Dr. Richard Cirulli delves further into his growing body of work regarding societal evolution, known as the “Boomerang Series,” in his most recent article: Good Will Towards All (Me) Mankind By Dr. Richard Cirulli, Ph.D., this Friday, January 5, 2018th at 10am EDT on the Westchester On the Level Internet radio broadcast. Listen “Live” or “On Demand”. Use the following hyperlink — http://tobtr.com/s/10495183 to listen to this segment from 10-11am.
Good Will Towards All (Me) Mankind
A Holiday Post Script of Sorts
As we move forward to a new year in the wake of last year’s events, many of us will have memories of the holiday parties we attended over the past few weeks or so. For the most part, many a fond memories have been captured for future nostalgic reflection, along with a few hangovers of varying degrees, and for certain, a few regrets. As for the author, an existential hangover one you can never sleep off and for those of us who live a life of assisting a humanity in distress to some degree, we are at least conscience of such an endeavor and view. After a few evenings of well attended social gatherings, a baby boomers’ euphemism for a party, the author regretfully reports the discovery of the epicenter of the American mind.
After a stressful month of research and writing to meet ever demanding deadlines, a few evening of socializing with acquaintances along with the prospect of engaging in some good conversation, reflections, and some light hearted humor and good cheer seemed like a well needed diversion from the demands of life. With a successful year behind me, acquired via grey power and securing a few more bucket-list items an evening of sharing life’s stories with “friends” seemed like the perfect antidote for the banalities of life we must endure- though always try to minimize.
As the author entered the gatherings energized, optimistic, and looking forward to listening to the party guests’ stories of life, and relishing the thought of being an innocent bystander, my enthusiasm soon ebbed as the conversations progressed from goodwill and smiles into an express bus driven by an inebriated crowd speeding by oblivious to the existential hitch hiker, denied a ride even so much without a look. Looking aghast at this isolated world bubble wrapped in self-love, I reflected to myself on some of the year’s most disturbing news of humanities’ suffering. For the record, the author is not a depressant nor ever intends to turn smiles and good cheer to frowns; even the most reflective of people can be outgoing and positive, though free of egocentric baggage, once frowned upon by most Americans. Standing at the epicenter of the gathering, complete with my lemon flavored seltzer water, I watched and listened as clear and articulate conversations soon turned to slurs and directed criticisms in the guise of innuendos. One learns early in life, the high ground is lonely turf; sadly rarely contested.
In the vain of good party etiquette I moved from cluster to cluster in the hope of finding a conversation worth engaging. Like a honeybee I went seeking the “nectar of the next “informative” conversation in the hope of sharing our life stories to no avail. Most of the conversations encountered centered on the dismay and anger a few guests had experienced trying to find an outfit and pair of shoes to their liking and sophisticated tastes, while others balked about the $35,000 plus property taxes they pay every year. Other’s spoke about the unfairness of life as they shared their plans for their extended European vacation, or the $40,000 price tag for their child’s wedding, or about their expensive car with curb appeal, or the cost of maintaining their boat. While others spoke of 8,000 square foot homes, and of course parental narcissism. I listened attentively in silence, to all of the “pain and suffering” these folks had to endure. While my mind flashed pictures of the atrocities committed by ISIS, the 620,000 Rohingya refuges, and all the victims of terrorist acts, and natural disasters to name just a few. One learns quickly that in such situations silence is golden. As another guest went on about their house hunting in an expensive zip code. I promptly extended my sincere congratulations (I am not a materialist, nor harbor any jealousy towards one’s success and good fortune), only to receive the response “I bet you can’t afford this neighborhood”. As we can see by this, one’s character, judgement, and intelligence is not determined by one’s zip code. You can never buy intelligence you were not born with. And, to quote the Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, “one’s wealth is determined by one’s happiness with their own lot”. By this definition, I am a very wealthy and happy man. After hours of deflecting questions and observations, a guest approached me questioning me as to why I am so quiet, especially as a retired professor. Followed by the innuendo, “why do you think you are above us? Oh yes, the dreaded and malicious gaslight baited question. In good social etiquette, I responded, “I am sorry I did not engage in much conversation this evening due to the fatigue brought on by long hours of writing articles, and producing my recently completed new play. In my mature years I am looking forward to pursue my neglected artistic passions”. And of course the expected response, “Well aren’t you just full of yourself.” Well, I guess that a $50,000 car did not do much to cure her insecurities. Now knowing the party was over long before I arrived, I walked away with the intent of leaving, when to my surprise a mature women from Europe engaged me in a conversation of worth and substance. The conversation was a pleasant echo from the past. From an era where intellect, wisdom and humility were respected along with the folk wisdom of the elders. No less, a breath of fresh air found to cool the stifling heat of these insecurities and egos. And, the denial that they are free from life’s painful realities. Peace on earth, and good will to all. Amen.
Dr. Richard Cirulli is a retired professor, business consultant, writer, columnist, and innocent bystander at large. He welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org