The Last Lonely Traveler
- From the Extremes
Available at Amazon
See Lessons Learned From Traveler Appendix, Below
Along With Discussion By Mr. Baker, As Available
Moderation in all things.
At the end of each chapter in The Last Lonely Traveler – From the Extremes (www.amazon.com/dp/B0C3Y4TYFD) autobiography section, there is a synopsis of lessons learned from the experiences described. Finally, the last couple pages of Traveler present an Appendix consisting of 44 “Lessons Learned” in my life.
Today, I start a
series touching on each of the lessons learned with “Moderation in All
Moderation is one of the earliest of influences in my early life. It is actually a silly phrase because it can be restated as “Too Much is Too Much”. Still, as a child, I already understood that everything needs to be in balance. Salt is nice on your eggs, but an extreme amount of salt can kill you.
Now, as an adult, I
can see other aspects. For example, benefits of moderation are
apparent in the concept of Diminishing Returns, where it can be 5 times more
work to complete a task at 95% perfection than for 80% perfection. The
extra time could better be used doing something else productive. If I
sweep the driveway, I don’t take the time to get every little bit of debris;
the wind will soon blow more leaves onto it anyway.
Politically, you can’t always get everything you want. Being a centrist in California, I know that. But thinking you are 100% right about everything is not a good reason to hate those that only agree with you on 80% of issues.
Know when to quit.
Know When to Quit – This is a second installment of Lessons Learned from the Appendix of The Last Lonely Traveler (www.amazon.com/dp/B0C3Y4TYFD).
Among the most important decisions in life is knowing when to quit. Critical to the decision is the availability of information, and being willing to use it. Sometimes the writing is on the wall, sometimes you end up making a blind leap. Sadly, there are times when the facts make hopelessness clear, but you can’t abandon your irretrievable losses.
Often you do know it is time to quit; like when you are fired or thrown in jail.
Other times you continue, even in the face of clearly bad trends. It is hard to quit a failing enterprise, hoping to turn things around. Gambling is a good example. However, when trends show failure is likely, not turning around at the right time can be fatal. As a child, I always wanted to swim across the Clark’s Fork River. I set out, became frightened about half way, and turned around against the current. I would have drowned but for a quirk of fate.
Other times you quit when you receive a new opportunity or better information. Though highly qualified and scoring very high on graduate record tests, I couldn’t get into California Ph.D. programs. After many years working in the lab, I noticed that incoming Ph.D. grads didn’t know as much about molecular biology as I did. But, my writing skills needed improvement. I decided to go to law school. Quitting the Ph.D. track was fortunate, as being a Bio/Med/Attorney was more valuable.
On my unplanned accidental backpack trip around the world alone, I made several bad decisions in situations where I should have turned back. There were several significant illnesses and brushes with death due to my failure to turn around. In hind-sight, I marvel at the stupidity (naivety?) of my decisions. Spoiler alert – I did not end up mysteriously dying alone on the back-side of the world. So … I have been guilty of not knowing when to quit. [See stories in The Last Lonely Traveler – Fron the Extremes.]
Don’t reward bad behavior. You are not living if you are afraid to take risks. Knowing someone is richer than you can make you feel poor. It’s nice to be nice, but balance it with tough love. You can’t buy love. Don’t mess with someone in their own backyard. Don’t let mean people know you are afraid. Evil doers generally end poorly, even without your vengeance. Without problems, there would be no reference for what is a pleasure. The past is not fairly judged by the standards of the present. Diminishing returns result as you expend more and more on a problem. More than money, a good education requires parents, teachers, and students that care. Mistakes are to be forgiven, unless intentionally repeated. Even a bad person would be smart to not lie. A bully’s mother may only see a “gentle giant”. Everyone is somebody. Dedicating too much to one problem can allow another to fester. Beware of Unintended Consequences. Perfection is the Enemy of the Good. Even the poor of today live better than the royalty of old. If you think a business is making an unfair profit, get rich competing with them. Business “entities” really are people. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on both of us. City people are generally less honest than country people. There are universal standards that apply to you and your adversary equally. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All complex issues are influenced by multiple factors. Black lives should matter to everyone. You are not totally innocent if you ignore your contributions to your own problems. It is unethical to redefine words to deem yourself better and your enemy worse. Improving situations are not getting worse just because you change the standard. Facts don’t have a “side” in an argument, and can’t biased. Reverse the roles to see if you are being fair. Diversity Inherently Results in Unequal Outcomes, and that can be a good thing. Discriminating by race is a learned behavior in all communities. It’s not racist to treat everyone the same. It is not a privilege to be treated fairly. There is a kernel of truth to most stereotypes. Extremes and outliers can unfairly establish a prejudicial group stereotype. Old people are not the same person they were when they were young. The extremists are a tiny interesting minority with excessive influence. In science, law, and civil society, best answers require consideration of all relevant facts.
Invitation to Collaborate
If You Have a Podcast or Blog, I Would Be Happy to Interview or Discuss Any Topic, Including: "The Last Lonely Traveler", Auto Mechanics, Race, Politics, Medicine, WWII, Music, Food, Piloting Airplanes, Travel, Cultures, My Life, Reality, Religions, History, Physics, Law, Casting Silver, Baking Bread, 240Z Sport Cars, Guitar, U.S. Constitution, Patenting Inventions, Birds, Wilderness, and Brewing Beer.
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