Pay it Forward is Nonsense

This I thought was well thought out. So much so that I also added a rather lengthy comment below the post.  I am quite sure it is riddled with grammatical errors so I include a copy of it here which I may correct in due course:

Bravo! I have long felt unsettled by the term to which you refer. I have always acted with kindness toward others; and when others are kind to me, this does indeed lift my spirits, so to speak and makes it a bit more likely that I will be that much more kind to any I should encounter. However I have always rewarded, in any way in which I am able, acts of kindness shown to me.

We often forget that a real life and fiction are not the same. We write a certain passage in as a philosophical passage in a book–as did Miss Rand–to illustrate a philosophical point. It is not, I think so much a blueprint for action but rather a thing to keep in mind in real life.

For example, when recently our car was down with unexpected and catastrophic repairs, which I found would take some time, owing to the unavailability of parts and the type of work needed, to repair, our friend JR whose work and sleep schedule is quite opposite mine most of the time, offered me his car until the work was done, provided he was not at work himself, and was in essence done with his car for the day. He did not ask for a dime or a dollar–this was real life, after all, not a lesson in a book. HOWEVER, the lesson of Miss Rand’s book, and perhaps one that was reinforced by good parenting and perhaps even by the Andy Griffith show : ) caused me, without even thinking about it, to wash my friend’s car and leave the tank full. I did this whether there were ten gallons or a half gallon missing, and regardless of how much or how little I drove.

Yes such an act is encouraging. But even such an unsolicited payback as I describe is all the more encouraging to those who have done someone a good turn. I would have done this even if my friend had insisted It was not necessary. Just as are the two characters in Miss Rand’s book, both of us are financially stable enough that my act of recompense was neither necessary nor burdening to either of us, still the goodwill was priceless! And, what better way to show my appreciation than to save him a trip to the car-wash and the gas station for a few weeks.


Regarding this:  entitled Liar, Liar, Books on Fire! I left the following comment, and once again I felt it too long that it should not be included here as a regular entry.

There is a book or two that, due to my advancing years, I cannot now remember having read–or not.  Still this is an interesting topic.  As a young man of science, I could not have imagined the reason or cause for “peacocking,” if I am using the offered term correctly.(?)

And, as a young man, the nature of the books I read, filled as they were with diagrams, equations and very, very densely specialised text, such fakery would have been inconceivable.  As a much (much, much, much) older man, I do of course understand the nature of a man who might wish to be thought greater than he is.

Still I would not commit this act of bravado.  And, as it happens, I myself have a very solid reason to commit such an act.  I have a standing agreement with a colleague of mine, who has some kind of irrational aversion to the reading of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” to wit, that he will read the book in question if and when I complete Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamozov.”

I have tried.  Indeed I have.  I am some few chapters in at my last attempt.  But I believe my friend will win this contest of ours if I play fair.  And I will, I am afraid, even though I believe Miss Rand’s book will, for him, answer some very important questions which he has to me voiced over the many decades.

As for the above list:

I have read Orwell’s ‘1984’ I wish I could claim to have read it During the year itself, but I cannot now remember.  Most likely, I read it a few years before that time.

My sweet wife and I have read the entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy aloud, taking turns over many successive evenings.  These books read very well in this way, almost as though they were written with such a method in mind.

I attempted, but did not finish “Pride and Prejudice” as a very young man.  I will here state that I enjoyed, to some degree, the 1/5th that I did read, but that its language was a bit too much for my equation-addled brain to parse.  Merely having fallen in love with a “humanities girl” was not then enough to grant me the gift of comprehension of such language.  (This failure is partly what led me to study the poetry of various periods–to my scientific mind, a much more efficient way to survey the language of various eras)  I have not attempted it yet again, but I believe that, were I to do so, it would afford me no trouble at all at this late date.

And, even though it was not so very long ago, my failed attempt to read “Catcher in the Rye” induced a kind of glaze of the eyes, which condition still has not completely abated.

Sonnet: Shrug

If Atlas’ Eyes were burning from our stain
Of  festering foul collectivization;
Shrieking of our dehumanization,
Bloody streamt His Ears with piercing pain;

His Arms, and Knees, and Shoulders, bled with strain
With the weight of our dying population;
Retching! from the stench of our starvation;
Weakening Resolve! at our disdain

For men who build; who might, His Burden, ease.
So, would ye dare to task Him; “Hold Thou, Muse!
One moment more, ’til we depose these smug,

“Self-righteous beasts!  No more! shall we appease
Esurience’s philanthropic ruse!”?
Or fear our thousand-years, and bid Him “Shrug!”?