Newsletter: July 3, 2011 – Look before you leap!

One of the more curious aspects of the human being is a taste for zeal. I haven’t looked this up in the dictionary but it seems to me to be expressed by a prefix we often use denoting excess: over.  Which has to do with the idea of “too much” “too many,” “too far,” in short … “too …”

“Overdoing it” could mean going too far, too fast. Providing too much. Too much, too fast.  Answering an unasked question with outrageous action. With an outrageous abuse of power.

Where’s the benchmark? the standard? the reference?

Apparently when the ego feels it’s safe to venture (hence, adventure) out with unhindered, non-defensive aggressivity and in the name of some pretext (read: reason, justification) be it security, law and order, policy, religion, country or tribe or heaven forbid, “justice” … we’re headed for trouble. Common sense has been subjected to some other “idea, some other pulsion.”

Speaking of ideas, years ago, Bertrand Russell, one of the greatest mathematicians and philosophers of our time wrote two essays. One was entitled: “Ideas which have helped mankind,” and the other, “Ideas which have harmed mankind.” Probably went out of print … with vinyl 33s.  My father used to say “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

“I’m right ….  You’re wrong.” It seems to me that this is comparable to the law of the wild west:  “Shoot first, ask later…” And I’m not denying that this may be a means to survival, even a justified one in some case – albeit a potentially dangerous one!

How often do we say:  “You’re right….I’m wrong.”  Same words. Different order. This could be like … asking first.

Acting with enthusiasm is like a fresh morning.  Zeal? More like the militia sneaking out in the dark.

Moral of the story: Look before you leap!

Enjoy the 4th – even if you’re in Minnesota – and thanks for reading The Paris Savannah Connection.

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Author: Mark