Thoughts


I have always been grateful for all opportunities to either start something new or to renew something established. Last year, some people close to me went through some serious health issues. I don’t know what the future holds, but as I see them recovering, I feel that the time for renewal is here. For me, it has also been a chance to refocus on what is really important.

The other day, while walking through the Toronto Botanical Garden, I saw another kind of renewal. Spring bulbs are starting to show their colours. (The photo below shows some of the crocus plants poking out through the ground.) I hope wherever you are, and whatever season it is, you and your loved ones are well and getting better!

By the way, the next post will be a lot less serious.

Spring Bulbs

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Whenever I hear someone talk about the “purpose of art” I think of the following quote from Richard Serra:

“If you rob art of its uselessness, then what you are doing is not art,” says Serra, adding: “I’m interested in sculpture, which is neither useful nor functional.”

With that in mind, I’ll end here before I say something useful and this blog post loses its artistic integrity.

The photo below is a sculpture of Richard Serra’s (‘Tilted Spheres’) found in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.  (If I remember right, the plates are 2″ thick steel.)

Serra Art YYZ

The quote is found on page 149 in the book “50 Sculptures You Should Know”.

50 Sculptures You Should Know
Written by: Isabel Kuhl, Klaus Reichold, Kristina Lowis, Christine Weidemann
Prestel
2009
ISBN 978-3-7913-4338-9
Website

As I write this, 2017 is just about to finish. The title of this post comes from Lucy Stone. Stone was an American suffragist who helped put women in her country on the path to the right to vote and improvements towards equality. She figures prominently in the fifth chapter of Adam Grant’s excellent book, “Originals.”

There is much to say about 2017 and there are many others who will say it better than me. So, I will just focus on a wish for the future. Speaking to her daughter, Lucy Stone’s final words were, “Make the world better.” A goal for all of us in 2018 and beyond.

Best wishes to everyone for a great year!

 

Here in Toronto, we are in the middle of summer. The weather has been good recently — not too hot and not too much rain. A sign of summer is people driving their cars with the windows open. I have observed that the people with the lousiest taste in music play their music the loudest. I’m not sure why. I suppose I could study them, but that would mean spending time with them and their music. I’d rather enjoy my summer and let some mysteries of the world remain mysterious.

Today, I’m setting out a simple rule: If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re not allowed to laugh at others.  Call it GD Konstantine’s Laughter Rule if you like to put names to things.

I’m sure some smart people will find exceptions (such as when you have jaw surgery and you physically can’t laugh at yourself or others), but the part of being self-aware remains.  My experience is that a lack of self-awareness is at the root of many people’s social problems.

So, my wish to us all is that we do a lot more laughing!

Continuing with the theme of politics, here are two quotes:

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”  — Samuel Johnson.

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears above ground he is a protector.”  — Socrates in Plato’s The Republic.
(My source is the book, “The Full Catastrophe” by James Angelos)
Recently in Canada there has been a lot of talk and some action about revising the way governments are formed.  I’ve got my ideas about what I think should be done and what shouldn’t be done.  For now though, I’m just going to show how it is possible for a person or party to win an election without the support of the majority of voters.  I also realize that I’ve extremely simplified things, so the info graphic that I’m showing below is primarily meant to start a conversation.
election-example

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