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An essay contributed by Bill McKeen

Musing on life:

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Think Again:

When it be within your power to return a wrong done unto you, consider which type of action will continue the discord, and which will end it.

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Looking Ahead:

For the want of something more we lose more. In the status quo or less anything is a gain.

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In good company a hard chair will not bother me.

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No matter how bad a person reputation is, if they treat you well you will still probably still like them.

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When I was a child living in Northumberland (Groveton), NH, we didn't have running hot water, ball point pens, television or instant coffee.

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Optical Illusion of Time:

In our mind's eye we have a tendency to make things look bigger. After being away for many years, I decided to visit my home town and the elementary school which I attended. I was shocked and somewhat awed. Everything appeared closer together and much smaller.

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The Number Seven (7):

In a mysterious way this number seems to pop up everywhere. Does it come from a time table involving units of energy? Alvin Boyd Kuhn in his book " Lost Light" had this to say." Every cycle, in the energizing of the universe finishes its work in seven waves and will go under the original force until brought to a standstill." 1

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I try not to let myself get carried away by worrying. My pall bearers will do it for me.

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Rightful Due:

People who are always putting out fires seem to get more credit than they deserve; as compared to the people that do not allow these fires to start in the first place.

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Historical Contact:

I have been told that my great grandfather on my mothers side of the family, David Holbrook, a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, got to shake hands with Abraham Lincoln. My claim to fame would be that I got stared down by John Kennedy. It happened in 1960 while I was in Washington D.C. After receiving a pass from my local congressman I went to Capital Hill to visit the U.S. Senate. While I was sitting up in the senate gallery, JFK was on the floor surrounded by some of his colleagues. He had just returned from campaigning in the N.H. primary. With a sense of knowing and without scanning the gallery, he looked up directly at me. It lasted maybe 3 or 4 seconds. I couldn't hold it and had to look away. In retrospect I wished I had flashed the victory sign. Maybe I could have gotten a wave or perhaps the famous Kennedy smile.

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If you are a blood relative, a minor achievement will be seen as a major accomplishment. If you are not a blood relative, a major accomplishment could be viewed as a minor achievement.

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Same Suit--Different Tie:

If you are a blood relative, a major blunder will be viewed as a minor miscue. If you are not a blood relative, a minor miscue could be seen as a major blunder.

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When we see or hear misfortune involving people outside our own family, it does not register in the same manner as it were our own. In defense of nature, without this selfish gene, the survival of the species would not have been possible.

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On Women:

"She has a intuitive understanding of what lies' quite close to her, her field of vision is narrow and doesn't reach that which is remote; so that women are decidedly more sober in their judgment than we are, so they do not see more in a thing than is really there, whilst if our passion are aroused, we are apt to see things in an exaggerated way, or imagine what does not exist."  German Philosopher A. Schopenhauer:

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Moving On:

In the deep recesses of our brain we keep a storage compartment of all our "regrets." Things that we should have done and things that we should not have done. Does it help to review them in some kind of ceremonial fashion? Maybe, but this not an easy thing to do.'

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Follow Up:

In my own life review of regrets I found a few of them were well thought out and logical but just turned out to be wrong. Some were due to temptation. Many were done under stress and pressure. A few were also caused by ignorance and stupidity.

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Brain Science:

You don't need to dwell on the this subject to become an expert. All you need to know is an area called the "prefrontal cortex." One part of it (dorsal) tells you where to go, what to do and what to say. The other part (ventral) tells you where not to go, what not to do and what not to say.

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Omens And Sign:

There are both good ones and bad ones, Most of them are subtle and elusive, yet if you look close enough you might be able to make a connection. Occasionally one will appear that is so powerful it can't be ignored. I can testify to that. My father-in-law came to visit our house one afternoon in early 1999-DEC. After talking in the kitchen for about 5 minutes, I looked out the window and saw all these black birds, It was an incredible sight. They completely covered our lawn and the yard of three of our neighbors. He opened the outside door and shouted to scare them away. Five hours later at a card party he collapsed from a massive heart attack and passed away.

