SYW: On Being Better, Love, Memories, Death & the Composition of a Baseball

A new set of questions this week from Melanie’s Share Your World!

QUESTIONS    (Going DEEP on these today)

Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Required? No, no one is required to do anything in their life, but it’s better that they achieve their potential, which will be a contribution to our society and human existence in general. I think if a person works hard to achieve something, or meets a goal, (s)he will be happy with what was achieved; so collectively, people who strive to be the best they can be will be happier and more confident in themselves.

Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Depends on who is doing the loving! If one who loves another is always having to give, give, give and the other gives little in return, that can’t be an easy emotion to deal with. Love ultimately requires work, while being loved requires nothing. So being loved is easier, but both are needed.

Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t know. I do know it’s possible to “block” traumatic events in one’s life – such as a history of child abuse. A person may block such memories for self-preservation and to forget those terrible events to be relieved of suffering, having nightmares, etc. But I guess these memories aren’t really “erased” – a good psychotherapist may succeed in bringing a patient’s blocked memories to consciousness in order to confront them to aid in healing.

Is there such a thing as a good death?
Sometimes. If a person has been suffering a lot or has no quality of life, or “alive” due to machines but in a vegetative state…then yes, their death could be considered “good” because it alleviates their suffering. When my mother was suffering from dementia and could no longer really communicate – and she was a person who loved being sociable, to talk on a variety of subjects, reading and writing – I used to pray for God to allow her life to end.

Perhaps we can also say that a human monster (like Hitler) who has caused terrible suffering and death of innocents, also had a “good death,” in that the world is better off without him!

Or perhaps a “good” death is simply death free of pain and prolonged suffering – such as dying in one’s sleep or very suddenly with no pain involved.

Anyone’s idea of a “good death” is really subjective.

and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious:   What do you imagine is inside a baseball? 
Some stuffing – cotton, or fibers of some kind. Maybe a ball of string? I’ve never thought about it before.  But your question made me curious, so I looked it up.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Feel free to share something uplifting this week!  

SYW: On Ice Cream & Traveling During Covid

I’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to participate in Melanie’s Share Your World until today!

QUESTIONS

Restrictions are being lifted all over the world.  Do you feel it’s safe to go out and mingle in crowds in light of the Pandemic?
To a certain degree, yes, although the delta variant is causing the cases to increase at an alarming rate, such as we haven’t seen for several months. I just saw a Facebook post from a cousin’s son announcing that he was a “breakthrough” case – fully vaccinated yet got the delta variant of Covid.

COVID Breakthrough: About 99.999% of fully vaccinated Americans have not  had a deadly breakthrough case, CDC data shows - ABC7 Chicago
Notice that there are no “green” states on this map!

His symptoms were not serious and he’s OK now, but it made me think that I ought to be a bit more cautious. Mask mandates have been reimposed here so I’m carrying one around again and having to wear one even when I exercise. The mask came in handy last night, though, when a homeless man “joined” our book discussion group at the library (the discussion is held outside). The moderator was nice to him and the rest of us tried to be casual and welcoming, but I did put my mask on.

It’s a strange situation – there is no lockdown, because of the vaccine, but the vaccine isn’t perfect and the delta variant is spreading fast so we have to wear masks again. Yet I feel Covid-19 fatigue, as I’m sure most people do. I have not tried to go out into a crowded place, such as a theatre. I would, however, love to travel again. I don’t know if I want to get on a crowded airplane right now, though. To go on a road trip, I would consult Covid statistics to see if our destination is more or less safe.

What are some things that are okay to do occasionally,  but definitely not okay to do every day?
Having a drink, eating ice cream – anything in excess is not okay.

Would you relocate for love (romantic or otherwise)?
I have done – moving here to this senior community was my husband’s idea. I didn’t feel ready for it, and it’s still strange to be surrounded by white haired people who have children close to my age, but I’ve gotten to enjoy it. You’re only as old as you feel, and many of the folks here feel young!

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories (no judgment)?
Not the quack-a-doodle conspiracies promoted on social media today, but there have been some conspiracies worth looking into. There are still people trying to find out if JFK’s assassination was a conspiracy and Oswald/Ruby were just front men. I’ve heard enough convincing and reasonable evidence that I believe it might have been a conspiracy.


GRATITUDE PORTION (Optional to participate, as always)

Please share something sweet (take that as you want)

Chocolate ice cream | Chocolate recipes | Ginny Rolfe for Jamie magazine

SYW: On the Greater Good, Ferris Wheels, Violins & Trumpets

Melanie has a new set of questions today for her Share Your World challenge.

QUESTIONS

A mixed bag today

What do you think of the idea of the ‘greater good’ principle?
I think it is central for a just and equal society. Although we have “freedom” that doesn’t mean we can – or should – do whatever we want to. This is one of my major concerns about American society, that people confuse freedom and individuality. We have gotten so selfish and blame others – mostly the downtrodden – for our own inability to get ahead in life. There are things that living in a society compels one to do – to behave responsibility and with caring for others, whether or not those people are part of your family or social circle. Mask wearing during the pandemic was for the greater good. Some individuals would be inconvenienced by it, but overall, society will benefit – indeed, has benefited by the mask mandate.

Do you enjoy riding a roller coaster or other amusement park type ride?
I’m a wimp – the Ferris wheel is as daring as I get. Many cities have these gigantic Ferris wheels nowadays; I guess they provide riders a good view from the top. London, Sydney – probably many more – saw how successful it was in the city where it was invented – Chicago!

Which musical instrument is the most annoying to you personally?
There isn’t a particular instrument – it’s more the way that the instrument is played. I mean this in two ways: If the person playing the instrument isn’t very good or doesn’t have the “musicality” to play it, and the type of music or piece that is being played.

In the first instance, I would say violin or really any stringed instrument. If the person playing it isn’t very good, it sounds horrible. But I suppose that could be said about any instrument. In orchestras, there are a lot of violins – the stringed instruments are the most noticeable because the strings moat often carry the melody. I’ve been to concerts with a violin section that isn’t very good, and, in some pieces especially, it is really cringeworthy.

I have seen violins played in a variety of ways and in various types of music, and if the musician is good, it sounds fantastic. I think, however, that the violin is one of the most difficult instruments to learn well. I’m not just talking about classical music – I love ‘fiddling” and most of the fiddlers I’ve heard are real professional.

I have an eclectic taste in music; there are few genres I don’t like in general. I like jazz, but there are certain kinds of jazz that I don’t like, like when the piece gets very long with a lot of ad libbing and showcasing one instrument with lengthy solos. In these cases, it is usually the trumpet that I don’t like, because it can get very “screechy” when the musician is experimenting with it.

Would you rather have a vivid imagination or a photographic memory if you had to choose just one?
I already have a vivid imagination, but I have always envied people with a “photographic memory.” My memory has always been bad, but it’s deteriorating even more now that I’m getting older. So I guess I would like to have a good memory – it would have helped a lot during my working years, and maybe twenty years from now would help me stave off dementia!


GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)

Feel free to share fun plans for this season that you might have.   Especially now that many places are lifting restrictions and travel is a bit easier.
I had hoped to go abroad before the end of this year, but due to my husband’s health issues, we can’t make any firm plans, so we are planning a road trip to the Northeast in October. We may cross into Canada if we have our passports by that time.