Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingIt’s observed by both the devout and the mindless attendants of good taste. It suggests day-to-day life in America dulls appreciation. It prescribes a yearly twenty-four hour period of thankfulness as a restorative. Its name is Thanksgiving. And it would be a terrible thing if it were true.

Life in America is neither dulling or dull. Life in America is brilliant; made so mindfully and continuously by the very day-to-day experience the fourth Thursday in November misrepresents.

Daily life is the result of a process started 3.75 billion years ago when energy from a small yellow dwarf star joined forces with pre-biotic chemicals located on one of eight nearby orbiting planets. The crowing achievement of this process (so far) is the human brain, a unique biological structure, in which, somewhere, is found the human mind.

One of the things that happens inside the human mind, is unique to the human mind. No other 3.75 billion year old receiver of energy has yet managed this thing. It’s called thought. Without thought, the mind drifts from event to event, forever distracted and disconnected from the world. With thought, the mind connects cause to effect, generates alternatives, considers trade-offs, weathers the storms of probability, and eliminates engines of pretense and error. Some of these are: faith, dogma, authority, conventional wisdom, old wives’ tales, folklore, and mythology.

Thought does not belong to America. But America is thought’s most comfortable home. It’s a day-to-day comfort derived from unrestricted discussion and constant correction.

The advantage, privilege, and appreciation of day-to-day life in America is not borne out by a twenty-four hour period of thanks, nor can it be.

Thanksgiving
74F72FE7(R01) • Nov 25, 2015
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Talent

Talent

Talent

Every drummer’s “ten best” list contains the name Buddy Rich. From seasoned pro to beginner, Buddy is universally recognized as the master. Why? What made Buddy so good? The answer is talent.

Talent is natural ability. It is separate from, and paramount to, knowledge, character, and discipline. A popular and enduring principle concerning talent is summarized by the claim: “Anything is achievable so long as one works at it enough.” This woo-woo gobbledygook philosophy is utter nonsense.

The result of “working at it” is experience and experience cannot generate talent. It’s true that experience can develop talent. But it’s equally true that talent must exist before development can occur. Any philosophy or guiding principle that treats talent as a product, instead of a prerequisite, will lead to an infinity of headaches. Speaking of which…

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Idea Fuel

Idea Fuel

Idea Fuel

Folks occasionally ask, “Where do your ideas come from?” I usually answer, “I don’t really know.” That’s true. I don’t really know. But I have an impression. It’s an impression rooted, as ideas are rooted, in convictions.

Convictions are the primary and invisible tendencies, drives, and impressions that fuel ideas and actions. Convictions are tricky because they work silently, on their own, secreted from (and paradoxically by) the mind. The process works like this.

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Heritage Christian After 30

Heritage Christian After 30

Heritage Christian After 30

Of course it’s the people; Bryan & Charlie, Sammy, Phil, Ken, Ross, Jill, Tommy, Donna, Ray, Tom, Scott, Greg and others. Some of you left Heritage for other schools. Some of you are gone now. Still, when I return to Heritage in my mind, it’s you that I think about.

Not that I do it much. Today is here, another is fast on its heals and achievement requires effort – the kind of effort that reveals “The High School Experience” for the pretense it was.

We’re wiser now. Thirty years of life after Heritage has perhaps rendered us agreeable on one point. The qualities and traditions of high school, any high school, are a paltry rehearsal for what comes next.

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