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This blog just turned 20 years old, celebrated its 3,000th post and surpassed the 10,000 cumulative page mark. Looking back at its evolution, I’m astonished how little I’ve perceived myself changing from year to year when it’s clear I am a completely different person from the guy who started this blog as a work pilot project in Feb 2003.
I don’t believe the same things, or perceive the world, or other humans, the same way. The things I used to want, which I mostly never got, just aren’t important any more. I don’t know why they ever were. And I’ve long since given up the belief that what I do in the world makes any direct and enduring difference. I’m fine with realizing that almost no one really cares, or even notices or understands, what anyone else says and does. How could they? Everyone’s caught up in their own self-preoccupied loop of knowing and struggle and dis-ease.
To the extent I’ve made any difference, it will be in ways far too circuitous and complex for me to ever understand.
My new lists of what I want for myself, and what I want to give the world, are much shorter and less ambitious. In part that’s because I am older and have less time left to accomplish things, but mostly it’s because I’ve learned that we really have no choice in what we believe and do, so a shorter list is just less likely to lead to disappointment.
|THINGS I USED TO WANT FOR MYSELF:||THINGS I USED TO WANT TO GIVE THE WORLD:|
|Attention and popularity
Appreciation and recognition
Wealth (enough to never worry)
Power (enough for leverage)
Success (of all types)
Freedom (of all types)
Peace of mind and “presence”
To be perpetually in love
To be healthier and fitter*
To be less depressed*
To be less anxious/fearful*
To be less angry*
To learn to dance
To learn to swim
To visit a bucket list of places
Better facilitation skills
Better management skills
To be better-looking
(* things actually achieved, though mostly not due to anything I did)
|A better understanding of:
• how the world really works
• business and innovation
• the creative/imaginative process
• complexity, systems and collapse
• information and learning
• technology, the sciences
• politics and economics
• writing, the arts, and stories
• human nature and culture
Advice (on everything under the sun, including “how to save the world”)
New, useful skills
Money for worthwhile causes
|THINGS I WANT FOR MYSELF NOW:||THINGS I WANT TO GIVE THE WORLD NOW:|
|A little more self-awareness
The joy of wonder
Better conversational skills
Better attention skills
Lots of play time
To be better-looking (yep, still)
|Better attention (mostly to the more-than-human world)
Kindness and compassion
Different ways of thinking about things
Different possibilities to consider
A “thousand small sanities”
A little more joy/fun
Since homo insapiens is behaving in accordance with this alternative Latin label, my wish list is unrelated to its efficacy but is determined aesthetically in accordance with my own taste.
“I’m fine with realizing that almost no one really cares, or even notices or understands, what anyone else says and does.”
Good, however there is a reason for this but you are probably not really interested in knowing why (still hold too much political bias).
Herewith my simple list:
For myself I want (would prefer) a lot less consciousness and for humanity I want (or rather recommend) it to disappear from the face of the earth in order to stop the senseless breeding and creation of suffering individuals.
For me, “The joy of wonder” has been elusive. I recently tried Ten Breaths to Happiness by Glen Schneider, which teaches a meditation to focus on appreciation of something that catches one’s attention. I don’t seem able to do this daily, though the other day I enjoyed watching bees buzzing around the rosemary flowers (for 10 breaths). And I enjoy noticing a lot of my granddaughter’s (2 yrs. old) behaviors. Perhaps those joys, infrequently noticed, are fine.