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AGING: It's much easier to see contraditions in others

Life is full of contradictions that we must learn to live with if we are to happy, less tense, lives. We can loudly protest that we don't possess contradictions, but our beliefs and actions give us away. We have our own individual contradictions,...

Life is full of contradictions that we must learn to live with if we are to happy, less tense, lives. We can loudly protest that we don't possess contradictions, but our beliefs and actions give us away. We have our own individual contradictions, and even when pointed out and acknowledged, we don't brag about them. We look on them as inconsistencies, and we hate to admit that we do, personally, have them: Much easier to see them in others.

A poem written by Edward Sandford Martin made it easier for me:

Within my earthly temple, there's a crowd

There's one of us that's humble; one that's proud.

There's one that's broken hearted for his sins,

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And one that, unrepentant, sits and grins,

There's one who loves his neighbor as himself,

And one who cares for naught but fame and pelf,

From much corroding care would I be free

If once I could determine which is me.

It is easy to see contradictions in the world's political picture as we note some nations of the world cited as evil or dangerous because of certain events that have occurred. Without too much investigation, it can be discovered that similar events have taken place in other nations who are not on that list. People are happy to shop at places like Wal-Mart (lower wages and benefits permit lower prices), but in their own work case, they would like union wages and higher minimum wage laws for lower paid workers in general.

It is easy to see in our own country with our illegal immigration problem. For years, we have ignored law enforcement (visa and work program timetables not enforced, illegals happily hired) and now because the problem has increased, we are quite upset and quickly and freely set about shifting the blame. We have those who are violently opposed to abortion because it is killing and, yet, support the death penalty for certain crimes.

Our golfing neighbor may pontificate energetically that he would like the government off his back and yet he sees nothing wrong with the government establishing daylight saving time which enables him get in 18 holes.

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You and I can add our own inconsistencies if we are analytically honest. It should help us to feel less guilt too. Human nature -- seems to be the nature of the beast.

And much of our humor, in my opinion, is partially based on contradiction. As examples, some bumper stickers statements to close out this week on aging:

  • Secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age
  • I'm not old; I'm chronologically gifted
  • I'm so old, when I eat out, they ask for the money up front
  • Support Bingo; keep Grandma off the streets.

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D., is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at Bernie1@cpinternet.com .

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