Forget Today's News. What You Want Is News-You-Can-Use.

Among the dangers of getting older is getting bored. The I’ve-seen-it-all-before syndrome is rampant among the gin-playing gents in local senior homes and the whispering widows at local weddings. To their credit, they’re often right. To their shame, they could be missing the point.

I dimly recall how as a youngster I could never find anything much wrong with the movies the critics were panning. Now I can rarely find anything much right. I’m obviously succumbing. Take the morning news which I can predict with virtual certainty: Rumors of war…terrorist plot foiled…anti-American demonstrations…starlet in rehab…stunning new prescription promise…mob museum opens in Vegas…local school scores plummet…another book on why Jefferson really loved his slave, why Lincoln really was killed, why FDR really knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand, oh and why Rasputin really was a nice guy after all.

Once you’ve been around the bend a few times, you suspect some great editor-in-the-sky recycles these stories every 90 days or so. The sign on his or her desk reads: There’s nothing new under the sun, but you’ve got to keep them guessing!

So is there a point to all this or not…? The gents and I kinda think there is. It’s in the very unvarying rhythms to our daily world. So unvarying at their core as to become universals. Universals which have never really changed from the day we lost the lease on Eden: “Earning our bread by the sweat of our brow”…”There will be wars and rumors of war”…”Expectation is the root of all heartache” … “Give every man your ear, but few your voice”…”Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal” …”Ambition is the last refuge of failure”…”Cowards die many times, the valiant but once”…”A jug fills up drop by drop”…”A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”…”Ahh, women.They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”

Every one of these universal thoughts was penned hundreds of years before this morning’s headlines. And yet are these not more than news, but rather news-you-can-use? Arguably the best thing about getting older is starting to understand the universal Human Condition. If you do, chances are you’ll never have to read another newspaper again.

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  • "Arguably the best thing about getting older is starting to understand the universal Human Condition. If you do, chances are you'll never have to read another newspaper again." ---- We cannot help but agree rather than contend otherwise Jack ... and I'm sure you knew we would ... for certain truths can come to us with the passage of years if we have taken the time to listen and reflect ... and examine our lives ... a process that you have so obviously thoroughly engaged in .. thanks for the gift of these fine words.

  • In reply to Geezer:

    "For certain truths can come to us with the passage of the years..." You and I and most anyone here over 65 can share that sentiment. It's not ego; I think it's simply the way humans have been made. Whether "made" by evolution or god, it still comes out about the same

  • Agreed Jack ..."by evolution or god" ... though the gift of humility that has allowed some learning by this wayward soul never came about by the most human aspect of my ego ... and the letting go of pride and prejudice is an ongoing assignment that seems to come easier with the passage of time …. a gift so miraculous that we dare not ascribe it to 'science' & 'reason' nor to a well confined definition of our own ‘spiritual usurpation’ ...

    This Geezer credits men & women of good hearts and minds who by way of their kindness and example have 'shown/taught' us much by their 'being' ... I know not a 'divine' source of such a sublime gift as ‘wisdom of the years’ nor can I ascribe it to some 'Laboratory result' or 'Enlightened Scientific Theory' ... so I respect the gift ... for the ‘giver’ requires not any paltry description that I might undertake ... it is enough for me to be respectful and grateful.

  • In reply to Geezer:

    "The gift...". Exactly so.

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