How can one earn your friendship?
Two ways that someone will earn friendship status with me:
1. Have mutual respect for our approaches to life coupled with shared or complementing mutual interests and a sense of humor
2. Like one of my tweets
A hobby you have that no one knows about
If I interpret this as no one knows this about me, fly fishing has become a constant in my life and I’m somewhat glad that it’s not as popular as it should be so that I can still find quiet parts of Ohio and Michigan where the river is empty and a deep sense of calm is achieved (I rarely catch anything btw). If I interpret this as a hobby that no one (or very few) know that the activity itself can be a hobby, I enjoy building imaginary baseball worlds with made up teams, logos, players, histories, maps, etc. Super weird, I know.
What is the one thing we can be most certain of?
I’d say death but that feels like the obvious one so I’ll say that the one thing we can be most certain of is that whatever is your most recently acquired conviction is, it is most likely wrong or will at least change. I try to remember this whenever I come upon a new idea that makes a ton of sense, to not become an apologist or proselytize too much about it. Doing so will just annoy the shit out of my current friends and then future me will look back on it with <cringe face>.
What is the meaning of your life?
Be a good citizen of my neighborhood and raise a son who betters himself, and his family/tribe every day. I think everything after those two is just gravy.
What characteristic of yours do you attribute your biggest successes to?
Is it possible to have a superhero that is just intellectually curious? Admiral Epistimology? He can explain philosophical thought processes and solve math problems while knowing other random stuff that wows strangers and wins trivia nights. Not saying that this would be a best selling graphic novel but it’s a handy trait to have in our day to day lives and I’m glad that I have such a broad range of interests.
How do you watch your carbon footprint, if at all?
I never think about it. But I just did so I guess that answer is wrong ha. I am a minimalist and localist. I focus on quality in everything I buy over cost. I walk when I can. I rarely fly. Vacation is to the wildernesses of Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania/Michigan with a leave no trace behind ethos.
What is the biggest waste of human potential? If there is one.
The decline of our intellectual and interpersonal connections. Humans are conditioned to be part of a group but our groups continue to grow and grow until we feel so disconnected from one another that we have nothing to latch onto besides cultural touchstones like reality TV or god forbid, politics. They mean nothing in the long run yet we have outsourced our emotions to them.
What do you draw inspiration from that your peers might scoff at?
The poem “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry fills me with emotions so vast that it feels like it was written only for me and that it’s impossible for anyone else to feel an iota of what I feel.
Who was a role model you respected in the past but no longer have that same feeling for? Why?
Will not name names but found that I used to focus way too much on career mentors in my corporation who had a vested interest in networking and not on actual personal development. I co-opted my career path to fit their recommendations and at the moment when help and feedback was most needed, they disappeared. So I have two role models today. One is Mister Rogers. I don’t think I will lose my respect for him or his approach to loving others. The other role model is my impartial observer who is the person that I consult on a daily basis to determine whether I’m doing good for myself and the world. This impartial observer is great in that he has evolved over time to be a version of that stoic sage. So basically Mister Rogers and Seneca are with me every day as I make decisions on how to approach my life. I like them more than a mid level executive at a Fortune 100 company.
If you were made homeless and were not allowed to get a job what would you do for money?
I would tell stories. Maybe I’d start off as a sort of a cover band of fiction and recite the Count of Monte Cristo for weeks on end and build a loyal audience. Then one day I’d say that “this is one that I wrote” and the crowd would boo and ask me to play another “cover”. I’d start my story and some would leave my group but a small group would stay with me and listen to my story. That’s the group that would provide me with what I needed.
What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
I’m not sure that I am smart enough to be fully convinced that any of my ideas are the truth but I tend to fight a losing battle with most people that politics and our political leaders mean absolutely nothing to our day to day lives yet we are consumed with talking about them. Emotions and relationships are contingent on being on the “right side” and entire fan bases have sprung up for people with no character or personality to use the labels as a stand in for a personality. We’d be better off by treating politicians as the jokes that they are and focus more on bettering our neighborhoods ourselves.