Bare Bones Biology 281B – Movin’ On

So here’s the thing. Suppose at one time in your life you had to spend your silver dollar collection to buy cat food, even though you knew that each silver dollar was worth quite a lot more than a dollar.

I hope that guy really enjoyed cashing them in.

And suppose you then began putting your pocket change into jars and stashing the jars here and there with the idea that you would some day sit down and sort out some valuable coins, or at least you would have money when needed to buy cat food, and you ended up with a lot of change jars tucked away in various places. And now here they are collected on the floor in front of you.

What are you going to do about that? Will you get a book about coins and spend the rest of your life sorting them all out and end up with several hundred dollars? Maybe recoup the value of those silver dollars? Or should you value your time more than the imagined profits and go to the bank, where now you can pour your coins into a machine and end up with some kind of paper, and open a savings account? After all, the older you get the more valuable is your time. Or will you forget about several hundred pounds of coins and spend MovinOn-ASC_6250RLsyour time doing one of the things you always wanted to do?

Oh! Wait. Sorting those coins IS one of the things you always wanted to do.

The problem for us rich Americans is that we have totally distorted the American Dream that was supposed to provide equal opportunity. I remember when we really believed in equal opportunity, or at least I know I did, it’s what I thought I was working for throughout my life, and look what I got! The corposystem. And the corposystem has claimed the dream and converted it to a belief that anyone can do everything if they are willing and able to pay for it. There is a big difference between being permitted to work for whatever is our personal dream – or being able to buy everything we want to do.

It takes a long time to figure out the difference; many people never do, which is not a crime, but the result is that in our culture many people end up with only their broken 23-year-old dreams to show for all that work.

So here’s what I recommend for people who end up with a lot of things they paid for but somehow never made it to what they dreamed of.

Gather together all your things and sort them out, so you put all the things that were part of one dream in this corner of your house and all the things that were part of a different dream in another corner of your house, and keep doing this until all your things are in various corners of your house. Except the books and the beautiful things. Those you will keep unless you run across someone who can use them better than you can.

Now, use the corners of your house to build one new dream. Build it slowly, as you sort through your things and think about what each thing means to you. Here in this corner is photography; here in the other corner is writing; in the third corner your coin collection, and in the fourth corner your livestock projects. Your favorite charity in another. Out of all those things, what do you most want to grow into the final fruits of your own life experience? Sort slowly, appreciate everything, and try to think of how each thing relates to you, your history and whatever future is waiting for you.

MovinOn-ASC_5736RLSsMost people who end up keeping everything are mourning a past they cannot have, but you — when you bring into the room your favorite saddle — will sit down and “meditate on” or spend some time imagining yourself as the horseman you had planned to be when you were 23 years old. Does that dream still fit into your future? Yes? Then you are younger and richer than I am. Keep the saddle and spend 1/3 of your time making that one dream come true, leaving behind the others. You won’t have time for them. No? That saddle does not represent your number one dream? Then give the precious saddle to a precious 23-year-old friend who can make the dream come true for you both. Of put it in storage and never think about it again.

Do not let any inexperienced young person who still believes a Disneyesque corposystem world view tell you that you “should” find some way to toss out your past as though you and your broken dreams were worthless.

Sort your stuff slowly, each piece into its corner, and while you are sorting and thinking, focus more and more on the corners of your life that contain the one or two dreams worth growing into your own unique future. Keep the things that are making that future; and keep on sorting and giving away things that do not fit into your now plans. After a while the exercise will begin to become automatic. Every future is different, and it is the process that counts. Not the things.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of and KEOS radio, 89.1, in Bryan, Texas.


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