Filosofa Reflects …

snap-crackle-popYou all remember Snap, Crackle and Pop of Rice Krispies fame?  Last night, after working for a few hours on emails, posts, comments, etc., I stood to refill my coffee cup, and I distinctly heard those three characters … in my knees.  And hips.  And feet.  What the …???  It’s likely not the first time I had heard this cacophony of sounds, but … perhaps the first time it penetrated the fog that surround my brain and allowed me to realize that sound was coming, not from a box of cereal, but from ME!  Yes, those were my body parts crackling, snapping, and popping!  What can this possibly mean???  OH NO!!! 

I’m OLD!!!old-shocked

Seriously, though … there comes a point in our lives where we look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “who is that?”  Or, “how did I get to this point, and where have the years gone?”

At this point, once we accept that we are no longer 30 years old, and no longer have the world on a string, we reflect.  We look back on the years and ask ourselves some tough questions.  Was I a good person?  If there is a scorecard, did I give more than I took?  Did my life have purpose, in the grand scheme of things?  What was my single greatest achievement in life?  What was my worst mistake, and did I atone for it in some way?  And the real kicker … if I had it to do over again, what would I do differently?

Thing is, though, that the answers on Tuesday might be entirely different from the answers on Friday.  Take that first question, for example.  “Was I a good person?”  Well, first of all, define “good”.  There was the time that I threatened to beat a lady with a shovel for taking too long checking out at a local market.  I wasn’t very good that day.  But then, there was the time that I gave a family $1,000 that was most of my own bank account at Christmas to buy gifts for their children.  Does one outweigh or offset the other?

And, about that “single greatest achievement in life” … is it my children?  Well, one child now.  That one child is making a difference in the world every day.  She is a nurse, and one who entered the field because she wanted to help people, to dedicate her life to others.  I gave birth to her, taught her all of life’s important lessons, taught her to think for herself.  Do I get a brownie point for that?  No, I think that point belongs on her scorecard.

I spent some 30 years as an accountant … more than once, I compared the field of accounting to a career in prostitution, reckoning that the most successful accountants sold their souls upriver.  Twice during my career, I quit jobs rather than break the law or sacrifice my integrity.  Does that make me a good person?  Doubtful, as somebody else simply stepped in to do the dirty work.

On to another question, then.  Did I give more than I took?  This one is easy … or is it?  I think that yes, I did, but then … did I really?  I first thought the answer was a resounding “yes”, but then … I look around.  I have given small amounts from time to time to a variety of humanitarian organizations, but … I have also lived a life of convenience.  It is snowing outside, and my heat is set at a comfortable 72°.  I have a refrigerator and freezer full of food, a chicken is simmering in the crock pot, and quite literally, I want for nothing.  Or at least nothing that money can buy.  I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but neither am I suffering.  I spent $89 at the grocery today, $10 of which was for a bottle of wine to help me relax enough to sleep at night, and $5 of which was to purchase the aforementioned chicken.  Some people are living on $25 or less for a week.  More to the point, perhaps, some people would not see a chicken killed for their own pleasure, so here again, I fail.

So, at the end of the day, I could compare myself to some and be seen as a good person, or to others and be seen as a total dud, a failure.  So, the question really is, I think, whether we, each and every one of us, believe we did our best, gave our all.  For me, I am not proud of all the times I have put self ahead of the greater good, but neither will I kick myself for the times I have failed, for through failure I have learned.

As we get older, as we come to realized that our lives are on the downhill side, we ask ourselves the questions, we contemplate whether we might have done more … and I think that we will, if we are honest with ourselves, come up lacking.  But you know what?  I think that just the fact we take the time to ask the questions, to look back, to assess and analyze, says something about our character.  I hope that at the end of the day, more people will remember me with a smile than with a scowl.

33 thoughts on “Filosofa Reflects …

  1. great post; I never knew about your accounting background. That must be the reason we’ve connected. And I think asking those questions is an indication that you care about the answers, that you want to lead a good life and to have made a difference. By wanting such things, you have likely succeeded in achieving them because they were important to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like the adage goes… age is just a number and ur as old as you feel. Bodies age, but spirit is forever keep celebrating life and stay young at heart, ur doing just fine. The proof of your selflessness, humanity/ service to others is the fact that ur keeping up this great blog day in & day out. You choose to share, entertain, uplift, enlighten, most importantly educate others about the ails of society and how we can all make this reality a better place to experience, on Earth and virtually on the world wide web! Keep up the great work Jill, ur building and nourishing community. ❤

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  3. No fears, Jill. There is no scorecard, or score-keeper. Whether you are famous for having done something, or no, you have still added to the totality that is life. Remember, today’s evil is tomorrow’s good, and vice versa. Maybe the frog you kissed didn’t turn into an instant prince, but maybe in a different incarnation you are the reason for it becoming a butterfly.

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  4. It is a feature of my family – the one I was born into – that we always feel guilty about something. My sister is a doctor but felt guilty for staying home and not belonging to Medicine Sans Frontieres! To my mind being a doctor means plus plus plus on the good scale. As for the rest of us? Is it enough to not actually have murdered anyone and try and be nice or are the only good people those who have fostered hundreds of children or saving surgeons? You have set us thinking Jill, but perhaps those who never think are the ones who should be examining their lives.

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    • I’m of a like mind with you as regards being a doctor … or a nurse, or any of those careers that are about helping people. For me, the answer lies somewhere in between your two examples. I don’t think it’s enough just not to have murdered someone (though there are situations where a gold medal should be awarded for resisting the temptation). But, I also don’t think one has to try to save the world all by oneself. Think about my good people posts on Wednesdays … they are all just giving what they have to give, for the most part, and helping maybe only one person, but they are, at least, doing good in the world. And I think your last sentence is spot on. We all need to reflect sometimes, but perhaps most especially those who never think about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I decided early on I was never going to be a history maker or be remembered for great deeds. My best hope in being able to live with myself was by being kind to people.I have tried and I’m still trying. You are also kind to people and your blog reflects this whether it’s the ‘people being kind’ Wednesday, Monday’s invitation to break your fast with Jolly or even your blog where you try to improve your country by bringing people the facts about the deficiencies of those elected to lead them.. Just keep on keeping on and you’ll be remembered kindly.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Jill, one part of your post resonated with me when it came to you doubting whether you were a good person in the following situation.
    “accountants sold their souls upriver. Twice during my career, I quit jobs rather than break the law or sacrifice my integrity. Does that make me a good person? Doubtful, as somebody else simply stepped in to do the dirty work.”
    I look at this from a different perspective in that you had the moral fortitude not to sell your soul to do that work which someone else did. Just because the work of evil is done by someone else doesn’t negate your goodness in not doing it. does that make sense?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for that perspective, Scott! I think it does make sense, I only wish I could have convinced the companies to operate honestly, but I guess it is the nature of some corporations to be greedy and try to add to their own wealth at the expense of others. Thanks again, my friend. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

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