Archive for July, 2014

Open eyes are not always enough – gotta open ’em ‘wider’

July 29, 2014

Antonio de Mairena

from Juan de Mairena


To see things as they are, the eyes must be opened; to see things as other than they are, they must be even wider; to see things as better than they are, they must be open to the full. 


At a recent family meeting my wife came up with the idea of each of us thinking of three positive things that happened that day or the previous day.  We started this morning when I sent an email with my three things to her, and my son (16) and daughter (18).  So far, my wife has replied with her three.

It felt weird, but it felt good. I had to open my eyes wider.

We are trying to get out of a rut.


Break the closed door staring habit and open doors will seem to miraculously appear.

July 28, 2014

This title was inspired by Helen Keller’s quote  below from We Believed –


When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. 


Pondering the antidote for the human pride problem is humbling

July 27, 2014


Pride is really a human tendency to want to dominate a situation, to gain something. It is not bad in and of itself. It is important enough to our survival as a species to persist in us despite the hazards it creates. It makes me think of how recessive genes for sickle cell anemia offer immunity to malaria, but when two recessive genes combine in one person, it becomes a painful, debilitating, and deadly disease.

Humility has survival value too, as it has also persisted.  It is in constant use by those who are already worthy of employing it as a pathway to real learning, execution and contribution to betterment. Otherwise it rejects our efforts and in so doing invites  us to step back and retrace some preliminary steps we have not really understood yet.

It won’t insist though. Humility never insists. In so many human efforts, pride will rush in and seem to help us get our bearings. By that point, humility has already stepped back. It has done its job  and we have just failed to heed its guidance.  Humility will let us flounder about uselessly guided by pride until we become exhausted.

Meanwhile, not capable of anything on its own, our pride bounces back by insisting on taking credit for the  fruits of humility. And often not even the fruits of our own humility, but someone else’s.

But ultimately our pride will render us incapable of even utilizing those fruits.

So the meek really shall inherit the earth. I just hope pride doesn’t render earth  a place no longer worth  inheriting.




We first raise the dust and then claim we cannot see. George Berkeley

July 26, 2014

Born in the 17th century, there is plenty about George Berkeley’s life and work that don’t really fit into the 2014 mindset. We are conditioned to see contradictions between his viewpoints, but this quote perhaps can serve as a warning not to let our post-modern ‘dust’ get kicked up to blind us as we consider his contributions.   He was a Christian apologist, and even has a feast day in the Episcopal Church, and yet his empirical philosophy is widely recognized as opening the way to the work of  philosophers Kant and Hume, and the scientist Einstein.


Live all you can…the right time is ANY time….Henry James

July 25, 2014

What are you waiting for? Other people to be nicer, for more money, for nicer weather? Live all you CAN. This quote is not about getting yourself all uptight because what you currently can do is not meeting some expectation you or someone else has of you. It also says to do it ANY time, no time pressure to get it perfect by a certain deadline.


Just do whatever.








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