Early Morning Thoughts, June 30, 2019

As the days get shorter…

June 21, the day of the year with the largest amount of hours of sunlight in the northern hemisphere, was nine days ago.  From now on, this year, the numbers of hours of daylight are growing shorter, culminating on December 21, the shortest day of the year.  And, as the earthly seasons change, they continue the cycle of life.  After December 21, the days will start to get longer once again.  On planet earth, this cycle has been going on for millions of years.  Regardless of what we humans do, that cycle will continue.  And that’s a good thing.

But this continuing cycle is not so with animal life.  We animals only get one shot at life… one cycle, one chance to ‘do our thang.’  For those of us who have passed the ¾ century mark in good health, when we look back on our younger days, we can now be simply amazed at this thing called life.  We get to see all of the good things that have happened to us as individuals, as well as all of the unfortunate things that have happened.  It’s all there.  And yes, most of us would likely want a chance to re-do some of our own earlier life events.  But we can’t.  Those days are over.  We are older now.

In my own life, I have gone through many cycles of learning and growth, all done as I fumbled my way through the daily cycle of getting up, dressing, eating, going to work (or whatever), interacting with others, going to bed for new sleep, getting up again, etc.  Because I am so close to me, I find I am my own greatest critic.  Big surprise there, eh?  Yes, I see all of the flaws and all of the mistakes I’ve made.  To be fair and honest, many of what I consider mistakes in 2019, were not viewed as mistakes when they were made by me.  During those earlier times, I was simply immature, or often maybe just ignorant or dumb.  But this is how we live life.  We start out, we learn, we grow, we age, and then we pass.

There was an entertainer some years ago who was asked in an interview why he always chose the hard paths in life.  His response was to ask the interviewer why he (the interviewer) thought that he (the entertainer) ever saw any of his chosen paths as being the hard paths to take.  Great response.  How do we know ahead of doing something?

And hence the hidden question, aka the hidden secret, of all of animal life, and why I believe we all do the best we can in life.  We are all different, and we are all individuals, for better or for worse.  Life is an individual struggle, and I believe we all do the best we can.

Remember, when we are young, not one of us is/was given a book that tells us the right way to do things for us individually.  We have to figure all of that out during our own path in life.  There are no gods living among us – no one gets anything perfect.  We all stumble and grope our way through life doing the best we can with what we are able to learn, with what we know, with what intelligence we have, and with what other resources we have available to us.

Agreed, there are somewhat organized groupings of humans (e.g. family, religion) that allegedly help us try to do our best to learn to survive and thrive.  The first grouping most of us remember and experience is our own family, which for better or worse, is where our own personal history begins and develops.  All of our own personal stories begin at home.  As a result, we are all our own historians, the story tellers of our own life on earth.  And yes, our story can include tales about our lives with family, with people outside our family, with religion, with business, etc.  These are our own stories.  They are all important.

For example, some decades ago, I worked at MIT/IL on the Apollo program.  It was not my first computer programming job, but with hindsight, it may have been one of my more interesting early life technical jobs.  While working at MIT, and while owning an Alfa Romeo rag-top roadster, I became interested in Formula One auto racing.  Thus, in early October, 1968, I traveled to Watkins Glen (NY) Gran Prix with a friend from Costa Rica (Carlos Macaya).  The 400+ mile journey was between post-midnight and 5:50 a.m. for an average trip speed of 78 mph (impossible to do today).  Yes, I was hooked on traveling fast and I did love that Alfa.  Great car.

And, along with some 90,000+ others, including a few other friends from MIT (like Bill Walsh and my future wife, Judy), we all camped inside the race track and wandered through the race pits taking photos and talking to a few drivers.  What we didn’t know, of course, was who would win the race.  It turns out the 1968 Watkins Glen Gran Prix winner was Jackie Stewart, a wee Scot, who raced his win in a Matra Ford.  Great race, lots of fun camping out, and having beer for breakfast (we had nothing else).

When we got home after the race and printed the race photos (8×10 size), I saved many of these photos.  How long did I save them?  Well, in the mid-1990s, and while living in England, I still had them (that’s about 30 years, Folks).  After a chance meeting with Jackie Stewart at a local dog kennel (at the time, for rabies prevention, all dogs entering England had to be quarantined for six months at an approved kennel, and Jackie was moving to England from Switzerland with dogs), I had him sign copies of the 1968 GP race photos.  Who would have ever seen that one coming?  What a kick!  Thirty years later, on another continent.

I eventually lost or inadvertently threw away the signed photos, and that’s the sad part of the story.  The good part of the story is that I had learned about Formula One racing, met and socialized briefly with one of the world class drivers, and had another story to tell.  Carlos Macaya, my friend, who has now passed away (1943-2016), went on to race his own Alfa in Costa Rica after college, became the Costa Rican importer for Castrol oil products, and eventually became director of the FIA Foundation (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).  I last saw Carlos in about 2008 on one of his trips to the USA.  He was driving an older Maserati, a car he stored in the US for his trips up here.  He was a good guy.  I miss him.

https://www.fiafoundation.org/blog/2016/april/carlos-macaya-1943-2016

And thus, the ending of one cycle of life.

My reason for writing all of this is to encourage you to acknowledge and respect your own individual history.  Learn from your own history – your own history is what made you the person you are today.  Respect your own history, and respect others who love and learn from history.

In 2019, the self-anointed and reigning covert power and wealth rulers of earth seem hell-bent on destroying individual history and culture in favor of their own wet dreams of ruling the earth with one culture and one history.  They think they are gods, and yet they also call themselves ‘the great destroyers.’  Don’t let that history destruction happen to you in your own life.  You are human, you are not a god, and you are not a devil.  You are not perfect.  So what.  You will do good in your own life, and you will make mistakes.  You will have fun, and you will experience sadness.  Enjoy it all.  Learn from it all.  Do your best.

And for Pete’s sake, always respect the individual over the group, and respect different cultures around the world.  Remain the individual.  You are special, and your life is meaningful.  Love this life you have been granted.  You only get to pass this way once, regardless of what religion has taught you about an alleged (and still unproven) afterlife.

Have a great day, and if you choose to get into researching history, I will offer to help.  Just ask.  My website (Highlander.com) is all about history, including modern history, old history, and family history… you get the idea.

So, for today and for all days, think good thoughts.  Live a good life.  Do your best.  Have a great day!

Tata For Now.

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