I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. Guess you know I have been busy. The two new kitties have taken much time. They will tell you their stories in the next couple posts. I will briefly say they have adapted well to our house and us and each other but we also spent much time getting them socialized and of course loved. They have already trained us to be at their beck and meow. What great additions to the Choban house. Here is a photo of Bob, Smoky and Sabrina playing. You can see the new cat tree/condo in the back. What a great purchase that was. They use it so much.
Our friend April and her friend Jackie came right before Easter and we showed them downtown Greenville, had a late yummy rib dinner and sat under the stars in the hot tub on a gorgeous spring evening. Gave them a hearty breakfast on Sat. morning and then they were on their way again. What wonderful young women they both are. I am so happy they stopped by and hope they can come back again to visit.
Here is Bob, April on the left and Jackie on the right at Falls Park in downtown Greenville. We were there on a Friday night when downtown has a music festival. The girls said they saw more people downtown then they had anyplace during their spring break. I think they were quite impressed.
My weekly foreign affairs class has been discussing global crime, China as an upcoming power and the wold wide financial crisis. So interesting and so good for me. I am learning so much.
My Elder Wisdom Circle continues to have thought provoking questions. The last ones were:
- Until just a couple of decades ago, it was the scientific belief that humans were born with only a limited number of brain cells, and this part of our body does not renew itself. These scientists believed that our personalities became fixed based on our existing brain structure and genetic make-up – and that anything we did to destroy our brain cells (drinking, smoking, drugs, etc.) permanently diminished that organ’s functionality. Today, we know that our brain is constantly renewing itself – and changing all the time. Even our genes are altered by a person’s interaction with his or her environment. We have all heard the opinion that “people can’t change.” Is it possible this opinion has been based on an old set of scientific assumptions that no longer apply? In light of the new evidence, what do you think? Can people truly change? Or, are we locked into a particular set of behavioral and motivational patterns set in childhood? What conditions, other than a major life crisis, might catalyze this change process? Once catalyzed, what types of positive changes might we hope for?
- One of my past students described retirement as “twice the husband, half the income.” If you are now retired, how would you describe your retirement? How has reality differed from what you thought before your retirement? To what do you attribute these differences? If you are not yet retired, how do you envision your future retirement? Do we really have the ability to predict our futures with any accuracy, or do other forces shape our predictions (such as optimism or pessimism, wishful thinking, societal images, our parents’ retirement, faulty assumptions, etc.) that reduce their accuracy? If we can’t predict the future, then how do we know we even want to retire?
- A very contentious argument going on in America today is the constitutional “right” of all individuals to the same standard of health care. Proponents cite the Declaration of Independence which states that all men have the unalienable right to “life” which they believe entails having the health care needed to preserve life, and also the Preamble to the Constitution which states that its purpose is to “promote the general welfare” of the people. Opponents state that healthcare is not a right because it is not listed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Also, the Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to “pursue happiness,” not the right to happiness or free medical services, and the Preamble to the Constitution states that its purpose is to “promote” the general welfare, not provide it. What are your ideas on this controversial subject? Are you for or against giving free medical services to all (what about illegals?)? Why or why not?
- We have all heard how awful it is to be “judgmental.” This has almost become a banner phrase of the New Age Movement. But is it really possible to NOT be judgmental? Maybe being judgmental is not the issue, but perhaps acting on the basis of one’s judgment is? What is the difference between a judgment and a criticism? What is the usual effect of criticism when you voice your criticism to a spouse, close friend, or even someone you barely know? Is their response usually what you expected or wanted? Why or why not?
I do take time before hand to think about the questions and Bob and I also discuss them. It is a really good way for us as a couple to continue to get to know each other better.