Archive for the ‘self-examination’ Tag

01/26/2023 An Unexamined Life #8   Leave a comment

Installment eight continues this series of posts designed to promote discussion and thought through self-examination. I hope it’ll generate some interesting discussions between you, your friends, and partners. Without interesting people in our lives and a lack of interesting conversations things would become excruciatingly boring.

Also, for those of you who are interested, starting today this blog will no longer be posted daily. I’ve decided to cut back a little to allow for more time for other projects. It’s been more than twelve years of daily postings and I’ll miss that part of my routine. I’m immediately cutting back to three postings a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays beginning today. Now let’s get on with Self-Examination #8.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

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  • Do you usually make a special effort to thank someone who does you a favor? How do you react when you aren’t thanked for going out of your way for someone?
  • Would you like to have your rate of physical aging slowed by a factor of thirty so as to give you a life expectancy of approximately 2000 years?
  • You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you’ve never met. Would you want to go if you had to go by yourself?
  • Since adolescence, in what three-year period do you feel you experienced the most personal growth and change?
  • If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?

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  • If your parents became infirm and the only alternative to bringing them into your house was to put them in a nursing home, would you do so? What about a sister or brother who suffered a permanently crippling injury and had nowhere to go?
  • If you were at a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do?
  • If you could take a one-month trip to anywhere in the world and money were not a consideration, where would you go and what would you do?
  • Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by five years to become extremely attractive?
  • Given the ability to project yourself into the past but not return, would you do so? Where would you go and what would you try to accomplish if you knew you might change the course of history?

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  • How many different sexual partners have you had in your life? Would you prefer to have had more or fewer?
  • Have you ever considered suicide? What is so important to you that without it life would not be worth living?
  • If your friends and acquaintances were willing to bluntly and honestly tell you what they really thought of you, would you want them to?
  • If this country were to suffer an unprovoked nuclear attack and would be totally obliterated in a matter of minutes, would you favor unleashing the US nuclear arsenal upon the attackers?
  • Would you accept $10,000 to shave your head and continue your normal activities without hat or wig without explaining the reason for the new haircut?

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ENJOY YOUR DAY

01/19/23 An Examined Life #7   Leave a comment

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

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Welcome to installment number seven. These questions appear a little harder to answer simply. Only a frank discussion will bring the answers, both good and bad. Have fun . . .

  • Would you rather play a game with someone more or less talented as you? Would it matter who’s watching?
  • Is there something you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  • While in the government, you discover the President is committing extortion and other serious crimes. By exposing the situation, you might bring about the President’s downfall, but your career would be destroyed because you would be framed, fired, and suffer public humiliation on other matters. Knowing you would be vindicated five years later; would you blow the whistle? What if you knew you would never be vindicated?
  • On a busy street you are approached apologetically by a well-dressed stranger who asks for a dollar to catch a bus and make a phone call. He says he has lost his wallet. What would you do? If approached in the same way by a haggard looking stranger claiming to be hungry and unable to find a job, what would you do?
  • If by sacrificing your life you could contribute so much to the world that you would be honored in all nations, would you be willing to do so? If so, would you make the same sacrifice knowing that someone you thoroughly disliked would receive the honor while you went unrecognized?

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  • Knowing you had a 50% chance of winning and would be paid 10 times the amount of your bet if you won, what fraction of what you now own would you be willing to wager?
  • What are your most compulsive habits? Do you regularly struggled to break these habits?
  • You know you will die of an incurable disease within three months. Would you allow yourself to be frozen within the week if you knew it would give you a modest chance of being revived in 1000 years and living a greatly extended life?
  • You are driving late at night in a safe but deserted neighborhood when a dog suddenly darts in front of your car. Though you slam on the brakes, you hit the animal. Would you stop to see how injured the animal was? If you did so and found that the dog was dead but had a name tag, would you contact the owner?
  • What do you most strive for in your life: accomplishment, security, love, power, excitement, knowledge, or something else?

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  • An eccentric millionaire offers to donate a large sum to charity if you will step completely naked from a car onto a busy downtown street, walk four blocks, and climb back into the car. Knowing that there would be no danger of physical abuse, would you do it?
  • How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people?
  • Is the fact that you have never done something before increase or decrease its appeal to you?
  • Would you be willing to give up sex for five years if you could have wonderfully sensual and erotic dreams any night you wished?
  • At a meal, your friends start belittling a common acquaintance. If you felt their criticisms were unjustified, would you defend the person?

