From The Storyteller
Hello All: Just a few words on the dangers and joys of thinking. Enjoy, Doug
“My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes... most of which never happened” is one of Mark Twain’s sayings I really enjoy. When I reread it the other day, the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared” came to mind, and I reached into my pocket to feel the Swiss Army Knife I always carry. I’ve carried one for over 40 years, made sure Elaine had one, and gave one to each of our children. It is the tool that, on several occasions, turned possible misfortunes into victories.
This of course caused me to smile at all those times, when I thought I could do something and reality stepped in, proving thinking something will happen does not make it so. Example: On a camping trip years ago in Arkansas I spent an hour trying to start a fire with wet twigs so Elaine could cook breakfast pancakes for the family. That morning we ate breakfast at Denny’s.
Another example: I spent 4 hours sweating, bent over in our sailboat trying to change a part. I was sure I had done it correctly, but for whatever reason the engine wouldn’t start. I’m beginning to think “faulty part” when Elaine gently asked, “Where does the brown wire go?” Two more examples from my youth show this to be a lifelong problem: Being sure I wouldn’t run out of gas before I got to the next town, and I being positive I would win a ribbon in the track and field events my first year of high school.
All this naturally causes me to wonder why I so often think up possible future outcomes, and then expect things to turn out that way. Which brings me back to my Swiss Army Knife. Because, while it doesn’t predict future events, it is quite useful when expectations and reality don’t match.
Moral: Thinking can get you in trouble.