The wisest of you men is he who has realized, like Socrates, that in respect of wisdom he is truly worthless.
In a steam driven locomotive or other large machine wood or coal is burned to heat water and create steam. The steam is then carried through pipes to mechanisms that drive pistons or other devices. There are valves to siphon off excess steam. Hence we get the expression "letting off steam."
If the safty valve isn't allowed to open the machine will shut itself down or blow itself up, and that's what happens to a lot of people. Those who are steamed up all the time about something and don't have or don't use a means of blowing off steam are in for trouble of one form or another. Either they will implode, go into denial, stop thinking, stop doing and stop dealing with the things they need to deal with. Irresponsibility, defiance, anti intellectualism, anti culturalism, the self dumbing down of people are the way marks of such implosion. Then there are the exploders who try to wipe out the things they can't deal with through violence, the prevention of other people's rights, using personal power to corrupt righteous causes and eventual self destruction.
All of those negatives could be prevented by a little blowing off of steam. I think, and many others think so too, that the best valve to open for the stressing and squirming of the overwhelming difficulties of life is a sense of humor. There isn't anything in life that can't be graced by a sense of the comical, a sense of irony, absurdity, the ridiculous; a sense of humor.
The ability to laugh at ourselves is a great talent which anyone can develop. Comedians are in the business of showing us how funny we are. The great thinkers of the world all exhibited the ability to laugh at things. Socrates obviously had a sense of humor, Einstein certainly did, I think Jesus Christ did, although I'll get an argument about that from some stuffed up Christians who haven't found their own steam valve yet. One can not successfully carry with them a huge load of thoughts and actions, of cares and responsibilities without occasionally being able to see the funny side of things. That's why the kings and monarchs of old had court jesters.
We are all inadequate at having the truth and wisdom we are supposed to have. It is healthy to be reminded of that now and then. If the major politicians and the big CEOs are too stuck on themselves to be able to see it then they would each do well to have a jester on the payroll to remind them. There would be a lot more cooperation and a lot less mud slinging.
DB - The Real Vagabond Journeys
Never give up.
Summer is moving along, people.
It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you.
Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?
16 answers so far.
You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.