Wisdom for Our Generation, with Illustrations
Without honesty, reality withers and dies. -- Henry F. Senn
Real Men Dos and Do-Nots with Annotations
Pile of Key Words
Assault Rifles, beards, Bibles, Cabrillo, empathetic, Hand Guns, Hard Drives, Historic Graveyards, Knowledge, Leaders, libido, Lies, Life, Men, Pez Candy dispenser, Prophet Muhammad, Read, Real Men, Taxes, Television, Violence, Women
Both fiction and non-fiction
This is about sharing your time and passing on knowledge to the next generation. Passing on skills and knowledge to the next generation is the most human of activities.
Take an interest in the world around them
This interest should range through many things such as high technology, rocks, the universe, and even tiny bugs.
It does not matter whether you believe life was created by 3 billion years of evolution, an instantaneous act of God, or something in between, the life on this planet is truly miraculous. It may be monstrously rare in the universe. Yet, we take it for granted and generally treat it like dog pooh.
"The ink of a scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.
- Prophet Muhammad
from "Wisdom for Graduates," Edited by Allison Bing, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 2002
Listen as well as talk
Always pause to let others have their say and do not interrupt, unless the other’s intention is to dominate the conversation.
Even if they deserve it
Do not beat up on physically or emotionally weak males either
A real man does not need to prove anything by picking on those weaker than himself. This is important for monkeys in establishing a pecking order, but we should be something more than monkeys.
Do not beat up on people who are different from themselves
This male behavior is evidence of ignorance and self-doubt.
Real men become leaders by example. Real men lead through enthusiasm for the task at hand and are ready to sacrifice along with their subordinates, if sacrifice is needed. For instance, If you ask your subordinates to work with less pay, you had dam well better cut your own pay. If you need to rely on threat or fear, you are incompetent. The end product of threat and fear is treachery by those under your heal.
Violence is some how compelling. That is why our entertainment is full of it. I feel this in myself, yet I do not think I am in any way different. It must have something to do with our primitive drives to compete with each other and other animals. But, if we give into such urges easily, we are nothing but animals. Violence is the antithesis of civilization and we should use our wonderful brains to direct our energies elsewhere.
In most cases, this is a sign of a paranoid, ineffective male who is fearful of authority and other people, and needs the gun to make him feel stronger. Real men do not believe that if everyone carried a gun they would be safer. Just the opposite is true. Real men recognize that the only thing that comes out of the barrel of a gun is death and destruction. Real men direct their energies to constructive endeavors.
This indicative of a paranoid, ineffective male who has been seduced by violence. It may make him more dangerous but it does not make him any stronger.
"We have become a nation of self interest, and it shows."
Do not shoot animals for amusement
Nor do real men think that picking off an ignorant animal from a great distance with a high-powered rifle and scope is sporting. It is just aimless destruction. I have an admiration for an Amazonian Indian, for example, who would use his keen hunting skills and primitive tools to put food on his table, but to hunt for amusement is the height of personal mediocrity.
Watching others perform is not all bad, but to watch game after game, hour after hour is bad. It is escapism. It does nothing for your spirit, your body, your intellect, or those close to you. For similar reasons, real men do not bother playing video games either
Lies undermine reality and our trust in one another. There is always some room for small lies meant to protect someone's feelings.
Do not take advantage of other’s ignorance or naiveté
Phrases like, “let the buyer beware” do not get you off the hook
Produce a good product at a fair price
Real men make a living by building things, or performing useful services at a fair price. They do not claim that they do more than they do, overprice their product, or knowingly talk people into buying something un-needed.
A real man is able to walk in the shoes of others and be sympathetic to their trials and tribulations. He also understands that his own achievements are dependent on hard work, but also on many little twists and turns of good fortune. A man who does not recognize the suffering of animals is probably has no empathy for people either.
Make the world a better place for everyone, not a worse place
If, for example, you earn a living by selling cigarettes, you are making the world a worse place. If you earn a living by teaching honest history, you are making the world a better place.
This is how a community is maintained. All people have benefited from taxes well spent. Sure, taxes can be foolishly spent but this is why you should vote and participate in your community. The taxes paid to the US Government are for your wider community with its wider needs.
Ex-president Clinton is premier example of this bad behavior. Because he did not have the personal strength to resist the attention of a naiveté young girl, he hurt himself, the girl, his family, and the country. As long as Monica lives, she will not be able to introduce herself without seeing eyebrows raised
This is the only practical way to distinguish men from women. A shaved, naked face is encouraged by women to make men appear more feminine and therefore more domesticated. Woman have their breasts that they can thrust out into world, so men should have their beards. Men could walk around without any pants on but this seems a little gross and maybe a little risky.
-- Henry F. Senn, December 2003
The rocks have stories to tell. I found this odd intrusion in the eroded rocks on the California coast. Note the distinct boundary separating the intrusion from the surrounding bed rock, the change in color and texture of the intrusion, and the unique way that the intrusion fractures. I can't help but wonder what exactly happened here, who knows how many years ago but probably a lot, to form this odd formation. If I had the resources, it would be interesting to find out more about the chemical compositions of the surrounding rock and the intrusion, whether the rock beds are sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphosed, and if there is bedding, what is its orientation. These are the kinds of facts one would have to know to arrive at a reasonable hypothesis.
A modern computer that you might purchase from a local electronics retailer will typically have a 80 gigabyte hard drive. This is an immense amount of storage capacity. For a home user, it is unlikely that you will ever make a serious dent in this capacity for the period of time that you will use the machine.
To put this in the context of biblical proportions, such a hard drive will hold the uncompressed text of approximately 20,000 bibles. If you are talking about something smaller like a 500 megabyte memory card from your digital camera, it will be able to store about 115 bibles.
To estimate this, I divided 40 gigabytes (or 500 megabytes) by the number of letters in the bible plus, because the text is uncompressed, a space for each word in the bible. The letter and word count of the bible I found at http://agards-bible-timeline.com/q10_bible-facts.html . I cannot vouch for these stats but they seem plausible. I also did not consider the space required on your hard drive for the computer operating system and other software.
-- Henry F Senn, February 06
I love historic graveyards with their weathered, lichen covered headstones and statuary, and ancient trees. In these graveyards, the families of those buried were allowed to leave gravesites with stones, epitaphs, and plantings that reflect the character of the deceased and their families. Passing stranger are left with forgotten stories that can never be quite deciphered.
I found this stone in an old graveyard in central Florida. It is the grave of a 12-year-old girl, Susie King, who died in 1897. Someone had left some plastic figures whose style suggests that they are fairly old but, if so, I am a little surprised that someone has not picked them up. The one on the right has a little slider. It might be a Pez Candy dispenser and these have some value as collectors' items.
I did not pick them up either and perhaps other people that have passed by had the same feelings I did about this touching tribute. I wonder if it was an adult that placed them there in honor of a young life cut short, or was it another little girl who thought they were something Susie would enjoy. Also, was a distant relative who left the toys, or was it a passing stranger moved by an early death? In the alcove, there is a piece of broken statuary that may have been on top of the gravestone or in the alcove. Time has a way of rearranging things.
-- Henry F. Senn, August 2006