This is what happens when I sit down at the computer and type whatever is on my mind for about 20 minutes…
It’s the small things that make a big difference in life. The coffee shop putting one of those chocolate covered coffee beans on top of my coffee makes me happier than ordering the coffee itself because it’s “extra.” This act also drives me slightly nuts because they disperse the chocolate covered beans so inconsistently. People hate inconsistency. Whether something is consistently good or bad, we’d like to know. Whether people are consistently late or consistently on time, we’d prefer they were on time or reliably late. The coffee shop doesn’t consistently put a bean on top of my coffee. I’d feel like a schlub asking for a chocolate covered bean, so that won’t work. I just wonder what their official policy on bean gifting is or what the deciding criteria is based upon. Surely it exists.
When some people make plans, I automatically assume they’re going to cancel the day of. I’m more right about my assumptions than I care to be.
America would never elect Kim Il-Sung as president. Yes, they wouldn’t because he’s a horrible despot, but assume for a moment he wasn’t. Assume Kim was a really smart guy with the charisma of Bill Clinton and Steve Jobs. Still wouldn’t get elected. Why? He’s overweight. I would vote for someone who is overweight in a second, but would America? Doubtful. Since the age of television, how many fat presidents have there been? Zero. Clinton had a few extra pounds, but he was notorious for jogging. He was more of a Subway Jared we admired for wanting to shed a few pounds. It would seem we care more about appearances than ideas. How many overweight cable tv newscasters are there? Surely being fit isn’t necessary to speak well (if this topic interests you, read this book).
If you publish anything online and it gets enough eyeballs, people will hate you. I’ve watched this happen to two different authors in two completely different categories. There’s nothing wrong with being critical, where you point out flaws in someone’s work, but hatred for someone else is often a projection of inner hatred or feelings of inadequacy.
I’ve caught myself fighting the urge to take pictures of food. Where did the compulsion to take pictures of food come from? Part of it is mimicking behavior we see others do. The other part might be we feel as though we’re complementing the chef/restaurant by saying the food is picture worthy.
For the purest view of people, look at children. They’re the default setting humans arrive into this world as. The role of society is to shape those flawed qualities into something better. If you look at adults you know who aren’t great people, many of them will have characteristics of a child (impulsive, mood swings, temper tantrums, coveting, etc). They never fully developed.
Montaigne’s book of essays from the 1500′s is more relevant than books written on computers in 2008, which are already outdated. Why? Montaigne wrote about the individual, who is timeless. We’ve essentially had the same hopes, dreams, fears, and desires for the past several thousand years. Technology changes, people don’t.
Has anyone chronicled the life of the dog? The rise from living in the wild, to the barn, to the dog house, to inside, to snoozing in a sleep number bed and drinking filtered tap water is amazing. Some dogs live better than kings a few centuries ago.
One of the paradoxes of the internet is that it opens you to the entire world while making the world smaller at the same time by enabling you to connect with people exactly like you around the world.
If I looked back at the books I’ve read, it’s almost like looking at a family tree. Starting in the modern day, reading about who those authors were influenced by, reading them, and then traveling back to who they were influenced by. Every creation is built upon a mountain.
I use my phone more frequently as a flashlight than to make calls. In fact, making calls is what I use my phone the least for. I would love to see a graph of smart phone sales charted along with flashlight sales.
I wonder how deeply people are influenced by the weather. I have to wonder this because I live in Minnesota. Does living through a cruel relentless winter make people stronger or more passive aggressive?
Looking back 5 years or even 2 years, I often am amazed by how little I knew. Instinctively, this feels like a flaw, but the day I look back 2 years and conclude I haven’t learned much of anything will mean I’m essentially dead. To learn is to live.
You could beat someone over the head within an inch of their life with an idea, telling them what you explicitly mean, and there will still be people who won’t understand your point of view. They only see what they want to see.