Why Does This Keep Happening?
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the same thing keeps happening to you or to others, and it seems that no matter what you or others do to make something different occur… the same thing still happens.
Is it you (or others) who just haven’t figured out the formula for changing a repetitive course…
“That without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.”
― Anthony Bourdain
…or is it that we just haven’t accepted that this is the way this is meant to be. We’re fighting a natural law and we refuse to understand that what we think is a bad result is actually a good one because we’ve decided we don’t like the result we keep getting therefore it is bad.
What if we’re perceiving things incorrectly?
What if we’re not?
“Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
― Winston S. Churchill
They say that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and again while expecting different results. I’ve done that, and at some point I concluded that I was delusional. So I did what we’re supposed to do in that event, I changed what I was doing, did something different… but that doesn’t always change the results.
They also say that practice makes perfect and if at first you don’t succeed you should keep doing the same thing over and over again and again until you do succeed. For those who advocate this approach to the obstacle course of life, insanity is defined by giving up when your first try results in failure.
I’m confused… yeah, yeah, I know, that’s my default setting.
I’m not the only one who is confused (confusion isn’t sure if it wants company).
The sheep on the far side of the fence is confused by the sheep on the near side.
Farside sheep: Hey, how’d you get over there, did you make that dent in the fence, and what’s that green stuff you’re eating… is it tastier than the dry yellow stuff I’m eating?
Nearside sheep: Chomp, chomp…. mmmmmm!
Farside sheep: Damn that grass looks green on your side… if only I wasn’t afraid of the electric fence zapping me, how’d you get over such an obstacle?
Nearside sheep: Chompitty, chomp, chomp… mmmmm!
Farside sheep had been watching nearside sheep for a while before this chat… nearside sheep was a member of a rebel faction…
…who, in spite of my attempts to coax them back to where they are supposed to be, are still on the loose.
I have to confess that my actions to return them to their allotted field were halfhearted as I agreed with their cause, and could plainly see that they were only after fresh grass.
Wouldn’t you do what they did for the sweet taste of something new rather than put up with the dryness of something old?
“Tomorrow, you promise yourself, things will be different, yet, tomorrow is too often a repetition of today. And you disappoint yourself again and again.”
― James T. McCay
My only concern was that they might end up on the main road as they did last year. As long as they avoid the road, then surely their electric fence defying feats should be rewarded.
Or something like that…
They’ve been less rebellious this year than they were last year (I’m not sure if they’re the same sheep).
Yesterday was the first time they escaped their boundaries since they’ve been here, and they’ve been here since late Spring. Yesterday I managed to convince them to return from whence they came. Or at least they agreed to go… because… it suited them.
Today was different…
It’s funny how humans use the term ‘sheep’ as a sometimes derogatory term for other humans… and yet real sheep are not as ‘sheepish’ as the term sheepish is used.
“Your friends are all the dullest dogs I know. They are not beautiful: they are only decorated. They are not clean: they are only shaved and starched. They are not dignified: they are only fashionably dressed. They are not educated: they are only college passmen. They are not religious: they are only pewrenters. They are not moral: they are only conventional. They are not virtuous: they are only cowardly. They are not even vicious: they are only “frail.” They are not artistic: they are only lascivious. They are not prosperous: they are only rich. They are not loyal, they are only servile; not dutiful, only sheepish; not public spirited, only patriotic; not courageous, only quarrelsome; not determined, only obstinate; not masterful, only domineering; not self-controlled, only obtuse; not self-respecting, only vain; not kind, only sentimental; not social, only gregarious; not considerate, only polite; not intelligent, only opinionated; not progressive, only factious; not imaginative, only superstitious; not just, only vindictive; not generous, only propitiatory; not disciplined, only cowed; and not truthful at all: liars every one of them, to the very backbone of their souls.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Sheesh, GBS, reading your words sometimes makes me feel like you ate me, then digested and eventually pooped me out.
Maybe others aren’t who we think they are, maybe we aren’t who we think we are, we know we’re not necessarily who others think we are…
Maybe obstacles in our course aren’t obstacles at all…
Maybe our failures aren’t failures, which may mean our successes aren’t always successes…
Maybe our quest for the greener grass is real… maybe it is not… but if something is real to us, even if it isn’t real for others, then maybe… we’re sheep crossing an electric fence in search of our own taste of the delicious and fresh.