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Category: Whimsical

What sacrifices should parents make for their children to be happy?

The full question at Quora was:

Why did my dad think it was a good idea to get a lower-paying job and lower our standard of living just because he was stressed and tired? Isn’t it the parents’ job to make sacrifices for their children to be happy?

I meant to leave a two or three line answer. The process of answering the question made me think more deeply about the issue. Uncoy is generally about dance, politics, history or photography but if I’m prepared to take this question on Quora, why not here?

Others answered this question very well, with moving stories about uncles or fathers they have lost. The short and effective answer by someone who lost his father to stress: “You have your dad. Can we trade places?”

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Humanity, Mortality and the Dalai Lama

stunning nature
nature vs humanity: in the very long run nature must win

When asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama answered:

Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

Apparently the Dalai Lama never said this. What a pity if he didn’t. This is our life. We lose our time pursuing matters of little consequence, preening before our peers and dreaming of irrelevant wealth. Long term stress-related cancer claimed Steve Jobs as surely as it will claim you or me, if we don’t live better and balance our lives better.

One of my best friends and my long term creative partner died in a car crash on his birthday a week after mine, just before he hit thirty. My life was changed, his was ended. This is mortality.

On the other hand, since we are all in an inevitable rush to the finish line, what does it matter if we labour out our existence and pushing to the top of the ant pile? If we are going to be dead soon we may as well work hard while you have the chance.

Or to pivot one more time. Since we don’t live long, what does it really matter what we think or feel in our nanosecond?

To put some perspective on matters, life on earth is 450 million years old and has been nearly snuffed out three times before our epoch. Those 450 million years are just a short day in the history of our solar system which is approximately 4.5 billions years old and has another 6 billion years to go before the sun extinguishes itself, burning through all the helium.

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Evening Sun | Hemispheres

Everyone always talks about moving somewhere warm like Caribbean or the Southern Mediterranean. I think that’s a bit of a bore. As you get close to the equator, you are never faced with evening which begins at four in the afternoon as we are in winter in Middle and Northern Europe. But you also never have the ten o’clock evening sun.

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Sex and Booze

What is it about women and booze?

I’ve been on a zero alcohol rule for about five months straight – something I do every now and again to clear my mind. I’m not much of a hard liquor kind of guy, although thanks to my time in Moscow, I can appreciate ice cold vodka straight followed up with a zakuska. What I do enjoy is a glass of good wine, whether it be Spanish or French red, or Austrian white.

In any case, enough stress at work these days (too much work rather than too little), I decided it’s time to sleep a little deeper – and to apply the traditional homeopathic recipe, good wine.

Portraitrv2500
Wine, women and song

Leaving the booze and getting back to the women, for some reason I always find that one has more and hotter women in one’s bed when drinking. A teetotal man diminishes his chances of an exciting night or even acquiring a girlfriend by about factor of about four or more.

Happily enough my current girlfriend isn’t much of a drinker so life without booze hasn’t bad to me this round. But now that I’ve gone back to opening a good bottle of wine in the middle of the evening or over dinner, a little surprise was waiting for me.

Even the most conservative women seem to expand their sexual horizons radically when watered with good wine.

So the deal with booze for women seems to be that it

  • disinhibits them physically
  • lets them drift into the lovemaking with more feeling
  • gives them a psychological get out of jail free card

The psychological get out of jail free card is perhaps the most important one. "I did that?," she asks incredulous. "I must have been drunk."

Or in the case of a casual fling. The friend asks "Did you sleep with him?"

Answer: "Yes, but I was drunk."

Friend: "Ah that makes sense."

Well maybe to women it makes sense. Otherwise I’m not sure. Who on earth wants to sleep with people drunk with whom one wouldn’t want to sleep sober?

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