t have the team for that. We have to be tactical and play football that works to get us results. If we had played the better teams in the way the better teams prefer to play – trying lots of fancy moves, for example – then we would get shredded. We have to use the resources we have in the most efficient way – to win.’

I am paraphrasing here, but I like the observation.

It applies to a lot more than soccer.

521. S-S-Saigon

There are a lot of odd events, big or small, from the 70s that I feel some kind of resonance with, even though I don’t remember them.

The shouldn’t mean anything to me but they do. Just as time periods in which I never lived, like World War 1.

What does that mean?

I will probably never know, but what I do know is that it means lots of stuff for stories.

374. Attachment Learnings

Perhaps that is why this blog post is kind of important after all. If I then act on it, and say definitively goodbye to Star Wars (and the new Marvel comics).

Well, I do.

And it felt like a relief, despite the void.

But voids are there to be filled. And maybe a few new TV-series about some sprawling epic fascinating scifi universe can wait, anyway. Maybe it would be better to create something myself. Or maybe it would be better to create more quality time with friends and family.

Banal, yes, but isn’t it true?

327. Your Best

Got the crime website version 1.0 finished and it felt good, even if it is not completed yet and I have not been paid yet and all sorts of other things are not getting done.

But there is still a lot of satisfaction in making a piece of work that you know you’ve done your best with.