Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hokey Pokey

   You put your right foot in...
I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what life is all about. Plato, I think, said "the unexamined life is not worth living," and I am even trying to figure what that means?  It is a difficult beginning when you don't even understand the question!  He and Socrates discussed so much from within the darkness of a cave and decided that you don't really need to experience something in order to understand it. You don't have to be a cow to know sweet from sour milk.
   It is interesting how we achieve our identities and I am pretty convinced that we are born with our personalities, but is personality the same as identity?  Psychologists claim that there are only so many personalities, type 'A' or type 'B'. introverts and extroverts, those that go after life and those who wait to receive it, passive and aggressive.  Is that what it is all about?  One or the other?
   We can't be all things to all people and we are different for different people.  Our behavior is altered by circumstance.  Even I can be nice!
   So much of our identity is circumscribed around our employment.  It is almost the first question asked:
"what do you do?"  In these tough economic times this is becoming an embarrassing question! Yet if we ask the question: "How are you?" we really don't expect an answer!
   This changes a bit with retirement and maybe comes about with lower expectations.  There is not much that I have to do.  The question that I like is, "How are you enjoying retiement?"  I wonder why this question couldn't be used earlier in life?  Not what did you accomplish today or how much did you do, but what did you enjoy about it?  Pretty weird, huh?  In a day's work we are supposed to stack one hundred and forty two boxes and it is okay to be miserable during this whole process!  It is a race.  So much to do and so little time.
    What is interesting is that we get caught up in this and are continually moving the goal post.  Every item purchased on credit is a promise of future indentured servitude.  I have always had two prices for my art.
If I have already done it, it is pretty cheap but if you want to obligate my future it can be very expensive.
   You put your right foot out!  Why can't we dance along the way?  Somehow, along the way, I think we have got it all wrong and we are asking the wrong questions.  Maybe the answers are found in the roller rink of life, found in the Hokey Pokey.  That is what it is all about.
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AutumnLeaves said...

I once heard a pastor ask why people ask, "How are you?" when they really do not want to wait and listen for the answer. We've become some inured to that question that we usually just say, "Fine!" when we're not fine. He made a point of saying that if you ask the question, you must be willing to mean it and wait to listen for the answer. I've always taken that lesson to heart. And I will listen.

Barbra Joan said...

Jerry, your posts are coming out so fast and furious I can't keep up with you.. Your so full of questions, questions and even some answers..
But it's the 'Hokey Pokey' that IS what its really all about. I'll go with that one. You boggled my mind this a.m. BJ

Kay said...

always interesting posts! Well my snarky self had a rant started but decided to ask the question "does anyone want to hear my negative self?" the answer of course is "no" and instead I am truly thinking of the questions of life! Thanks Jerry.
"That's what its all about"

Clipped Wings said...

If I believed my identity was circumscribed around my employment, I would have jumped off a cliff long ago, lol. I never ask a question unless I want a real answer; because I am so tired of being asked how I am, and before I get two words out of my mouth that person is already out of hearing range.

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freebird said...

I am trying to dance along the way. I've pretty much been a stay-at-home-wife and that meant pinching pennies but I think we were happier all around for it. Things were homemade and time wasn't such an issue as it is for couples who are both working outside the home.

I was on another blog where the guy said we should stop asking "what do you do?" and start asking "what do you do for enjoyment?". The one says what are you worth and the other asks how you make life worthwhile.

I also think we get the basis of our personalities in our DNA. What we make of them is still a lot up to us. I may have my mother's temper but I can learn to control it or I might have my grandpa's art ability but I still have to develop it. I could also have the worrywart gene and need to learn not to let it worry me so.

You bring up a lot to think about. But thinking about things is fun and entertaining or interesting or vital keep it up!

Maundering mutterer said...

Thought-provoking post, Jerry. You cover a lot of ground here, don't you? A lot of your points are pet ones of mine, and I don't disagree with any of yours or I could start up that debate you're ettling for!