17 July 2013

Humpday Happenings...
It's the middle of a sweltering week here in America's Heartland.
If yesterday's temps and humidity had you ducking into ANY air-conditioned building for relief, then you'll be well prepared for today, because we have MORE of the same.
The high today will again be in the low to mid 90s, with humidity right on it's tail, making it feel a lot more tropical than Midwestern.
More sun, but there is (always) a chance of a pop-up shower (not to be confused with the pop-up VIDEOS of years past).
So, if you HAVE to be outside, remember the mantra...stay hydrated, wear loose and light-colored clothing.
Even better, keep a Gatorade or Powerade handy, preferably chilled to the max!
(It's all about electrolytes, folks.)
In the meantime, let's get busy with what's happening around us...
*** First off the couch today is our Motto of the Week aka WHO SAID THAT?
"He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason."
Again, you'll have to look to antiquity for the person behind this quote.
The answer at the top of tomorrow's post.
*** I've had this need to bring today's post to light for several reasons, all of which will be made clear as you read.
And if you sense a "theme" with today's motto/quote, give yourself a gold star.
Let me pose a question to all of you...how "passionate" a person are you, and in how many ways CAN one express passion?
The more I've looked into this, the more answers I've found.
The most obvious is that human beings ARE passionate creatures...no getting around that one.
And it's not just passion in relationship to love...that's merely one facet of a complex gemstone called humanity.
Oh, and let's state early on that passion can be both POSITIVE or NEGATIVE, depending on the reasoning behind it.
-- The easiest example is the recent Zimmerman case...from start to finish there was plenty of passion to go around, and much of it misdirected.
The drive-by media bowed to a few low-information whiners out there and pursued a course of vilification against a man they neither knew, nor had any of the facts surrounding the case. It was though he was guilty until proven innocent.
Across America, there are SO many cases that are very similar in nature, but NONE of them receives the notoriety NOR the "passion" from the low-information crowd that THIS case has.
And we can blame that on liberal blacks and whites, fostering race baiting, as well as outright racial division, for without such things, ALL of them would be out of a damn job...period.
Then, they'd all have to actually WORK for a living instead of preying on ginned-up "sympathies".
Again, this is only ONE instance of something we call passion.
-- Another form of passion is the way we pursue a career or vocation. One can never argue that such men as DaVinci or Michelangelo were NOT passionate men...just look at the ART they created.
NO paint-by-numbers HERE!
The list goes on almost indefinitely when it comes to people who were very passionate in their chose fields or industry.
Audubon, Cousteau, Edison, Tesla, Ford, to name a few.
Then there were people in politics such as Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Lincoln.
And others seeking justice like Douglass, Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Dr. King, and so on.
In THESE cases, the passion that drove these people was born from a profound sense of being able to temper REASON with that PASSION.
If passion is a rifle, then reason is the optics that allows us to hit a target at distance consistently.
-- The DOWN side of passion comes whenever reason is tossed out with the bath-water, such as the recent violent "protests" to the Zimmerman verdict.
Oakland "protest" results.
The LAW prevailed in this case, and yet, some people cannot see the REASONING behind it.
Ben Franklin had a great way of putting it:
"If passion drives you, then let reason hold the reins."
It comes back to being able to temper that passion...to allow it in moderation, rather than as a ruling aspect of one's life.
Someone else who found that passion can be a two-edged sword was Napoleon Bonaparte when he stated:
"Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts.All depends on the principles which direct them."
Figured HE should know THAT one.
Passion can drive us to glorious heights in our lies, as well as to the deepest depths of depravity, depression, or despair.
It ALL depends on the principles (or reasoning) behind it, doesn't it?
I mean it's all well and good to be passionate about READING...or MUSIC...or buying shoes (according to SOME women...lol)
There is nothing wrong with being passionate about your stance when it comes to RELIGION, or POLITICS, or even something like the ECONOMY.
I feel that as long as your passion has it's roots in FACTS, and that you have sought TRUTH through KNOWLEDGE and REASON, you are well on the right track to knowing how you feel and why you feel that way, and it would be hard to anyone else to sway you from that position.
Conversely, the problems crop up when passion rules the day, and you've said to hell with reason...and facts...and knowledge. "I just feel this way because I do", and that's a path that leads down a dark road.
Hedonism is a good example of unbridled passion, with no regard for anything or anyone but SELF. And the purest forms of narcissism can also be added to that mix. When such things become the overwhelming driving force in a person's life, it seems the only joy that be derived is that of self-effacing conflict with anyone for any cause that's perceived as "just".
And that's why, many times, you find yourself in some "debate" that seems to be getting nowhere in a hurry, because the other person is driven solely by their passion for their beliefs, rather than a passion tempered by REASON, and the ability to see MORE than one perspective.
-- Much of the societal problems we face today can be attributed to people being MORE passionate than reasonable.
They see ONLY what can serve THEM, rather than what's better (or best) for the greater number.
That's WHY we have rioting, wholesale looting, and anarchistic chaos whenever some fringe group doesn't get their own way...ALL the damn time.
Hey, we were ALL "spoiled kids" at some point in our very young lives, put there DOES come that period when we have to decide to grow the hell up, put on our MATURE clothes and seek to become better individuals, rather than a mass of complaining humanity that bitches a fit and raises a snit whenever we don't get OUR OWN WAY.
It's called LIFE'S CHALLENGES, and truth be told, we ALL have to deal WITH them, rather than shrug our shoulders and let someone else worry about them.
Best example of this NOT being done is in the black communities.
Granted there are those (mostly conservative) blacks that DO know how to temper passion with reason, and I mentioned several above.
We also have many today that also espouse such virtues, but they too often drown out by the progressive blacks, whose only goal is to keep their own people "needy", but still FULL of passion - minus the reason, of course.
When any person allows their passions to run away with them, the result can easily be seen...
Lack of educational opportunities
High unemployment rates
High incarceration rates
High illegitimacy rates
High sexually-transmitted disease rates
High mortality rates
If some form of reason were practiced along with all the passion we've seen displayed, ALL of these things could be reversed, rather than increased.
And it starts with each person...one at a time, as it has since the dawn of mankind.
You've seen me say HIGHER standards, and not DOUBLE standards, as well as not making things easier, but making ourselves better.
I cannot see WHY this cannot be practiced with the same passion that destructive tendencies are.
The outcome would be SO much better...for everyone, wouldn't it?
-- Okay, I've had my time on "ye olde soapbox" for the week.
I think passion is a great and marvelous part of the human condition, as long as we remember WHY we're passionate and in what directions we channel such passion. But we have to be careful to keep such parts of ourselves on a short leash, lest they take US for a ride we (and others) won't enjoy.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


