When I was a child it was all about questions. I was one question after another. In retrospect I must have thought that I could discover the world around me by asking people questions.

Then as a teenager, I increasingly turned to books. The answers that people were giving me all started taking on the same empty kind of sameness. So instead I read. Lots and lots and lots of books.

That turned out to have been an easy thing to do as I spent half my young life grounded (aka confined to my bedroom). I had no money with which to buy books so it was fortunate for me that the public library system at that time was first rate.

By the time I hit my ’30s I began to discover that most of the things that people told me were either half-truths born of ignorance or inexperience or out and out lies.

I started to get really cynical in my ’40s when [theoretically] midway into my career I realized that I knew more about my job than the managers I reported to. Managers proved themselves to be politically self-serving; not the removers of obstacles and barriers as they professed to be. One manager at Intel actually told me, “It’s not what you get done that counts. It’s the perception of what you do that really matters.” I appreciated the candor but I never really much liked Intel after that.

In my ’50s I began to spend more quiet time alone. This was pretty easy to do as I am still single (once divorced) and live alone. I exiled myself on many occasions to foreign places and discovered that I liked it. I found that in the unfamiliar cultural surroundings that I was better able to hear that quiet voice of reason in my head.

These days I much prefer silence to the noise of most people’s company. And I really don’t much listen to music anymore. Too much of what passes as popular music is just more soul-sucking interfering noise that infers with my ponderings.

But I can listen to Corelli, Bach, and Telemann over and over again. I refer to the products of all three as ‘God music’. I feel like how can a person listen to music with the heaven touching heights of Bach without sensing the presence of The Almighty?

As I approach my 60th I can unequivocally say that talk is cheap. I’ve been kissed and lied to so many times that in the immortal words of Solomon, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

My mother once told me that the only thing that she could never forgive of her children was if they turned their backs on her. And also that while friends may come and go, family was forever. Sadly, even that turned out to be a lie.

PS – My advice to anyone one out there listening, don’t tell people who you are. Show people who you are. Don’t just stand there talking, do something. Like do your job. Be honest in your dealing with others. Meditate on integrity. And participate in justice.

PPS – I personally think the third most off putting thing about Christianity is that many Christians talk talk talk but don’t do. For instance, there is no demonstrable changed life. And forgiveness is only a concept. And it’s mono-directional at that. It comes from God but not extended much on earth.

Advertisements