There were a number of people I ate lunch with at this table in Cincinnati’s Fairview Park.
I also sat at this table alone a number of times.
Though when I often visited this table, it had four chairs. I wonder where the other two chairs went. I wonder if they will ever be replaced.
I took this picture last July.
This picture likely means nothing to you.
Maybe what this picture and this post can do is help you to think about the people and the places in your own life that have meaning.
Life requires context to have meaning. The present and the future demand a past.
Above is a one minute video I filmed in front of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane memorial statue. At the time I shot this video, there was a temporary display up around the statue marking the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike.
In this video, I make the point that I am aware of the past.
It is important we be aware of the past. The past provides context for what is taking place at present, and provides clues as to what may happen in the future.
It is easy to dupe the public at-large, or an individual, when they are not aware of the past.
All events, whether in your personal life, or in the wider world, have some context.
Please take some time to consider what aspects of the past are relevant to your present and your future. Please consider what it is you could learn about the past that might help you understand why the world is the way it is today.
I know the world is in the midst of financial collapse and a flu pandemic, but I’d like to write here about hockey and basketball.
( Above—Women playing ice hockey 120 years ago.)
I saw in my morning paper—which remains the most civilized and reflective way to get the news—that the Anaheim Ducks had eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the National Hockey League Playoffs.
This happened despite the fact that the Sharks had gained the best record in the NHL for the past season and that the Ducks were only the 8th best team in their conference. Here are the final NHL standings for this season.
Hockey has something like 30 teams. 16 of them make the playoffs. Why even bother to play the regular season? Anybody who can muster just a halfway decent record makes the playoffs and then the best team can be knocked out in the first round. These same circumstances exist in pro basketball.
The only sport I follow is baseball. In baseball 8 of the 30 teams make the playoffs. That’s better. The games mean something and fewer teams can coast knowing they have a playoff spot locked up.
In hockey and basketball, the games lack context and meaning. It’s a muddle. They just skate around or run up and down the court for six months waiting for the real action to start. Who would pay money to see all that meaningless mess?
Our time and what we do with our time should have meaning and context.
Here are the reasons I liked Senator Barack Obama’s recent speech on race—
1. By correctly refusing to disown Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Mr. Obama showed loyalty.
2. By speaking at length about the good points and bad points of the black church, Mr. Obama acknowledged the basic humanity and complexity of the average person.
3. By addressing the historical experience of both blacks and whites in the United States, Senator Obama asked us to consider context. This is something increasingly rare in our fragmented quick-paced society. Yet context is a starting point of seeing the lives of others in a humane and caring way.
4. By speaking in a reasonably forthright manner about a difficult subject, Mr. Obama respected the intelligence of the average voter.
5. By offering the opportunity to move past divisive racial concerns in the 2008 Election, Senator Obama offered voters a positive choice.
Here is a good USA Today story on the speech.—(No, you don’t need to read the 11,821 comments so far made about the story.)