A Better Version

The northerly wind increased speed between the time I sat with Orange the cat and when I opened the laptop to tap out a few words for this blog. Despite living in this small house for a few decades, I still dislike the threat of strong winds blowing down my trees. This is a major aversion I need to work on. After all, the wind is a normal aspect of the natural world just as much as the elm trees. Today’s wind is also a reminder to call my favorite tree serviceman to schedule pruning of some large branches that overhang the garage and part of the house.

It seems odd to many people that I have a favorite tree surgeon until they see the numbers of antique elms in and around my yard. Having a tree service when one owns a property that is overwhelmed with trees is as important as having a good physician for one’s physical self; or a library filled with philosophical tomes for the consideration of the mind.

Much has been said and written about the advantages of becoming a better version of ourselves. Indeed, this is something I attempt to do even as I recommend it as an option for others. I say recommend as an option because self-betterment is most effective when one sincerely desires it independently for oneself. This is a contrasting scenario to instances when people are forced to convert to religions or ideologies. If people are not free to come and go to and from belief systems, then such systems are tyrannical and harmful. Socially pressured conversions are rarely sincere. One benefits from belief systems best when one is free to explore according to one’s needs.

Such freedom to be curious allows one to become a jack of all trades. There is nothing wrong with being a sort of pantomath. A pantomath being the type of person who has basic knowledge about many things, even if such knowledge might be somewhat superficial. One may not have the capacity nor desire to become a full-on Renaissance person nor a polymath; but that does not mean one should give up on knowledge and wisdom.

In my opinion, it is good to be able to understand the world from various perspectives from people of different walks of life. For instance there is Rick, who disposes of downed trees and large branches for me. I marvel at his skill in working in hazardous situations. He has honed his craft throughout the years to a high level of effectiveness and professionality.

Rick is also enjoyable as an acquaintance. He loves to float “idea balloons” past me to trigger deep discussions of philosophy, the environment, and his life. Rick usually schedules my tree work at the end of his work day so we can engage in meaningful discussions without him having to hurry to another assignment. Rick and I agree that being a jack of all trades is a good way to live an effective life. Although I have no interest in becoming an arborist, I have learned some helpful knowledge about caring for my elm trees from Rick.

Everyone on Earth has a different take on life and how they cope. One can be an optimist, a pessimist, a realist, or some other “type”. I imagine myself to be somewhat of a realist with a romantic twinge thrown in as a monkey wrench. If I attempt something but it doesn’t work out the first way, I’ll give it a go from a different perspective. In most instances, I eventually get good results. The realist part of me understands my serious limitations and calls an expert. If my limitations can be overcome with personal effort, then I put my nose to the grindstone.

I understand life as personal evolution. Each day there are more chances to see things from different angles; do things in different ways; and perhaps reinvent myself. Hopefully, in the process, I morph into a better version of myself.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes American R&B singer, Usher. “I’m a flamboyant type of guy, a cooler version of Liberace.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Hometown, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Better Version

  1. bronlima says:

    The optimist sees the doughnut. The pessimist sees the hole. The realist eats it.

  2. rkrontheroad says:

    Glad to learn the term pantomath. Much more positive than dilettante.

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