Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Four Letter Word

When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.

Bernard Bailey
How many prima donnas does it take to change a light bulb?
None. She just holds up the bulb and the world revolves around her.

In the English language one of the most important, nastiest, most dangerous. most helpful, most misused and misunderstood is the little word "self"

There's selfishness, self righteousness, self justification, self importance, self satisfaction. self promotion, self awareness, self delusion, even self immolation. The list seems endless. It's not surprising since the self is the only human being we are always with 24/7/12. One day I saw a woman on the subway wearing a button that read SELF. I wanted to ask her what the significance of the button was but concluded that she probably didn't wish to speak with anyone but herself.

How to relate this self that we are so familiar with to the other selves in the rest of the world? That's an intriguing problem. It requires empathy, sympathy, compassion and understanding. Qualities many people seem incapable of. And it must begin with a desire to relate ourselves to others not out of obligation but through a sense of community, society, civilizatin.

A question was once posed to me to which I had to give a lot of thinking. If I was required to take care of another human being, another bundle of adult flesh, bones and organs with the same constant care I did with my own bundle could I do it. It isn't even a questing of wanting to but of possibility, of ability. After all we don't feel another's pain, hunger, fear or joy. How can we possibly treat all of it as if it was our own?

Just about every actor who has ever worked has to deal at one time or another with a prima donna, a so called perfectionist. Prima donnas are those who believe they are the ones the audience has come to see and they make sure that no one speaks, moves or gets in front of them when they are speaking. They are not part of the production, they are the production. It revolves around them.

There are prima donnas in all walks. Though they are deferred to by many people in many ways, my reaction is to pity them. It must be very lonely being the center of the universe. It takes a lot of sacrifice of a lot of unhealthy things to become part of the universe. It takes truly recognizing the right to life, the right to speciality and even maybe the right to superiority of the people around one. It means relinquishing the throne of perfectionism and picking up the hoe of realism to break up the grounds of delusion and pull up the weeds of selfishness. It does not mean giving up the self. It means gazing down, around and up at the universe and being joyful that one is a part of it.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.
Another blogger friend came back today. That makes six.
Summer Is A Comin' In
(This is not a contest)

Come on. 12 diverse and interesting answers so far. Where's yours?

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

I eagerly await your answer.


1 comment:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I watched my Mom care for her husband in his last days, it takes its toll.