Monday, October 10, 2011

In The Sand

When men yield up the privilege of thinking. the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

Thomas Paine
Hello Ken
I am a difficult man. I insist on thinking for myself and I expect everyone else to do the same. I want people to do the things they can't do and find the thoughts they don't know they have yet. False hopes?

My friend Ernie and I used to play war games. Not out in the back yard with clubs and stones, but huddled respectfully over a paper map, moving little pieces of cardboard around and throwing the dice. One of those games was about tank warfare in the desert. I got to hide tanks in the sand, only noting on a piece of paper their exact location. When he tried to cross the desert a tank would only make it's appearance when one of his pieces came with firing range. Then the fight was on. On the other had he could successfully cross the playing field and never discover any of my tanks. But if I placed my tanks in strategically appropriate places that wasn't likely.

For a year I worked for a theatre company that performed short plays followed by discussions for schools in and around the Washington, DC area. For one of the plays I had written a musical score, which generated a lot of discussion pro and con. After one performance a young fellow came up to me as we were packing up to leave. He told me what he thought the music meant and then said that he was probably wrong because he was a level so-and-so student and couldn't understand those things.

I was enraged. I stepped off the stage, went over to him and told him that his critique of my music was right on the mark and never to let anyone tell him he couldn't understand something. Or, I said, let them tell you but ignore them. Imagine a school in America trying to put a lid on some young person's head by telling him he is incapable of understanding something and thinking for himself. Whoever did that should be arrested and jailed.

"I can't do something." Yes you can, you just don't know it yet.

There is a bottomless well of wisdom already existing in the human mind. Most of the time we are not conscious of it. But when we focus our thinking on a problem or question the thoughts that come up in the ladle are part of that universe of knowledge. We wonder where those thoughts came from. They may take us by surprise, but they were always there, hidden in the sand, waiting to be discovered.

I say dip the bucket into that well everyday and find out what you know. These days it's more than a "privilege," it's an obligation.

Dana Bate
Your Loving Vagabond
Never Give up


What event over the past year changed your life, a lot or a little?

Only 3 answers so far.

I await your answers.


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

Hello DB :o)

One of my favorite games is Risk, but I have always had a hard time finding those willing to play.

krissy knox said...

A beautiful and inspiring post, Dana. I haven't, until the last few years, learned that I had answers within. It was to great amazement that i discovered this, and it caused me to look at my life, and everything, from a difft paradigm. My whole life was difft from the time i first discovered and believed this -- drastically difft. But there are still times when i back away from knowing i have answers, bc of fear, believe it or not. doing something that i fear i will fail at scares me, just going forth scares me at times. i should remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but going on even in the face of fear. and sometimes we fail many times before we succeed, but we need to try, or how else will we succeed? and 99% of the time, we WILL succeed, bc we DO have the answers w/in. However they got there, which will oftentimes be from the Lord, as He is our Father and gives us good gifts. He also gives us common sense, creativity, judgement, ideas, etc, to just know what to do, and to use our inner skills to come up w solutions and carry out ideas! so we do have answers w/in! i need to listen to those answers, and do what i need to do despite my fear at times. I need to just go for it!

thanks for a great post, dana!
krissy knox :)
my main blog: Sometimes I Think
Former AOL Journalers sign our Jland Directory:
From Jland To Blogger
connect w Krissy on Twitter:
want to be friends on FB?