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Not a Wizard

John W. Pinkerton


I’m not a wise old man, but I’m definitely an old man.  I’m not a guru; I’ll leave that role to the smarter wizards around.  However, I do have things which seem to me to be true and which I  hold onto tenaciously.

I’ve always believed that showing up to see what will happen is a kind of plan which suits me…maybe not the best one, but it does avoid expectations.  I’ve never had any expectations; it’s difficult to find life a disappointment when you expect nothing in particular.  I’ve always been glad just to show up for another day to discover what is going to happen.

As for dealing with the world, I have tried to do no harm which, of course, is an impossible task.  I guess doing no harm is not exactly a high goal, but it’s harder than most people seem to realize.  Early on in life I realized that I had powers…not super powers…just the everyday powers we all have.  That’s pretty strong stuff.  I tried to do more good than harm with these powers.  It’s hard to say which one weighs the most toward the end of my life.

Another thing I hold tenaciously to is my interest in human beings.  I recall a student once being incensed by my mentioning to him a fact about him that I couldn’t have known directly.  From his reaction I knew it was true.  He said, “How did you find that out?”  I responded, “I only know two things: English and people.”  The English part I learned in school.  For the people part I use Yogi Bera’s method: “You can see a lot just by looking.”  I’ve spent a lifetime looking, and it’s paid off handsomely.

Speaking of people, unlike a lot of folks, I don’t believe that we are born as little angels.  Nope, we are born selfish little droppings that have to be kicked into something resembling a good human being.  It takes longer for some than others and some just remain droppings regardless of how many times they get kicked.

Here’s one I firmly believe.  The good Lord didn’t put us here on earth to loaf about.  If we ain’t working, what’s the point in our existence?  As the father of a friend of mine once said, “Work, work, work ‘til your ass falls off.”  Good advice---no, great advice.

I may revisit this topic again in the future, but for now, that’s all.