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THE QUESTIONS KEEP GETTING MORE INTERESTING

01/13/2023 An Examined life #6   Leave a comment

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates

It’s once again time to introduce installment number seven of this series. As I’ve posted them, I’ve found the conversations between myself and my better-half to be quite interesting. Some of my answers have surprised her and some of hers have surprised me. That’s a good thing for any relationship when after twenty or more years together you can still be pleasantly surprised by each other. Let’s get started . . .

  • One hot summer afternoon, while walking through a parking lot at a large shopping center, you notice a dog suffering badly from the heat inside a locked car. What would you do?
  • Do you feel ill at ease going alone to either dinner or a movie? What about going on a vacation by yourself?
  • If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?
  • For $20,000 would you go for three months without washing, brushing your teeth, or using deodorant? Assume you could not explain your reasons to anyone.
  • Would you rather die peacefully among friends at age 50, or painfully and alone at age 80? Assume that most of the last 30 years would be good ones.

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  • If you were to discover that your closest friend was a heroin dealer, what would you do?
  • Is it easy for you to accept help when you need it? Will you ask for help?
  • If you were helping to raise money for charity and someone agreed to make a large contribution if you would perform at the upcoming fundraising show, would you? If so, what would you like to perform? Assume the show would have an audience of about 1000 people.
  • Would you have one of your fingers surgically removed if it somehow guaranteed immunity from all major diseases?
  • Would you like to be famous? In what way?

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  • How do you picture your funeral? Is it important for you to have people mourn your death?
  • Which of the following restrictions could you best tolerate: leaving the country permanently, or never leaving the state in which you now live?
  • You, your closest friend, and your father are on vacation together, hiking in a remote jungle. Your two companions stumble into a nest of poisonous vipers and are bitten repeatedly. You know neither will live without an immediate shot of antivenom, yet there is only a single dose of antivenom and that is in your pocket. What would you do?
  • Where would you choose to be if you could place yourself anywhere on a scale from 1 to 10, where one is hardship, struggle, and extraordinary accomplishment and 10 is comfort, peace of mind, and no accomplishment. Why? Where are you now?
  • If you could choose the sex and physical appearance of your soon to be born child, would you do it?

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HAVE FUN WITH IT

01/04/2023 An Examined Life #5   Leave a comment

Today is as good a day as any to continue this series with installment #5. It should make for interesting discussions to start the new year. I hope you enjoy these topics because they seem to be more interesting than those that came before. Just remember:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Socrates

  • Can you urinate in front of another person?
  • If you walk out of your house one morning and saw a bird with a broken wing huddled in some nearby bushes, what would you do?
  • Assume there were a technological breakthrough that would allow people to travel as easily and cheaply between continents as between nearby cities. Unfortunately, there would also be 100,000 deaths a year from the device. Would you try to prevent its use?
  • You and a person you love deeply are placed in separate rooms with a button next to each of you. You know you will both be killed unless one of you presses your button before 60 minutes pass; furthermore, the first to press the button will save the other person but will immediately be killed. What do you think you would do?
  • When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it? If so, why?

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  • Do you feel that advice from older people carries a special weight because of their greater experience?
  • Without your kidney as a transplant, someone close to you will die within one month. The odds that you will survive the operation are only 50%, but should you survive, you would be certain of a normal life expectancy. Would you consent to the operation?
  • When has your life dramatically changed as the result of some seemingly random external influence? How much do you feel in control of the course of your life?
  • If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be counted on to be on time?
  • When did you last yell at someone? Why? Did you later regret it?

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  • Would you be willing to have horrible nightmares every night for a year if you would be rewarded with extraordinary wealth?
  • If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal secretary, which would you choose?
  • Would you be willing to go to a slaughterhouse? Do you eat meat?
  • Would you enjoy spending a month of solitude in a beautiful natural setting? Food and shelter would be provided but you would not see another person.
  • After a medical examination, your doctor calls and gravely says you have a rare lymphatic cancer with only a few months to live. Five days later, she informs you that the lab test was mislabeled, and you are perfectly healthy. Forced for a moment to look death in the face, you have been allowed to turn and go on. During those difficult days you would certainly have gained some insights about yourself. Do you think they would be worth the pain?

