As we close another COVID year I reflect on some wisdom– ok that’s a stretch– rather, lessons to share on a few subjects. Cheers to the year of the deuce!
On status, recognition:
Never equate a person’s salary, net worth, hourly rate with ethical, competent, high esteem, worthy/entitled, lovable kind people. I see attorney’s who are more likely to lie under oath than carpenters who swing a hammer; PhD Computer/CIO who use the same password– given to his family, wife and young children–for 20 years, the difference in aptitude is less than you think. A curious mind can learn as much.
Augh, too dismal for much reflection; most conditions are obvious and not by choice. The one thing I leaned was when the Physician’s assistant asks you if you have had any recent falls….the answer is NO, even if you fell coming into the office. Evidently affirming falls will put you in a new category of patient, somewhere you don’t want to be. Lesson learned. The no speak order also goes for any incident where a police officer wants to hear your version on an incident. It is not story telling time, don’t talk. On the subject of police practices, statistically, police believe a man much more often than a woman.
Take and keep control of your data. Sharing among doctors on a network is fine as long as it is agreeable by you. Get records after each appointment; trying to recreate records is much more cumbersome. Doctors get it wrong as often as anyone; but the arrogance of some will convince you of the heavenly post they think they hold–godly.
It is very important that you always keep control of personal finances. Relinquishing that control leaves you very vulnerable to a poverty cycle that becomes hard to swim above. (That speaks to the career-stay-at home mothers of high earners. Remember that your likelihood of being cast off is 50%!) ‘Finance’ may seem like the most boring subject you have ever entertained learning, but learn it like your last support payment is in 3 months.
It has been repeated to me that I should try to get Section 8 housing. I didn’t live a life of service to other to be warehoused in poverty. That advice will go back to bite the giver. My house is an asset that can be used in many ways to generate more income.
Freud has a few things right. Love and work, to put it in simplistic terms, are the basis for good mental health. When I had neither, I was worse off than having one and a quarter.
The least ethical individuals seem likely have control, power, wealth and will tell a lie under oath–as a matter of course.
The intentions of law are basically good and favors a situation where parties find a way to work out the differences of the conflict. Fail that, the war that ensues with a vicious black and white battle; not unlike the game of Chess, where strategy and foresight are paramount. Chess is a vigorous mental exercise and the best players can foresee the opponent’s moves and analyze to optimize that detail. Law is a complicated series of moves that also anticipates the opponents moves and eliminates those options. Right and wrong are very distant cousins. Atticus Finch vs Michael Winner (who would take sexual IOU’s). Attorneys have software to do their work making them look worth the fees they command.
Rewarding the next big idea, the newest concept; moving the needle, contrary to most viewpoints (I know what I like), art is not guaranteed to provide pleasure, an awe of the craft, a narrative to reveal a truth or be a source of great beauty. This is why so few artist make the finish line for the big stakes.
Barter, ask for discounts, qualifying services:
Always look for alternative ways to pay for things, services etc. I sculpted the head of a shrink in exchange for sessions, taught on a cruise ship for passage; used charm and youthful good looks to get bumped to first class on flights, traded a ceramic wall mural fora grand amount of restaurant credit, programs for low income (throw in elderly and the doors open wider) to abate asbestos, mold and radon.
There is no rhyme or reason as to where friendship will be the most gratifying. Don’t dismiss odd, old, thin connections, for magic may lie there.
A pack of seeds can give purpose, beauty, and well being to you and those you bestow with bouquets.