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


Carter said...

You're real--very.

I'll bet nobody but New Englanders knows what those red things are.

RiverPoet said...

I'm glad you got out into the real world for awhile today. I've been pretty steeped in the real world today, too, to the point that I yelled at the dogs for .... well, for being dogs this morning. I'm tired, a little stressed out, and a whole lot ready for my hubby to come home.

As for politics, I've had it up to here, you know? I'm so ready for the election to be over, and I hope Obama wins. We need someone with a level head to take it from here. What a mess he'll inherit.

Peace - D

Wanda said...

Oh Ruth, without being a "Prophetess".... how DO you read ones mind.

I was so thinking along these terms last night as I pondered this national situation.

I too have tire of it all, and will be glad when it is over.

As the Apostle Peter said... Silver and Gold have I none, but what I have is so much more.

"things I can touch and see and hold in my hand".

I just love how you say things touch my soul.


leslie said...

Now that you have the time to ponder, you're coming up with some great philosophical questions. Lots to think about here.

Pauline said...

Now I have a new one for my granddaughter's phone ritual - I love you as much as all the cranberries in New England!

Rozel said...

I second that thought. I go through phases in which CNN is on 24/7. At the point when I would like to dip my head in a cranberry bog and never come up, I realize I need to turn the news OFF! What you don't know can't hurt you . . .right?!?

Ruth D~ said...

Let me just put it this way . . . the world I live in is real enough to me . . . real in the way I want it to be. I can be a bit of an ostrich, but I do peek out now and then.

Barbara said...

That was one of my son's favorite books. He was the kid who liked to talk about infinity when he was 4 years old.

Love the cranberry shots!

Ruth D~ said...

Barbara, I had a child like that. Infinity is a powerful concept that I can't quite wrap my mind around. How much more so for a kid.