I haven’t written a Monday Musings post in a while…

Here’s 5 random things that I’ve been pondering… and chewing on… and thinking about… for the past week or so:

1.  Wolves of Wall Street

We saw the preview to this movie – and I immediately wanted to watch it (because I enjoy the creative offerings of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio).  But then Nicholas Kristof posted this link – which made me seriously reconsider supporting the movie…

Time also wrote this piece.

2.  Hellen Keller

I don’t know what got me thinking about Hellen Keller this week.  Probably because I watched a really interesting video of how she interacted with dancers… and music… and how she experienced the world so – differently – to the ways that we take for granted.  I can’t even imagine being blind and deaf… and yet, she was such a brilliant woman who made so much of her life!  I decided to wiki her – and was even more impressed.  Here’s a 1911 quote from her:

“The few own the many because they possess the means of livelihood of all … The country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor. The majority of mankind are working people. So long as their fair demands—the ownership and control of their livelihoods—are set at naught, we can have neither men’s rights nor women’s rights. The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.”

Hmmm.  Seems to me that not much has changed since 1911…

3.  When Einstein met Tagore

I really enjoyed this conversation between the world-renowned scientist… and the Indian philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore.

  1.  Into The Wild

I watched the movie, “Into The Wild”.  The film is based on the life of Chris McCandless who, shortly after graduating from college, gave away all of his money and hiked into the Alaskan Wilderness – hoping to live simply in solitude… for an indefinite period of time.

As it turns out, it didn’t go well for Chris.  He couldn’t get back… began to starve… and, in his desperation, ate poisonous berries by mistake… and died.

I had mixed feelings about this story… and a bit of online research reveals a heated debate going about Chris.  Some folk feel as though he was just an idiot with a death-wish…  others empathise with his idealism and get his internal struggles and desperate need to completely remove himself from The System as he knew it.

The Idealist in me certainly identifies with many of his core values.

About 2 months ago, a friend posted one of Chris’ quotes on my Facebook page.  He says this:

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.  The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.  The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day, to have a new and different sun”

As an adventure-lover and an idealist – I certainly resonate with this quote.  It’s very “me”.

But, I disagree with his assumption that everyone wants (or needs) to live this way.  I think there are many folk who are very happy with their routine and predictability.  And I think the world needs settlers as much as it needs pioneers.

I’m the pioneer type.  I thrive on adventure.  I adore The New.  I love change…  and I have always been this way.  Even as a teenager, I would regularly re-arrange the furniture in my room, re-decorate, re-imagine… and re-do… because I just couldn’t stand never-ending sameness.

That said, I also acknowledge that not everyone is like me.  There are many people who enjoy predictability and routine.   They want it, and they thrive under those circumstances.  I may not understand that (I baulk at routine and predictability)… but other folk would hate my existence as much I would wither and die in theirs.

Anyway… it’s given me a lot to chew on….

Closing thoughts:   I identify with the idealism of Chris (and certainly the deep need for newness and adventure)…  but, I don’t think I’ll be heading off on a solo hike into the Alaskan Wilderness any time soon (and certainly not without a compass or ample supplies!).

Besides.  I’m too much of a wuss.  Just 30 minutes standing in the middle of the Adirondack Lake… with icy winds swirling snow around my shivering pajama-clad legs… sent me scurrying back into the warmth of the cottage, and straight to the coffee pot!

I love adventure and fun… but would still like to keep myself (and my family) fairly in tact during the process of exploring and adventuring around the world!

5.  And finally…. this sign:

IMG_1746

Seriously?  Is this real?

It’s illegal to open umbrellas and move chairs?

I took this photo at a small hotel on the banks of Lake Erie in a town called Geneva… and it provided fodder for an interesting discussion between Nick and I.  I’m still not certain what to make of it…

Anyway… so there’s my Monday Musings…

Chat soon!  🙂