Among the musings in my emails this morning was an opinion piece that said we should relish “ordinary things’ in our lives. If I might cut to the chase, the writer was saying we should “stop and smell the roses.”
Parallel to that, another writer advised me “not to sweat the small stuff.” We’ve all heard that before. If it won’t matter two weeks from now, it probably doesn’t matter now.
You see I’ve noticed that lately we seem to have more philosophers out there. Either that, or just more philosophers now have computers. And they range from some guy contemplating the lint in his navel on one end of the spectrum to some other fellow pontificating on the Higgs particle and the Big Bang Theory on the other. I’ve done both but with no great authority.
The ones I’m talking about today are somewhere in-between. They are a little more enlightened than being entertained by finding a missing T-shirt in their navel but not so much into physical science as seeing their chili dog as a composite of atoms and molecules. They do not wonder why, when they drop a pickle on the floor, a pickle atom doesn’t split and cause an explosion.
Now back to relishing ordinary stuff. I thoroughly enjoy my coffee club. It’s just a bunch of guys who enjoy a special camaraderie. It’s a mixture of political, religious and football beliefs. After discussing the price of gasoline and the power of “big oil,” the next conversation may draw a high five for someone who just got a great deal on a chainsaw.
Now I don’t know how much of one’s thinking is dedicated to thinking of ordinary stuff as opposed to out-of-the-ordinary stuff. I would guess the majority of the time it’s about ordinary stuff because that’s the stuff that we most likely can affect. For instance, there’s not a darn thing we can do about oil prices and car bombs in the Mideast. While we can offer an opinion on “good and bad” in those venues, we can rest assured that the CIA doesn’t have our table bugged for tips on dealing with international intrigue or that we have become privy to information that we shouldn’t have and should fear men in trench coats speaking into their sleeve cuffs.
In fact, on occasions any one of our members is prone to say, “That’s more information than I need.” It happened just the other morning when someone was explaining how hot dogs are made.
The other day I enjoyed a simple pleasure that dates back to my childhood. I popped open an Orange Crush and poured salted peanuts into it. I’ve often wondered who was the first person to ever do that and what was the occasion. Maybe he was driving and couldn’t manage the steering wheel, a pack of peanuts and his drink. Maybe he was fishing and decided it was better to marry the two than to risk not snagging that bass. I know there are many people who have never poured peanuts into their drinks. But that’s OK. I’ve never eaten raw fish. And despite either of these non-occurrences, the earth still spends on its axis, people still lie about their age and politicians still make promises they don’t keep.
One of the commentaries I read said we tend to be healthier if we relish the simple stuff. It affects our blood pressure and even our metabolism, according to some research. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it sounds good.
My friend, The Earl of Stumpworth by the Ochlocknee, is sold on this idea. When he gets stressed, he gets back to the basics. He sits on the creek bank with a cane pole rigged up with a big old bottle stopper cork and talks to his dog. He says it adds years to his life. Sometimes he catches fish and sometimes he doesn’t. But he says the conversation is always good.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.