A Late Night Ramble

The synchronicity of things amazes me. I don’t believe in coincidence or chance, because I’m a great believer in karma. But let me explain that karma isn’t just the, “I do good, I receive good; I do bad, I receive bad” proposition that most people think it is. There’s long-term karma--the kind that can take lifetimes to work itself out--and there’s what Lennon called “instant karma”. But I think there’s also something wedged in between those two extremes.

Take driving.

There’s a 4-way stop on the road that runs by our house. Just a blinking red light. Sometimes I’ll go buy groceries after one in the morning in order to avoid the crowds, and I have to turn left at that intersection to go into town. Usually, there’s not a car in sight, so I don’t stop, I just turn. What the heck? But once in a while, I’ll see a car coming toward the intersection from the direction I’ll be turning. When this happens, they never get there before me, or after me. They get to the intersection and stop at the exact same time that I do.

Every time.

Have you ever been out driving the Interstate late at night and saw a set of car lights on the other side of the median coming toward you, and as they passed, wondered who they are and what their story is? I do that all the time. Every last one of has a story. And every last one of us thinks the Universe, and life, revolves around us. It’s amazing.

We humans are aggravating and wondrous creatures. There are times when we fill me with rage and sadness, and there are times when I’m so delighted with us that I weep. Sometimes, when I think about all of the people who have lived, are living, and are yet to live, I feel defeated and small, like I make no difference at all. Then, when I realize how unique each of us is, I feel exalted.

Before I close my computer down and got to bed, I want to ask you two questions:
  1. What is it about the human race that pisses you off?
  2. What is it that endears our race to your heart?
My answers are:
  1. Our willingness to be stupid.
  2. Our sense of humor.
Your turn!


  1. The thing about wondering what’s going on with the person in the other car reminded me of a conversation I had last fall when I was in England. Another American and I were traveling around the country by train and she said how she marveled that there was life going on here even when she wasn’t there to see it. Silly and obvious, I guess, but in completely practical terms we tend to think that our part of the world is the only one that is really inhabited.

    As for your questions, the thing that pisses me off is the capacity within all of us to be cruel to one another. And the thing that endears is the capacity to be kind.

  2. Interesting post. Where this topic really hits home is when you’re flying and you are able to see the activity of tens of thousands of people, each with their own consciousnesses and purposes for doing what they’re doing. The world is so complicated but somehow it all meshes together for better or for worse.

    As for your questions..
    1. What pisses me off is how people can be selfish and inconsiderate, especially when they are seeking short term benefit at the expense of long term gain for everybody.
    2. What endears our race to my heart is the fact that we generally respect mankind and have some sense of right and wrong. Without this, there would be chaos everywhere.

  3. 1. The amount of time it takes us to learn from the stupid things we do.

    2. That most people are actually quite decent human beings.

  4. 1. Lack of careful thinking.
    2. Willingness to help. Almost all people are willing to help others in a pinch.

  5. 1. Lack of careful thinking.
    2. Willingness to help. Almost all people are willing to help others in a pinch.


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