If life stays true to form at least three of you will look at the picture of the hippopotamus and wonder why the headline asked Would You Eat A Kitten Or A Giraffe?
Should you stop me on the street, email or call me on the telephone to ask why I didn’t use a picture of a kitten or giraffe I’ll respond to your question with one or more of my own.
Not because I am trying to be difficult, adversarial or oppositional but because I am curious about how you approach things.
Most people I know won’t have any interest in eating a kitten and I can guarantee some of them will find the idea offensive and reprehensible.
The goal here isn’t to upset or aggravate anyone. I am not trying to use linkbait to capture more eyeballs or to engage more readers.
No, that headline is based more upon my reaction to some of the headlines I have read.
A Theater Of The Absurd
I am a Jewish kid from the Valley who is doing his best to makes his way in this world.
You won’t find me making claims to be the smartest or wisest man in the world. As long as I am closer to the top of the list than the bottom I’ll be perfectly happy.
I write this not just because I enjoy writing and want to maintain a place to keep my skills sharp but because one day my children might find it interesting to see what I thought or had to say about certain things and moments in life.
When I saw the news about Donald Trump getting into a kerfuffle with The Pope I had to shake my head.
Same thing happened when I saw Kanye West’s ridiculous plea for financial help from Mark Zuckerberg for financial assistance so that he might “bring more beauty into the world.”
That might not be an exact quote, but it is close enough.
Part of me says I shouldn’t care about his request for help, regardless of how silly I think it is.
He is entitled to ask. Why should I care if people want to pay his bills or do anything to support his efforts.
Not my money.
But then again, part of me says why shouldn’t I have the same opportunity to l0ok for a wealthy patron to support me.
If you pay me enough I can work on bringing more beauty into the world too. Who is to say I can’t do more than Kanye?
He has a bigger platform and more notoriety now, but neither one are indicative of talent or skill.
Life has never been and never will be fair, especially not when we live in a theater of the absurd.
What Price Are You Willing To Pay For…Success?
I thought about using a different picture and quote, but that quote from the Bard was the one that won.
Still, as a man who loves words it is hard for me not to share a couple of Vince Lombardi quotes that are applicable.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”
“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”
But the thing about this post is we have been focusing on the absurd and not the inspirational.
Those same three of you who noticed the hippo/giraffe discrepancy may wonder about whether it is fair to say we have focused on the absurd here.
You may ask if two examples that are mentioned in passing are enough for me to say we have focused on anything.
And I’ll say it is a reasonable question/observation and than remind you this isn’t an academic treatise or court document.
I am not trying to prove anything, I am just commenting on a situation and sharing some observations.
I am just saying that when my kids ask me questions about some of the things that are going on I find the conversations have a different sort of challenge than when they were really little.
Because we live during a time when it feels like there are more opportunities for ordinary people to chase fame/success.
A time where a willingness to do something more extreme might lead to that fame and maybe even some fortune.
So I ask what price are we willing to pay for success.
What is Truth?
What is truth is a different but related discussion.
During a time when conspiracy theories are floated around and supported with fancier clothing than they once had there is a greater need for me to monitor what the kids get into online.
It is not hard to find
scholarly work prepared by academic giants, crackpots who pontificate about who runs the world.
I don’t believe in the Illuminati or any sort of secret cabal and I am fairly certain that when I was in junior high I had never heard about them.
But my middle schooler heard about them from some kids in school and asked me to tell her my thoughts on them.
My high schooler has shared other questionable ideas he heard from kids in school too so I have found myself in the midst of multiple discussions about what is truth and what is not.
More than a few moments have been spent trying to answer questions and working on making sure they apply critical thinking and logical thought to what they are being told.
I want them to question what they hear and see but I don’t want it to reach a place where they are unable or unwilling to believe anything.
What I want to focus on are those Lombardi quotes and show the kids how they are applicable in real life.
Maybe it is silly for me to complain about living during a theater of the absurd as if it is a new thing because life has always had its share of mishegoss, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if it is truly different now.
What do you think?