Showing And Paying Respects

The above photo is by Jorge Castro.  © All rights reserved by Jorge Castro.

(Click on the image if you wish to view it individually.)

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This post will address these questions:

Should you show respect and support for the people and artworks who helped you in the past?  How do I determine where to show appreciation?

What are important qualities to look for in social companions?

Where am I headed this year?

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Showing And Paying Respects

   ~ by OneMoreOption

I will write this post in reverse order today, beginning by thanking the readers who kindly have “Liked” me on Facebook or alternatively subscribed via email or Twitter recently.  Because people are very different, I don’t imagine people subscribe for similar reasons.  I don’t know what cocktail of qualities is sufficient to lead someone to want to hear more, but I thank the people who have given kind feedback.

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Should you show respect and support for the people and artworks who helped you in the past?  How do I determine where to show appreciation?

It is important to show respect to artists, art formats, and industries who have, at pivotal points in my life, provided me with the emotional, social, and intellectual concepts I benefited from in my cognitive development.  For example, this blog regularly highlights those things, attempting to both a) show respect and b) broaden the exposure of such things, so others might receive similar benefits.

I continue to support artworks, even if they may no longer be as relevant or “new” for me.  For example, I still buy comic books.  This is in part because I still enjoy them for many various reasons.  But equally, comic books were very helpful to me in my teens, exposing me to different points of view and perceptions in entertaining ways.  Comic books gave me much of what I needed at that defining period of my life.  So, even though comic books don’t say as much to me now, I still buy them, and buy them from a local comic book store (instead of trying to buy them cheaper online) because I strongly believe every good-size city should have at least one quality comic book store. 

In a similar vein, an immediate member of my family works in our city’s major library.  It isn’t that she thinks she could make the most money from working at a library.  Rather, as I understand it, she believes in books and reading.  So, every day she works to support the broad distribution of diverse ideas and differing points of view.

Other people show respect and support for religious institutions, possibly in part for similar reasons.  That is not something I do.  I didn’t personally benefit as much from religious institutions growing up.  As a result of my religious upbringing, I have trouble serving one master or one ideology. 

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What are important qualities to look for in social companions?

I am a person who often talks about concepts of love.  Sometimes this is because I think I know what love is and how it might work well.  Other times, I am unsure whether I know much about love.  At those other times, I wonder if my pleasant associations and concepts about love come more from my good fortune of being in relationships with people who are exceptionally good at loving.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m a great player at the game of love or if my good fortune has come more from (intentionally or luckily) surrounding myself with people who are intelligent lovers. 

One of the most important pursuits in life is finding the best quality people to ally with.  Finding a social partner or partners who are kind, intelligent, and loving may be the most difficult and important pursuit in some of our lives. 

No matter how good you think you are at being kind and loving, if you don’t partner with someone who is also intent on being good at loving and being socially aware and responsive, then no matter how good you are or how hard you try, your efforts may be unfruitful and un-returned.

My parents had 5 failed marriages, with each other and other people.  Both of my parents are smart, kind, and loving.  Like any of us, they’re not perfect.  But their past failed marriages may speak to how difficult it is to find a compatible person who is able to interpret, receive, and respond to your specific kind of love.

I watch young people in high school and college, with all their varying and complex interests.  In my estimation, most young people don’t have a sense of the difficulty and gravity of the social questions ahead of them.

One of the reasons older people cry at weddings is because we know how difficult the roads ahead will be, even in the best of social pairings.  We cry because the stakes may not be higher than the stakes at risk in a decision to try to socially work with another person for the rest of your life.  And whether or not we estimate the marriage will have a chance of succeeding, there is something overwhelming in watching a person we know declare their intention to attempt such a difficult lifelong pursuit.

In the end, the kindness and social intelligence of your partners matters.  And sometimes, if they don’t have social intelligence or an intent to please and be kind, then no amount of good efforts on your part may be fruitful for you.  And even when they have those things, two specific people can still be very incompatible.  In relationships, you are always dependent on the actions of a separate individual, whose actions will always be beyond your control.

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Where am I headed this year?

To show my respects to the “art gods” this year (in addition to the homage I show most days), I have worked and saved to take a couple trips.  The first trip will probably be, with my limited time and means, a once in a lifetime trip: 

I’m heading to London, to visit the National Gallery, the The National Portrait Gallery, and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Then to Venice, Italy.  Florence to the Uffizi Gallery, and Rome and The Vatican.

Then to Paris, to the Musée D’Orsay, Musée Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie, and other museums.

After returning from Europe, I’ll head to a Shakespeare Festival to see 3 plays and a musical.

I believe in financially supporting the arts – in paying respects.

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The most-emailed article on the New York Times today is an article about how mice, who regularly exercised, improved and maintained their intelligence better than mice who did not exercise:

How Exercise Could Lead To A Better Brain

The study suggested that stimulating other senses:  visual, taste, touch, etc. did not measurably improve intelligence or further physical brain development.  While that may also be true in humans, I believe I have enjoyed life more, and had more reason and motivation to exercise – from drives to enjoy more kinds of sensory stimulations – the arts. 

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