I’m ok with who I am. It has taken quite some time to get here, but I’m good with me. And as for the people who aren’t, well, I don’t really care. On the other hand, may they have ethics complaints filed against them. But not by me, because it’s not worth my time.
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past few years. I’ve learned that I like macchiato. It took a trip to Ethiopia to figure that out. It may not be the most masculine coffee around but I don’t care, because I like it. It tastes good. See Paragraph 1. I have also figured out that I just really don’t like beer. Not that drinking it is sinful, but that it doesn’t taste good. The thick grainy European stuff is better than the light watery stuff, but I really don’t care for any of it. Whisky is better. Bourbon, specifically. I don’t like it, mind you. But it is interesting to taste – like a drop at a time. To find the smoke, or wood, or other flavors instead of just feeling the burn, and then to taste a truly quality make, where there is no burn at all until you swallow. But don’t worry, I don’t like it enough to drink it like soda, or even soapy water.
Water – cool water on a warm day with the smell of cut grass – is better than any of the above. Easily. But that’s just me. Along those lines, the sound of a whippoorwill as the sun sets at my back porch is one of my favorite sounds, and the sound of a crowd conversing and laughing and babies squealing at a restaurant among the clinking dishes and rattling pots is one of my least favorite sounds.
Sounds – the sound of arrogant or condescending talk is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Whether it comes from others or I catch it in myself. Self promotion, exaggerated boasting and fibs in favor of fortifying image bring vomit into my mouth. I get weary of experts in this field gaining political and social favor.
Favor – I am thankful for the favor of honest people. My wife, my family, valued friends – these are people for which I can’t express enough gratitude. It took running for office, years ago now, to realize how important these people are.
People. I’ve heard people say that I don’t like people, and this may be true, but I love individuals. I’ve met Eskimos, Hawaiians, Belizeans, Israelis, Palestinians, Africans, Muslims, Jews, Voodouns, and Christians and found wonderful, lovable individuals among all groups. But individually – not at parties and such.
Parties. I don’t like them. Political parties, social parties, dance parties, whatever. I have never found one with a Dave shaped spot in it. The holes in parties always seem to be cut such that I would have to contort myself into an unnatural shape to fit in and that is uncomfortable. Not that my integrity is pure as the driven snow, but I haven’t yet found a compelling reason to soil it that much more than it is.
Soil. I can enjoy some dirt. Not the moral kind but the earthy kind. The kind that gets under your fingernails, and beads up in the sweat on the back of your neck in the summer. The kind you can crunch in your teeth after mowing all day, or chopping wood, or shoveling it from one spot to another for whatever reason.
Reason. I’m a fan of it, and yet I can appreciate things that run counter to it. I think skillful use of reason should be a requisite to hold public office, and I’m often disappointed with our voting public who value anger and rudeness over reason and respect.
Respect. It should be put on the endangered species list. It should be taught in schools and churches again. This is a cross-cultural, universal concept that is being lost in the States more than in other places. Why is that?
Because people like me are so stinking comfortable with themselves. We’ve bought the idea that we are all that and a bag of chips even though we lack self discipline, we are selfish, we are sinful, and we fail to show common courtesy because we refuse to be “politically correct.” We shouldn’t throw out courtesy and decency just because we dump “political correctness” out of our bucket.
Buckets. I’m against bucket lists. I’ve seen one too many people lose their spouse, their mobility, their autonomy, or their life just as they retire, with a bucket full of things they were waiting to do. I say grab whatever you possibly can out of that bucket as soon as you can, because you may not be able to reach the bucket tomorrow.
Tomorrow. It’s not guaranteed. Love your loved ones. Better yet, love your enemies. Taste the food – in moderation. Try the beverage – without violating your conscience or faith. Breathe the air. Share it with someone you’ve been taught to hate.
Hate is a waste of your precious time and energy. Stop it. Even if you think it may give you success in a career, or a social circle, or your family, it will rot your soul in the process. Don’t believe its lies.
I’ve had a good birthday. I’m thankful for the “happy birthdays” and the people who gave them and the people who didn’t manage it today.
Have a great night.