Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hope and/or Goals (Heavenly Graces, Pt. 3)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) -- the Stickies -- to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My sublime, drop-dead gorgeous muse (right shoulder) and back scratcher 
Iggy -- Designated Sticky
Dana -- Designated gentlereader (left shoulder)

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -Einstein

Dear (eventual) Stickies & Great-Grandstickies,

Wikipedia: "Hope is defined as a Divinely infused virtue, acts upon the will, by which one trusts, with confidence grounded on the Divine assistance, to attain life everlasting. Its opposite is the sin of despair."

"...the Hope to imagine a better machine. " infuse the day's work with a purpose, seeing one's labor as a glorious calling... ."

The first quote above is Wikipedia's theological definition of the Theological Virtue, Hope, one of the three Theological Virtues (or Heavenly Graces). 

The second is a secularized version of Hope, as posited by Dr. Deirdre McCloskey. Dr. M., my favorite economist, and future member (once I assume power) of King Crank's Privy Council of Perspicacious Polymaths. 

If you're new here, or even if you're not, and like me, your memory ain't what it used to be, this is the third of a series of columns about the three Theological Virtues. 

To be more specific, it's my semi-humble attempt at offering a secular version of these three particular virtues that are part of something that I was taught was a very big deal, The Seven Virtues. Of course, this was several thousand days ago in the Black & White ages, so...   

I decided to use Dr. McCloskey's quote(s) as a demonstration of how the Theological Virtues can easily be translated into secular ones in all four parts of this series of columns. I did this because they're all from an article she wrote about The Magnificent Seven applied to the marketplace, the world of business -- a notoriously secular sector. 

[Dana awakes. Nice introduction, but, um, Hope as a Virtue? I don't get it. You either have hope, or you don't, regardless of the subject in question. I stopped hoping my boss would extract his head from his bum a long time ago. On the other hand...]

She wore a glove?

[Don't be an eembaasle, and don't interrupt me with corny jokes that are even older than you are. I was going to say that on the other hand, I Hope that if I keep looking I'll find a better job. But I can't choose to be hopeful. Aren't you the one that said you can't choose to love? How can you choose to be hopeful? 

And for the record, your habit of capitalizing words that don't need capitalizing, and no shortage of your other goofy writing practices, gets on my nerves.]

For my record, my goofy writing practices are part of my eccentric charm. Also, before I forget, eembaasle (accent on the first syllable) is how a native Colombian character from the Netflix drama Narcos pronounced imbecile when I was watching it the other day. It was love at first hearing, with the word, not the character.

If any of my gentlereaders find my usage, spelling, and pronunciation of eembaasle triggers anyone I insincerely apologize. I love the sound of it for its own sake and I'd love it just as much if it were used by an Eskimo. I love it the same way I love the fact Buggs Bunny says maroon instead of moron. The way an Irish character, in a show I can't remember the name of, said eejit instead of idiot.

After all, Dana's right, you can't choose to love, or not. You do or you don't. Besides, hooplehead remains my go-to word in this category.

In Last week's column, I pointed out that love can be elevated to a Virtue when it's applied across the board in a practical, realistic fashion. When it's used as a tool to help you get along with the other kids on the playground. When you try to treat everyone on the planet the same way you'd like to be treated, even my second favorite dictator, Xi Dada.

"...we're talkin' big picture conceptualization here people. Think of Charity as love in action, applied love." -me

And, while we're kinda/sorta on the subject...

I should've also mentioned two other things. Good manners are a form of love in that they make it possible to at least try to communicate with hoopleheads without the situation immediately deteriorating into something like the lowest common denominator Infotainment that pours out of your primary and mobile rectangle (largest TV and smartphone).

Also, watch your back and don't be a sap. Masochism as a fallback position in any and all situations is not a good idea. Save it for... well, nevermind, that's really none of my business. Anyway, consider them mentioned.

Sorry, it's not you, it's me. Where was I? In last week's column... yadda, yadda, yadda... Oh! I know! As Charity (or even just good manners) is applied Love and becomes a Virtue when universally applied (as opposed to huffa-huffa, I love you, I've got to have you baby!), A Goal is applied Hope. It doesn't work as well a Love/Charity, semantically speaking, but it's close enough.

"...the Hope to imagine a better machine. " infuse the day's work with a purpose, seeing one's labor as a glorious calling... ."

See it? Steve Jobs, at least from what I gather (surprisingly enough we never met), was a Dick. 

[Mon Dieu!

Sorry Marie-Louise, none of the insults above apply, he was a genius after all... Anyways, he had a Goal, to make a bunch of existing machines better and change the world. Sure, Apple's shtuff is overpriced, and whether or not smartphones made the world better or worse is debatable, but let us not quibble. Lots of people love Apple's products. 

Also, they enable the cool kids to help boost our economy with a product that costs more than some people on the planet make in a year, while still looking down on the evil 1%, while they ignore the inconvenient truth that globally speaking if you live in America you are a member of the evil 1%. (Which helps to explain why all sorts of people would give up a body part of lesser importance to live here in spite of our evil tendencies.) 

Consider the often derided fast food joint manager ("a burger flipper with a tie in a skirt") who started on the line and whose Goal is to climb the corporate ladder so his her family can live decently and who may not even like his her job all that much. But her applied Hope, her Goal, will benefit her kids, that di... dope she's married to, and potentially, you. She busts her buns to supply you with the experience her employer (and you) Hopes you'll have so that everyone involved gets to keep their job.

Finally, consider the phrase, Hopes and dreams. Dreams are good. However, if you want a dream to come true, convert it into a Hope. Why? Hope, applied Hope, is how to make a dream come true. How? Turn your Hope into a Goal. Change the world. Be Virtuous. 

Free Bonus! A Fun Fact For No Additional Charge!  
If you have a goal, every time you execute a step towards it your body rewards you with a treat, a shot of dopamine. the happy hormone. However, once you reach your goal, this stops. This is why the buzz from reaching your goal doesn't last. You're gonna' need a lot of goals if you want to be happy. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.

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©2017 Mark Mehlmauer   (The Flyoverland Crank)

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