Momma Fargo said...

The heat is effing killing me. MELLLLTTTINNNGG...

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
I dunno what it is, but I also am with you 100% on the heat, dear.

As we mature, it seems our personal thermostats tend to go "on the fritz"...
I mean, we can only take OFF so many clothes before it's get a might on the ILLEGAL side, right?

And who wants to risk sunburn on their nether-regions....LOL!

Thanks for stopping by today and commenting.

Stay safe (and keep cool) out there, Kiddo.

CWMartin said...

Our daily posts have never dovetailed so perfectly before....

Bob G. said...

Well, I did take WOOD SHOP a LOMG time ago in high school...and got straight A's, if that means anything about dovetails.
(I also do miters)


And then there's that something about "great minds"...

I might revisit this at a later date and expound on still MORE types of passion, good AND bad.
('cause there's a BUNCH of 'em)

Hopefuly, there's some inspiration in there and maybe a smidgen of inner reflection for us all.

Thanks for stopping by today (without spontaneously combusting in this heat) to take time to comment.

Stay safe and keep cool up there.

John DuMond said...

You're quote of the week nails it, Bob. Don't know who said it, but it applies quite nicely to our current state of affairs.

I've gotten to the point where I can't even read or listen to people pontificating on the verdict in the Zimmerman case. Too much misinformation being spread about what really (according to the evidence presented at trial) really happened that night. It's maddening in the extreme.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
Let's say that about the quote...it's a repeat of history to some degree...from a long time ago.

And, if we walk this forward, the phrase that keeps coming to my mind is "going off half-cocked".
That's all we see on the news these days..."low-information" people JUST like that.

NO facts...NO reason...NO acquired knowledge of events and people...just rampant passion to get something to sate their own desire for whatever they want THIS day.
Too much drama, that's for sure.
Maddening sums it up nicely!

Thanks much for rolling up today and commenting.

You stay safe out there.

Slamdunk said...

I like your discussion of being passionate yet remembering why. I have always respected cultures that respect their elders and I think it relates to passion. Youth are notoriously passionate but lack wisdom--that is where those elder members of society can act as a ground. When passion and wisdom work hand-in-hand, now by George we have something.

And on the heat, nice week for me to pick my outside home improvement project--good for weight loss though.

Bob G. said...

Used to be a time when elders were more revered than they are today.

Agreed...youth IS passionate, yet it's lacks direction in many cases.
The wisdom that can be gleaned from the elders in our society was much of the stabilizing force in my life.

I view passion much as the FUEL that drives the human "engine".
The knowlegde, wisdom, reason, common sense...they're all parts that COMPRISE the engine, with MODERATION as the "motor oil".

Thanks for dropping by today and commenting.
Stay safe (and don't let the heat get to 'ya) out there.