Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘opinions

A Chance

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Have you noticed the lone lopsided tree left standing to the right of the ones we took down over the weekend? A number of people have suggested it would make sense to cut that one down, too.

There are plenty of reasons it would be a logical choice, but who am I to let logic get in the way of my emotions?

One key reason I am letting it stand is that it isn’t dead. Not yet, anyway. It has carved out its meager existence and endured despite the shadow of the larger tree. Now that it is no longer crowded out, I’d like to see how it will respond.

I want to give it a chance to take advantage of the unobstructed afternoon sunlight and the uncontested space to spread out in every direction. It is very birch-like, but I haven’t specifically identified it. Black birch, maybe.

What does it cost me to wait a year or two to find out if it shows signs of renewed vigor? Just some ongoing questioning of my decision-making process, but that’s something I can tolerate.

Cyndie and I were surveying the space left after the trees were removed and discussed whether it would make sense to transfer some of the multitudes of volunteer maple seedlings that sprout all around our place each spring.

It’s an odd little corner of our property. The primary drainage ditch that nicely defines the southern border for most of the span of our open fields takes a little turn inward and orphans a fair-sized triangle of grass up to the road. The neighbor to the south is more than happy to tend to it, and he cuts that grass when cutting his adjacent strip along a cornfield there.

Honestly, I have reasons to believe he would consider it madness to plant new trees in that spot. He once offered to come cut down trees behind our house to create a larger space of lawn for us. Our opinions of what is more valuable are in stark contrast.

If we plant new trees, we will start by placing them along, or close to, the drainage ditch. I’m happy to work slowly and give him time to adjust to our changes.

The chickens show no sign of needing time to adjust. They showed up instantly when we drove to one of our trails to distribute a load of wood chips. I think they wanted to help spread them around.

In reality, what they were really doing was, scratching away the chips to get down to the dirt below, which was comical. They could do that anywhere. In fact, it would be easier to do it where we hadn’t just laid down a new cover of wood chips. Instead, they looked as though the new chips were a real bonus.

I’ll give them the benefit of doubt. Maybe there were bugs in the chips that dropped to the dirt below as soon as the chips got tossed on the trail.

There is a chance there is a logical method to their madness.

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Written by johnwhays

December 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

Embrace Change

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Is it possible to fully understand the vast number of worlds and details of lives to which we have, at best, limited exposure? Not that we are supposed to. How often are decisions made, despite an honest comprehension and acceptance of how little we are actually aware?

What can one individual really expect to grasp of the full range of issues and disciplines at play in the world? Let me see how many I can leave out by failing to mention…

Starting nowhere in particular, …medicine. Pharmacies. Hospitals, patient care, insurance, finance, facility maintenance, emergency management, legal advice, illegal gambling, addiction, recovery, psychiatry, academia, higher education, childhood education, reverse mortgages, home construction, plea bargaining, coupon shopping, fuel additives, auto sales, product placement, advertising, manufacturing, shipping, travel, cultural sensitivity, political ambitions, mathematical odds, gravitational waves, electron microscopes, archaeological mapping, district boundaries, city planning, manure management, religious zealotry, emotional manipulation, theater production, recording industry, music licensing, athletic training, team building, volunteerism, broadcast journalism, pain management, nutrition supplements, insulin, scar tissue, therapeutic massage, skin grafts.

Demolition, trucking, forest management, bear hunting, bird migration, traditional celebrations, sleep deprivation, common misconceptions, in-depth investigation, maintaining confidentiality, healthy intervention, interior decoration, retail product purchasing, industrial scale food production, buying fabric, spinning yarn, nailing crossbeams, laying foundations, paving highways, recognizing symptoms, healing psychological wounds, making amends, raising children, caring for elders, predicting the weather, creating complex spreadsheets, coding software, upgrading hardware, saving lost data, creating historical records, storing precious documents, managing a bank, growing wealth, affordable healthcare, establishing a fair tax.

Proper shoes for walking, insoles both firm and cushy, camping gear, college years, immigration, negotiation, land management, proper drainage, flood mitigation, product liability, instant gratification, adequate illumination, mineral rights, engine displacement, performance enhancing drugs, commercial sponsorship, codependent relationships, legal guardianship, adoption, acting, directing, angel investors, screenplay writing, sky writing, stunt flying, flight instruction, ground rules, ruling parties, parting ways, space exploration, deep-sea diving, grant writing, non-profit organizations, managing foundations, educating the masses, bullshit detection.

Historical re-enactments, religious interpretation, traditional hymns, learned behaviors, family bias, class divides, social acceptance, criminal negligence, healthy confrontation, anger management, pet care, pest control, toilet training, Oedipal complex, renal failure, clogged arteries, plugged drains, drain fields, debt manipulation, cosmetic dentistry, animal husbandry, oral history, re-framing history, flagging industries, recycling precious metals, fabricating complex machines, publishing magazines, controlling military spending, black-market weapons dealing, lifting economies, deep sea fishing, car racing, long distance putts, fire protection, lumber harvesting, crop raising, hospice care, librarian, business consulting, museum curation, sculpting, designing, choreography, judge, cook, baker, candlestick maker.

If you chose to read every last word of those paragraphs, you might consider serving in government somehow. I also think you’d make a good editor.

I shudder over the number of instances when I have heard political arguments or strong opinions expressed with fervent finality, when there are so many more pertinent details worth considering in the world than can realistically be included. No one person can know everything there is to know.

I feel like the general population of the United States is looking for a person who does know everything, when they think about electing a President. Others are just looking for a candidate who will constrain decisions to a narrow band of specific interests.

I’d prefer the kind of leadership that is allowed to be flexible enough to respond to the latest information available and make decisions based on a combination of historical reference and what is known now.

Since the world is constantly changing, it makes sense to me to embrace the change, rather than struggle in resistance against it.

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Written by johnwhays

February 13, 2016 at 10:34 am