“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”–Yogi Berra
This quote was posted on Facebook the other day. It’s also one of my favorites from the Hall of Fame baseball player. Oddly enough, many of his perceived gaffes do contain wisdom. One might interpret his nifty little quote as a caution against living an aimless existence. That is, being heedless about one’s life may lead to failure and destitution. In a positive sense we can interpret the cautionary note as advocating in favor of having a goal or purpose then taking care so as to increase the odds of arriving at or achieving it.
In so much as we only have one go at our present existence on Earth, it behooves us to be aware of its value and how we will spend the coins of time we are allotted. Because as is the case with cash, we must take care; otherwise other people will find ways to spend it for us. As one’s life-force account dwindles, the more we understand how quickly it is spent.
To survive and thrive in our fast-paced, distracting society, we can take a page from the natural world. That is, survivors are those who quickly learn how to adapt to change. Better yet, the strongest survivors learn how to benefit and exploit changes. The happiest survivors take those lessons and grow personally and intellectually. It is being aware and able to observe carefully, plus being willing to constantly learn that are beneficial in the end.
It’s smart to take care within our interpersonal environment. There are many people who aim to manipulate us through their charm and clever political and religious opinions. Such charisma leads their believers down the garden path of entitlement, envy, resentment, and hatred. Such leaders utilize libel, slander, and half-truths to sabotage factual, fair discussion and debate. Careful, non-cynical skepticism is a vital tool to keep in one’s intellectual toolbox. Being mindful of why someone denigrates or advocates objectivity is important. Intellectual honesty and openness are guideposts that help reveal one’s character.
I have a final reflection about taking care. It’s important to remember that nearly everyone carries a mobile phone equipped with a camera that can take photos and movies. If a person is caught in the act of behaving like a “Karen”, or doing something foolish, illegal, or helpful, the image and/or movie will likely find its way onto the Internet. Once it does, it cannot be deleted nor completely censored. This can be harmful or auspicious, depending upon context.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes President John F. Kennedy. “To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.”