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Two People:

A study in contrast:

  • The first person appears calm and serene; is adept at making conversation, yet listens well; Is considerate, and will not jump start or interrupt another; Enjoys musical concerts.

  • The second person is lacking in social skills; appears to be tense; doesn't really say much, but when he or she does speak, tends to be very direct and somewhat louder; apt to stare and ask too many questions; enjoys art museums.

The first person is blind. The second person is hearing impaired.

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Second Person:

A glimpse on the other side of the wall. In the absents of the spoken word, the hearing impaired do become very astute at reading lips and facial expressions. With lip reading, it is in a high state of awareness that a fleeting analysis must be made between partial sound and lip movement. Sometimes, at the end of a sentence, you get a clue as to a key word previously stated. While you are trying to reconstruct the previous statement the person is still talking. So, not only are you doing what was said before, but you must process what is being said now, and at the same time, you have to be ready with a response to keep the conversation going.

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As For My Self:

I have been partially deaf since birth. In the low frequency sounds my hearing loss was moderate to severe. In high frequency it was profound. Thus affecting my ability speak and hear. It has been one hell of a ride. My speaking and writing style tend to be short and to the point as you can see here. There were so many times in my life when I could have vaulted ahead of my contemporaries but just couldn't pull it off due to my lack of communication skills. Despite not having the gift of gab, I was able to carve a decent living, enough to support and raise a family. In December, 2011 I received a Cochlear Implant. It is good but not great. It will never make up for the lost years.

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Sunshine and Light:

Through sunshine and light a cell's nucleus is positively charged and the surrounding cytoplasm is negatively charged. And in doing so it provides the necessary energy for all human cells which are in turn carried to the distribution of the brain on to help regulate bodily functions. Sunshine and light can also affect mood and disposition. The right amount will make you feel alert and happy. To much, hyper and irritable. The right amount of cloud cover will produce calmness and serenity. Too much, will make you lethargic and depressed. During the daylight hours when you are awake, trillions of cells are alive and kicking. At night when you are asleep the oxidation process is subdued and things calm down. At the dawn of a new day the cycle will return and repeat itself.

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Schadenfreude: 3

Despite its negative connotation, it can produce a good feeling, either consciously or subconsciously. I think it comes from the satisfaction of knowing that you are not alone in misery and strife.

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Grand Parenthood:

Just when you thought your bird nesting days were over along comes the grandchildren. The phantom umbilical cord returns with all the cares and worries that it entails. Where your pleasure resides, your pain resides.

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Prime Time:

Child development in the first five years is so critical when it comes to acquiring emotional stability, bonding, trust and communication skills. Any kind of prolonged negative stimulus can create development delays and or at worst, life long phobia of one kind or another. The following idiom certainly applies. "As the twig is bent so is the tree inclined".

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Impossible to know in the here and now
Restricted and confined as we are.
With ignorance abounding everywhere.
Each to their own little universe.
Not knowing whence or why, when or how.
Seeking to find the fleeting joy, ever so brief and shallow.
Stoke the ego, call my name, and give me my due.
Oh Mother Dear, hold me close in thy restful womb.

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Hang Time:

"I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning." (Andy Warhol)

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If any of the written material above looks familiar, then it is coincidental. ("except where noted") I believe that there nothing in this world that has not been said before in one way or another. Still, I like to think that everyone has a little different stroke when it comes to using the same paint brush.

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Related essay by Bill McKeen:

Theological Musing: My Search for Truth

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References used:

  1. Book cover image Alvin Boyd Kuhn, "The Lost Light, An interpretation of ancient scriptures," CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, (2011). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

  2. book cover image Verse #70, from: Marvin Meyer & James Robinson, "NAG Hammadi Scripltures, HarperOne, (2009). Read reviews or order this book

  3. From a German word which literally means "harm-joy." It refers to the feelings of happiness that some people experience when observing that another person is suffering or experiencing a loss.

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Copyright © 2013 & 2015 by Bill McKeen. All rights reserved. Brief quotations may be used for review purposes. Non-commercial use is permissible, if the author and title of this work are acknowledged.
First posting: date: 2013-SEP-01
Latest update: 2015-MAY-21
Author: William Mckeen
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