Project 313 – Post No. 052

How about some advice?

Hey! I saw that; I saw your eye roll and your hand reaching to swipe me off the screen! But, how about you hold off until you read what I say? Perhaps it’s not advice; maybe it’s a suggestion. It could even be a good suggestion and you won’t know until you read it.

So, here’s what I’ve noticed myself doing: I pull out the phone whenever I’m momentarily not doing anything.

I could be waiting in line somewhere. I could be waiting for an appointment. I could be sitting down, resting. The point is, my immediate response when I have a few seconds of time with myself is to distract me; to occupy my mind with something else. 

I have two suggestions and I’ll keep both of them short. 

The first suggestion is to forego the phone and spend some time with yourself. Think about how you feel, or what you feel. I don’t mean your health. I mean what occupies your mind in the moment. Some answer “nothing” and that’s why they reach for the phone. They are bored. 

. . .  because they’ve assigned the task of “thinking” to the phone. 

You should repossess that task. Think about friends. How are they doing? (Stop! Don’t you dare reach for the phone to text them!) I mean, how are they really doing? What is their current situation? For that matter, what is your current situation? Do you have plans for yourself? I mean real plans, not just “I should get a malasada”. Where do you see yourself next year? How about in five years?

If you prefer to think about the world, stop a moment and think about it not so much in terms of who is right or wrong about this or that issue, but its current state. Are people happy? Specifically, people you know. Why or why not? Is life about to get easier or harder for them? How do you know, and if you don’t, why not?

In other words, I’m suggesting you take back the task of “figuring stuff out” as opposed to letting the phone tell you what you should be thinking about — usually banal stuff not anywhere near your sphere of influence or concerns — and how you should be thinking about it. 

BUT . . . let’s say you do pull out that phone. Fine. It’s like a reflex now, anyway. Here’s my second suggestion. The first thing you read, no matter what it is, stop right after you read it. Look away from the phone and think about what you just read. 

I mean, really think about it. How do you feel about it? Why do you feel about it? Is it a conscious reaction or a knee-jerk one? Is what you read fueling a certain reaction? Are you being manipulated? What is the intent of the person who wrote whatever you read?

Now, at this point, some will say something like this: “what if it’s just some random news?”

OK, let’s think about that for a moment. There are billion of things happening in the world at any one moment. You just read one. Someone chose it, wrote it up, and presented it to you. All that requires effort and probably costs money to present it to you. Why? Why would someone do that? Are they concerned about you? Do they think this piece of information is crucial for your well-being? Do you think you need this piece of information for your well-being? Are you even going to remember this piece of news an hour from now? Could it be “they” just want your attention for a moment because it benefits them? 

But, wait . . . how did “they” even know you would read it. Is everyone else being shown the same thing? Is someone analyzing and manipulating your attention?

So . . . presuming you read all that, sit back. I mean it. At the end of this paragraph, sit back and think about what you read. What are your thoughts about all that? Go. 

Now think about the fact that you didn’t do what I suggested. You didn’t sit back and think about what you just read. You’re, instead, hell-bent on getting to the end of this post. Heck, you probably scanned most of the above and only got a general sense of it. 

*Sigh* OK, I didn’t really think it would work, anyway. But, next time you have a few minutes, try thinking about stuff. Not new stuff. Stuff you already know. Really think about it, not just parroting what you’ve read or heard. See if it makes sense. Try arguing against “stuff you know” and arguing “for stuff you don’t agree with” and not in terms of emotions or what you would like, but rather using actual arguments . . . in other words, exercise your mind a bit. Make it a habit, even.

And now, the photo:

Project 313 052

That is a treatment of a mural on the wall of a house near here. That’s the second such mural I’ve seen. I call it a mural because I don’t know the word for decorative pieces of metal stuck on a wall. I suppose it could be a sculpture.  

In part, that’s what got me to draw a fish . . . I plan to draw more fish and also draw a turtle and a dolphin and stuff. I then plan to arrange them all in one drawing that brings all the elements together . . . like the above scene, but maybe more complicated. 

Hmm . . . maybe I should go for something simpler for my first major project. We’ll see. 

This is one of my most favorite cartoons . . . even from before the current state of the world.

Admit it . . . regardless on which side of the social/political/economic spectrum you reside in, it feels a bit like that. Personally, I’d like to get off before . . . you know . . . before.

Sadly, I don’t see a safe place to jump off. All I can do is brace myself . . . for all the good it will do. 

And now, another doodle.

This one was easy to name; I give you . . . ColonoscopieKaleidoscope.

Colonoscopies Kaleidoscope

And . . . that’s it

Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.

You can read about Project 313 HERE.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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