Our neighbourhood is starting to come under the spell of the fall. Smaller maple trees in the park are already displaying a riot of colours – lemon yellow, russet, orange, not quite a full-blown-red and lilac…. my older granddaughter is convinced that I do not know my colours and I agree. Nature’s palette is beyond my scope of description.
Not just flora but almost all living creatures accept the natural order and to survive, make adjustments to adapt to the changing cycles. However, man does not adjust so easily. We are exposed at birth to a set of values that our family espouses. Once embraced, these are adhered to, for the most part, without a question. One is applauded for being a “true believer” and any change is frowned upon.
My mentor, Professor Singh used to tell me, “Try not to take yourself too seriously. By doing so, you become rigid in your outlook and miss all that life offers. Be frivolous sometimes. Open yourself to change. Learn to laugh, especially at your own self.” He would quote Einstein that, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Reportedly, Catholic theologian G.K. Chesterton stated, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”
I just finished reading “Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar” by Daniel Klein and Thomas Cathcart. It is an irreverential, tongue-in-cheek exposition, using jokes to illustrate various schools of philosophical thought propounded by philosophers through the ages. It helped me to view this serious subject in a completely different light.
Here’s an example that illustrates how we believe what we choose to believe in:
Every morning, our colleague steps out onto her front porch and exclaims, “Let this house be safe from tigers!” Then she goes back inside.
Finally, we said to her, “What’s all that about? There isn’t a tiger within a thousand miles of here.”
And she said, “See? It works!”
In these days of Godmen/women and Babas of all sorts, here’s another gem that might help us understand their “special” powers:
“My grandfather knew the exact time of the exact day of the exact year that he would die.”
“Wow, what an evolved soul! How did it come to him?”
“The judge told him.”
One of my favourite comedians, George Carlin had offered some profound one-liners, on:
God – “How can He be perfect? Everything He ever makes …dies!”
Fighting – “If crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight?”
Doctors – “Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors do what they call ‘practice’?”
America – “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe in it.”
War – “How is it possible to have a civil war?”