Friday, October 10, 2008
The real world~
I'm not sure exactly what the "real world" is anymore.
This morning I emailed a friend to say I was going to get out of the "real world" for a few hours and wander around some cranberry bogs with my camera. I amended my message to say that maybe I was, in fact, actually heading into the real world.
What's real? What matters? Is what matters real?
Philosophy aside, who knows, and maybe who cares? I'm not sure I do. But I've steeped in politics until I'm purple. I'm so tired of it all. It's a game I'm being forced to watch and play.
And as for the current financial meltdown . . . it pays to have so little to lose. I'm not happy about the whole thing, but my life will continue pretty much unscathed, maybe a bit pinchier in the penny department.
Gates held the top spot-- richest man in the world-- for 15 years, according to Forbes magazine. And now he doesn't.
I wonder if he feels any pain from losing his perch to Warren Buffet. Is Buffet gloating? I have not a clue. To me, rich is rich. What difference is there between the first or 31st spot? It's still more money than I could spend in a lifetime. A billion lifetimes.
There is a book I used to read my students when I taught math: How Much is a Million? by David M. Schwartz. My kids loved the book and so did I. Such a huge concept as a million needs a children's picture book to make it assessable to adults.
"If a million children climbed on each other's shoulders, they would reach higher into the sky than airplanes can fly; if a billion of them made a human tower, it would reach past the moon."
Can you imagine?
Then there's this I stumbled upon somewhere and saved to share with my classes.
A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.
Our country has not existed for a trillion seconds. Western civilization has not been around a trillion seconds. One trillion seconds ago – 31,688 years – Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.
So . . . the real world? I think the real world differs depending on who we are. The real world for me exists of things I can touch and see and hold in my hand-- or more importantly, hold in my heart.
I have a billion of nothing. But I feel rich. I am rich.
Bill and Warren might not understand, but I hope, for their sakes, they do.
The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.~BC Forbes