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THESE ONES WILL GET YOU THINKING

11-10-2015 Journal–My Favorite Addictions!   Leave a comment

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I’m one of those boring people who feels the need to constantly examine my life.  I look at my past and judge myself, I look at my present and judge myself, and finally I look at my possible futures and judge that too. Also if I’m given the opportunity I’ll judge you as well. So not only am I a borderline addictive personality I’m a bit judgmental.

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I’ve always suspected I had issues with addiction but never tried to delve into the why’s and wherefores until now. My list of addictions is long and began back when I was just an newborn infant. Here’s my list from my formative years in no particular order of importance:

Breathing

Breasts

Breast milk

Diapers

I was able to finally work through those minor addictions without the assistance of an expensive rehab program. I was well on my way to puberty where my list began to grow and become more interesting. 

Breasts

Legs

Butts

Pornography

Sex

Puberty not only changed me physically but also intellectually. I understood at age thirteen that these addictions unlike my toddler list would likely become permanent.  And guess what? I was somewhat correct. I resigned myself to learning to live with my addictions and to make the best of them. It was a dirty job but I stepped up and made the required personality adjustments to deal with them.

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My teen years were interesting and a little frightening. My list again changed but was still manageable:

Sex

Breasts

Legs

French Blondes

Cigarettes

Beer

Pornography

College brought more changes and not all of them good. As the list increased so did my stress levels as you can plainly see:

Sex

Oral Sex

Brunettes

Blondes

Red Heads

Breasts

Beer

Whiskey

Marijuana

Wine

I learned a lot in those years but realized my life was in a rut so I dropped out of college and enlisted in the Army one step ahead of the draft board. This began another long, interesting, and scary adventure. Once more my list expanded a bit:

Sex

Oral sex

Oriental Women

Black Hair

Whiskey

Coffee

Cigarettes

Beer

Marijuana

Speed

Adrenaline

Wine

I returned home a few years later, much wiser and a much less addicted person. I was able to rid myself of many of my stupid addictions over the next two decades. Here are the final results after many years of really hard work:

Any Sex

Breasts

Coffee

Reading

Photography

Computers

Chocolate

Wine

Exercise

As you can see most of the exciting addictions in my life have slowly faded away.  They were fun while they lasted but were discarded when they became dangerous or harmful.  I’m now a much wiser and more boring person and I have to admit as I sit here quietly judging myself, I miss some of them a lot. 

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My list is certainly smaller but less dangerous and easily managed now. I expect this final list will remain with me forever. 

The only addiction that stayed with me from infancy to the present day are “Breasts”. There’s no rehab programs to help me deal with them and I’m pretty happy about that. So thanks again Mom for the one lifelong addiction I’ve enjoyed the most and will continue to enjoy until the lid slams shut. I’d love to see the 12 step program for that addiction.

I know one thing for sure, I’d never miss a meeting.

09-09-2015 Journal–More Personal Questions!   Leave a comment

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A short time ago I posted ten questions created to assist a person in examining their own motivations and ethics when confronted with difficult problems.  I was surprised by some of  the responses and even more so by the numerous requests for additional questions.  Never let it be said I don’t respond to my readers.

Here are ten more puzzlers to get you thinking along with my own answers.

1.   Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by five years to become extremely attractive?

a.  No, I’d prefer to have the women I know become more attractive. Then I’d give up the five years without hesitation.

2.   Have you ever considered suicide? If yes, what is so important to you that without it life would not be worth living?

a. Yes, my eyesight.

3.   If your friends and acquaintances were willing to bluntly and honestly tell you what they really thought of you, would you want them to?

a. Sure why not.  For the most part I know my faults but maybe I’d find out about one I wasn’t aware of. Either way I don’t really care.

4.   Do you believe in capital punishment?  Would you be willing to execute a man sentenced to death by the courts if you were selected by lot to do so and he would go free if you refused? Assume you know no details of the trial.

a. I do believe in capital punishment and I would execute a criminal who had been properly convicted through the courts. The alternative of freeing him is not an option.

