Goals are so important! They force us to look forward.
Well, if you have paid any attention to Robin William’s stand-up comedy routines, then you know the answer is yes. By way of an explanation, he uses the platypus. It is a mammal that lays eggs, has a duck-like bill, an otter-like coat, a beaver tail and webbed feet. The male also has spurs on his hind feet with enough venom to cause severe pain, just like snakes. And they are incredibly cute! Seriously cute and seriously funny.
Whether or not you believe in a Deity of any name you have to admit He is everywhere. Check your money, He is there. His name is used in moments of peace through prayer, in moments of high stress, or ecstasy, He is there. And look around our world. There is great sadness, great tragedy and there is also great humour. He is there.
When I was a child we went to church every Sunday. I would wear white gloves and a hat and my Sunday Go-To-Meeting clothes . It was a solemn affair. There was no laughter, no hijinks and we spoke in whispers. We had to be respectful. So of course I grew up believing that God was this solemn old dude. As I grew older I formed different opinions. I could not believe that Jesus, in his 30+ of years of life, never cracked a smile or had a good belly laugh. Yes, the time he lived in was difficult but there’s always room for a little laughter.
If we are made in the image of God then, if we have the capacity for humour it must have come from Him. It stands to reason. The God I believe in has the capacity for laughter because I do. We all do. He also has the capacity for great compassion and that is something we need to work on.
Let’s face it, if there is no laughter in Heaven, then I consider that Hell. I have spent my life finding the humour in things, even when things weren’t funny. (Mostly appropriately) It is also necessary to learn about timing. It is terribly inappropriate to laugh at a tragedy. But sometimes out of that tragedy we will learn to see the funny side of things. There was laughter at my Father’s funeral as we remembered the man who loved a good laugh. Sometimes that laughter hides the pain and sorrow that we are not quite ready to share. And it is so much more valuable when it is shared.
Today however our youth speak differently than we did. By ‘we’ I mean people who are over 40! Walking down the street you hear people say OMG and LOL. It took me a while to realize they were saying Oh My God and Laugh Out Loud. Sometimes I feel so old. But this is a new way of speaking. Everything is compressed to a letter or a group of letters. I have yet to hear Him referred to as the Big G, with Lil J and the HG, but I guess it’s coming. If He doesn’t have a sense of humour then we could really be in trouble!
This is another Blast From My Past. I posted this in 2013
When we speak to each other it is our fervent hope that we will be understood. There are language barriers and cultural barriers and even economical barriers but for the most part we do understand each other. Unfortunately there is another barrier that is not as easily surmounted: the generational barrier.
Today’s generation speaks digitally. They form whole conversations in 140 characters. That’s characters not words. Language is a signpost for our culture and as such it must constantly be evolving. I’m quite happy not to be using words like ‘thou’ and ‘yea’ in my everyday conversations. And I absolutely understand the need for brevity. But perhaps I have passed over the invisible barrier that separates ‘them’ from ‘us’. I need more than 140 characters to convey, well, anything! I don’t LOL. I actually use whole words when I laugh out loud! I know, I know, I sound like my parents did when we used words like ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ to describe everything. I heard someone the other day using the word ‘cool’ and I looked to see if it was someone over 50. It wasn’t! The word may be making a comeback. That would be so cool!
Everything affects language. Music, fashion, technology and even travel will affect our speech. The more our disparate countries interact with one another the more cross-pollination of words seems to happen. The English language is the one I know best, it’s the only one I know well. But I also realize that the English language is not a pure language. It is made up of words from other cultures through colonization and trade. Words that we are convinced are English words actually have an origin in other languages. The word bungalow comes from India. The word assassin is an Arabic word. The word robot is of Czech origin. Status quo is Latin. The list is seemingly endless.
As a species we need to evolve. We once wallowed in the primordial sludge shortly after the Big Bang and now we are testing our wings in space. The human race has spawned magnificence in the art world, in technology and in the written word regardless of what language it is written in. We all belong to one race: the human race and I happen to think we are pretty incredible! Sometimes when I listen to modern music I wonder if the concept of de-evolution is alive and well! But in truth it is simply evolution at work. You always have to shake a little bit to get rid of the useless bits.
Tomorrow will be the today we dreamt about yesterday!
Noisy Silence (July 2013)
Do you ever sit in a quiet room and listen, I mean truly listen? Close your eyes and pay attention. I can hear the wind off my balcony gently blowing through the trees. I can hear my refrigerator humming its ubiquitous sound of cold. I can hear the highway and a steady drone of cars whizzing by. A bird, a gull I think, probably searching for lunch, loudly. There’s a banging, somebody doing construction. Oh yes and a car horn screeching its presence. Oops, a car alarm screams in protest, at what I do not know. A truck backs up punctuating the world with his irritating beep, beep, beep, beep…
You see I believe true silence is illusory. Even when a room is deathly quiet it is not silent. Spend some time in a library. It is one of the noisiest places that advocates silence. Listen carefully. The librarian is admonishing someone for something. Someone else is on the phone directing someone to the appropriate department. With the advent of computers there is a constant clicking of the keyboards. I can hear pages turning, sometimes in anger. There is the irritated sigh as someone looks for a book but cannot find it. Pages rustle and footsteps clack on the uncarpeted floor. There is no silence here.
Once upon a time our world was much quieter. We didn’t have cars and computers and the ever present hum of electricity. Our nights were darker, we didn’t have the light pollution of all the towns around us. I believe as a people we were calmer. Now we want more and more. No matter what we have, we crave new and better. What is that? What is it the psychobabble of the day is saying: relax, chill, be cool. Well it’s true! We live noisy and harried lives. We rarely seem to take the time to stop and smell the roses. Even when we relax it’s doing something energetic and noisy. Ah yes, the sounds of silence: the ever present white noise that surrounds our lives. They actually sell machines that emit white noise because it is often difficult to sleep when things are too quiet.
I wonder if we would know what to do if all sound stopped. I wonder if people who are completely deaf actually experienced true silence? All I know is that my world is noisy and sometimes irritating and I love it all!
I’m not afraid of living
I am afraid of life
Every day’s a battle
So often filled with strife
I’m not afraid of death
I am afraid of dying
I could say that I am not
But then I would be lying
They say that fear is healthy
A way to keep us safe
To live a life the fullest
Not wasted as a waif
I will do my dearest
To keep my fear at bay
To live a life of living
Before death comes my way