06 February 2008

Life Actions

A big Gracias to Gabriel Pagán for sending Me a notice about an upcoming Roberto Clemente graphic novel. Must buy!

Over at ZenHabits, an occasional refuge from mundanity, there's a post about "11 Ways to Expand Your Mind." Here's the abbreviated list:

11. Reading
10. Writing
9. Puzzles
8. Mathematics
7. Painting
6. Cooking
5. Music
4. Poetry
3. Meditation
2. Learning a language
1. The Number One Way To Expand Your Mind Is Through Questioning Everything

As a Jenius, I can tell you I do #s 11, 10, 9, and 6 often, 8 and 5 occasionally, just picked up #2 (Italian) and I do #1 all the time. (The rest I don't care to try.) And I believe that puts Me in a group best described as "aberrant."

As I said recently in a phone conversation, most people move as automata through their daily lives, waking, moving, sitting and eating as passive vessels moved by sheer inertia to mark Time.

Don't shake your head: You know it's true because in an instant you can think of half a dozen people just like that. What's bewildering to Me is that even when you point out to these drifting husks that they can enhance their lives by making an effort, they agree it can be done, but don't 
do it. 

Some are in denial and may agree with Me just to shut Me up. (It's been known to occur.) But others dance around the real reason they agree with Me, but continue plowing through Time like oxen: Because it takes effort to "be alive."

Uh-huh. Instead of seeing their lives as massive disconnects leading to barren wastelands of missed opportunties, disconnects that require an almost superhuman effort to achieve because it means denying one's own faculties of curiosity and imagination, they prefer to see living as the effort and their choice as "the easy way out."

That's like starving a child to make him grow healthy and strong.

Is reading harder than watching TV? Of course it is. It's the difference between a mind awake and a mind with the thought processes of a carrot. Is writing harder than taking in a movie? Yes. It's the difference between adventure and ad revenue: In one you act, in the other you get taken for an idiot. Even the activities I eschew--painting, poetry and meditation--require more of you to engage in than a soap opera, TV cartoon or video game. Even in the quiet pose of the zen meditator, you are more alive than plopped in front of a screen.

Should you start doing these things, if you aren't? Should you start living...if you aren't?

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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