Half Century Mark

50 years ago today, 9 months after a snowstorm hit the greater Victoria, B.C. area (or so I’ve been told), I showed up.

It’s been quite the ride, so far.

An interesting thing to watch as you age are your beliefs and opinions. Some solidify (into concrete, if my father is any indication), and others meld and morph and turn into things you never would be predicted at an earlier age.

I think they call it growth. But I could be wrong. Or you may not agree. Whatever.

So, using this half-century mark as an excuse, I thought I’d jot down a few things…

I believe…

I’ve received much more than my share of good fortune.

I believe…

In God, but I don’t claim to know what he/she/it looks like or thinks.
I have no proof, nor any evidence.
God has a sense of humor. I hope.

The bible is A good book but not THE Good Book.
There is no single good book.

God didn’t have a specific religion in mind.
You don’t need to be a member of the right religion to be “saved”, whatever that might mean.
God is or would be ashamed of most of what’s done in his/her/its name.

I believe…

Evolution, like any science, should be taught in school.
Creationism, like any religious myth, should be taught in church.
Comparative religions should be taught in school, but without prejudice towards or against any particular flavor.

I believe…

I have no idea when life starts.
I immediately distrust anyone who says they do.
Women should have a choice. 9 times out of 10 that choice should probably be life.

Sex is inevitable.
Contraception is necessary.
Contraception should just be available. To all. Regardless of age, status, location, etc.
Contraception is not evil or against some god’s will.
Contraception is not a replacement for education.
Abortion is not a replacement for contraception.

Most of the world needs to lighten up when it comes to sex.
Particularly the United States
TV and movie violence we are allowed to see is more damaging than the sex we’re not allowed to see.

We have more important things to worry about then how two people should go about loving each other.
Let’s stop them from hating each other first.

I believe…

People are basically good.
But there are some bad individuals out there.

“If you grew up where they grew up, and you were taught what they were taught, you would believe what they believe”.
If more people understood and accepted that, fewer people would die before their time.

I believe…

The left lane is for passing.
Regular driving tests should be mandatory for all ages.
Driving is a privilege, not a right.
Drunk driving repeat offenders should be removed from the road. Period.
Even if that means removing from society after they’ve proven they can’t be trusted.
Even three strikes seems too lenient. Pragmatic, perhaps, but still too lenient.

Most people can’t actually comprehend large numbers – there’d be fewer lottery players if they did.

People fear what they don’t understand.
Apparently there’s a lot people don’t understand.

I believe…

I’m a skeptic.
Well, I should say that all the evidence would indicate I am.

I believe…

50 is not the “new 40”. 50 is 50.
Any age is exactly and only what you make of it.
Yes, “you’re as young as you feel”
Some days I feel 20, some days I feel 90. So it goes.

I believe…

Illegal aliens are illegal, by definition. Prettying up the words doesn’t change that.
Entering this country illegally is a crime. Hence, by definition, illegal aliens are criminals.
Perhaps we should be pragmatic, and consider making it easier to enter this country legally.
Abiding by the law is one way to garner the respect of those around you.

I believe…

Everything that’s good for me tastes like crap.
Corollary: everything that tastes good will kill me.
Conclusion: Life is unfair.

I believe…

Planet Earth will heal itself from anything we might do to it.
… even if she has to kill every man, woman and child to do so.

I believe…

Personal responsibility is declining.
Personal responsibility is “inherited”, and parents aren’t passing it on.
Pretending to be a victim is an insult to those with legitimate problems.

Parenting is a noble job.
Many who are parents should not be. Ever.
It’s OK not to have children. Really.

I believe…

Questioning the presidents actions and/or motives IS patriotic.
In fact, the ability to do so is exactly what the U.S. stands for. (Or stood for.)
Those we disagree with still have the right to speak, argue and lobby for theirĀ beliefs.
No matter how repugnant we may believe them to be.

I do not have a responsibility to keep you from being offended.
You have the right to be offended.
I have the right not to care.
You do not have the right to prevent people from offending you.

I believe…

Given my wife, my colleagues and my friends,
my roots, my parents and my upbringing,
my career, my abilities and my freedom,
my assets, my history, and my opportunities…

Yes. I’ve received much more than my share of good fortune.

I believe I am grateful.

Comments

  1. Happy birthday. You sure have used your time on earth well to come to this state of wisdom.

  2. My favorite concept here:
    “We have more important things to worry about then how two people should go about loving each other.
    Let’s stop them from hating each other first.”
    Very profound. If everyone believed that, it would go a long, LONG way toward making the world a truly peaceful place. “Christians” especially should take heed: when you condemn, are you coming from love, or hate? As you say, Leo, “God is or would be ashamed of most of what’s done in his/her/its name.” Sad, but very true. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here.

  3. Today I browse all your sites for no known reason, so came on this one. 15 years older (for 2 more weeks) I believe what I believed when I too was 50, which is much the same as you profess to believe. I’d add that I believe that good is it’s own reward, but I wouldn’t mind if god chipped in some goodies too – it might act as an incentive. Happy birthday!

  4. Leo,
    All I can offer is a non-religious “Amen”.
    (Wait to you get to the “Sixties”)
    A belated “Happy Birtthday!”.

  5. Danny Smith says:

    Recently an old and dear friend of mine stated had he known he was going to live this long he would have taken better care of himself. We are both past the 60 mile marker!

    My dad was fond of saying, “it isn’t the age that gets you, it’s the high mileage.”