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  1. This is the illusion of moderates and centrists. They pride themselves on their balanced views. And with even less humility they distance themselves from strong opinions.
    Some are chasing the ever elusive perfect opinion. Even if its full of hedging and "On the other hand" s. Own a few facts and that will massage their ego even further. Like the Pharisee in the Gospel "Praise the Lord for enlightened people like me. "
  2. The seventies and eightees. My two older brothers were right into it. One an owner/driver, the other a standardbred stud owner.
    The rest of us came along for the ride. Attending meetings, visiting the stud, watching the horse being trained and following the progress of mostly slow horses.I actually bought one and had it trained by my brother. A short career mostly finishing last or near last. There was one horse that my brother trained that did quite well. The exception to the rule. She won over 20 races in the country and city. Kept us all entertained for a few years.
    It was a real passion for my brothers. They were ethical. They never cheated. Thinking about that now I am quite proud of them.
    The only thing i regret is that their passion distracted me. I should have focussed on my own. Music and guitar for one. And a more ruthless search for religious truth perhaps? Oh well it wasnt all bad. Going to a country race meeting was kind of fun really. I have a strong memory of mouth-watering steak sandwiches with a can of beer. Even if i was losing on the punt.
  3. Yeah we are one day ahead of Planet America. Sorry that is not meant to be derogatory. There is a TV program in Australia called Planet America. A weekly which monitors American politics. Cant say I watch because I suspect the presenters are left leaning Liberals.
    A day is so short. How can I make today unique? Am I just repeating the same tired prejudices and negative reruns in my head? Would be nice if I had a fresh insight. A positive one preferably. That sees more hope in the future.
    As you age, your past gets longer as your future gets shorter. My perspective is totally different now to when I was say 30. When you are young you are forced to have some ambitious dreams about career. Even if they are utopian and unsuited to your personality and skill set. Your body is restless for a physical and mental challenge. A day off work might see you get bored. I think boredom was a bigger factor when I was that age. Then I would be tempted to follow the demon drink path or flee to the nearest slot machine club.
    Now I at least don't need those things. Boredom is hardly ever a factor. Fear of old age is now my main concern. As Im sure it is for many. Try not to think about being elderly and losing independence. But the day flies so fast now, I never get bored. Always something to read or write or watch. Im feeling my education has improved in the last few years. But I have a long way to go.
    But yeah . How can I make today unique? Because for many of us the days blur and life feels meaningless. Take a different route for your dog walk. Drive a different way to work. Try a new exercise to stimulate new blood flow from a different muscle. Challenge the assumptions you make about life, politics and other people. Renew. Keep an open mind. But as one Pope said in as many words, 'don't let your mind be too open." :)
  4. If ever there was a complex topic beyond my comprehension, it is climate change. Since mainstream are expressing the urgency of addressing it, I tell myself I should get informed. Don't want to be placed in that group of fossils who think we should rely on fossils for energy instead of renewables.
    Ive just watched Climate Change 101 by Bill Nye. Maybe I should watch it again. It didn't really grab me. Arent there more urgent issues to worry about in the world? Like human rights abuse in countries such as North Korea. Poverty even in first world countries. Terrorism.
    I haven't given up. I will have another go. Doesn't seem to be any simple answers/solutions though. The cost of renewables is a concern in our country. No one seems to have the perfect plan to transition them in, without prohibitive cost.
  5. You feel like an outsider? Not part of the mainstream? Maybe something makes you feel like you don't belong. Let me guess. Gayness? Lack of financial success? Lack of career? Male and don't feel masculine? Female and don't feel feminine? Still single. No kids? You feel like a science nerd with no emotional intelligence? You are not very intellectual? You are ashamed of your dysfunctional family? Your politics is in the minority...….the list goes on.
    I can identify with a number of those including no kids. But maybe we can all feel like outsiders at one stage of our lives. I have a profoundly deaf sibling. Disabled. Bet he feels like an outsider. He once said "you hearing people have no idea". He's right. We have no idea what it is like to be deaf.
    What makes us unique has the potential to make us feel alienated. I have a soft voice. I suffered lack of authority as a teacher because of it. Im not saying "poor me" but I might be saying "poor us." We all have something that will make us feel different to mainstream.
    There is the aspect of wanting to be an outsider too. Making us look cool. Saying I like new wave jazz could make me feel superior. Even if real music buffs know it doesn't matter what music you like.
    It was cool to say you were into Buddhism back in High School. It seemed that you were more sophisticated, more aware, more broad-minded. yet most of us were boring old Christians. Or even duller lapsed Catholics.
    I don't think we should be too proud of our unique way of thinking or eccentric hobby. We need to be brought down to earth and realise we can be just as predictable and the same as everyone else. Its ok to be mainstream is probably what I want to say.
    Magus and O.M. Hillside like this.