5   If you went to a beach and it turned out to be a nude beach, would you stay and go swimming? Would you swim nude?

a.  Yes and Yes.

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6.   Do you find it so hard to say “no” that you regularly do favors you do not want to do? If so, why?

a. No I find it pretty easy to say no.

7.   Would you like to know the precise date of your death?

a. No.

8.   If by getting a 2 inch by 2 inch tattoo, you could save five lives and prevent a terrorist attack, would you do so? If you were allowed to select the location and design, where would you have it placed and what would the design be?

a. Yes I‘d get the tattoo.  A red crescent on my butt.

9.   On an airplane you are talking pleasantly to a stranger of average appearance. Unexpectedly, the person offers you $10,000.00 for one night of sex. Knowing that there is no danger and that payment is certain, would you accept the offer?

a. Of course . . . If the person were really attractive I might do it for $5,000.00. LOL

10.  Would you be willing to commit perjury for a friend? For example, might you testify that he was driving carefully when he hit a pedestrian even though he had been joking around and not paying attention.

a. No, he’s on his own.

Well there you have it.  Ten more questions to make you wonder about yourself and your significant other (assuming they are answering them with you).  Enjoy.

08-26-2015 Journal–Take a Good Look at Yourself!   2 comments

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The crappy weather continues here in Maine giving me an overabundance of reading time.   Recently I picked up a small book at a local church flea market for $.50 and as I began reading it I thought it would make an interesting discussion for the blog.

Half the fun of living your life is examining the hell out of it as you get older and hopefully smarter.  I know I’ve second guessed virtually every decision I’ve ever made in my life.  I always seem to have a better answer now than I had with the original decision.  Things I thought as a teenager and in my early twenties sound so stupid now it’s a little scary. 

This book’s all about difficult questions designed to make us think about ourselves and our decision making capabilities. There are no right or wrong answers but they will challenge your common sense and good=headedness.

Yes-No-Maybe

I’ll list 10 questions with my own answers below. If you’re interested after that then take a few minutes and jot down your own answers. I recommend that you do it together with your partner, significant other, or spouse. I’m sure that regardless of the answers they’re sure to spark a few interesting discussions about your differences.  Lets get started:

1.   If you could spend one year of your life in perfect happiness but afterward would remember nothing of the experience would you do so? If not, why not?

a. I think I’d pass on this one. If I couldn’t remember the happiness then it never really happened and what’s the point.

2.   If a new medicine were developed that would cure arthritis but cause a fatal reaction in 1% of those who took it, would you want it to be released to the public?

a. If I’ve done my math correctly that means that out of every million people treated, 10,000 would die.  That’s insanity and a big no from me.

3.   Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again?

a. That would be a big “Hell No”.

4.   Would you be willing to become extremely ugly physically if it meant you would live for 1,000 years at any physical age you chose?

a. No thank you. To me a thousand years of being terribly ugly would be worse than dying.

5.   If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?

a.  I’d want the ability to speak and understand every language on earth.

6.   Would you accept twenty years of extraordinary happiness and fulfillment if it meant you would die at the end of the period?

a. No thank you.

7.   If the person you were engaged to marry had an accident and became a paraplegic, would you go through with the marriage or back out of it?

a. I must have loved that person very much or wouldn’t have wanted a marriage. It’s a commitment I’d honor completely.

8.   Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as your dinner guest?, as your close friend? , and as your lover?

a. Dinner Guest:  Any wounded veteran; Close Friend: Bill Gates; Lover: Rachael Hendrix.  The Close Friend and Lover could change at a moments notice because friends and lovers come and go.  The Dinner Guest would remain the same permanently.

9.   A good friend pulls off a well-conceived practical joke that plays on one of your foibles and makes you look ridiculous. How would you react?

a. I’d be a little embarrassed at first, laugh a little for a few minutes, and then begin planning some good old down-home REVENGE.

10. For $20,000 would you go for three months without washing, brushing your teeth, or using deodorant? Assume you could not explain your reasons to anyone.

a. No how, no way . . . . but I might reconsider it for $100,000.

BE AS TRUTHFUL AS POSSIBLE

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