Wisdom is about managing feelings.
Music: Julie Andrews, “My Favorite Things:”
It’s The William Tell Show. I call myself William Tell; you can call me Bill. Thank you for including me in your world. I hope we’re all finding ways to enjoy the hot weather.
Monday night, June 21st, I had just finished writing the blog post, “CRT madness,” for July 3rd. I felt like I might never need to think about racism ever again, and I wanted to find something upbeat for today’s podcast. What could be something I like? I puzzled over this during my last smoke break.
On Thursday the 10th, I had drawn up what I call my “Like List.” So far, there are about thirty items on it. These are things I like or enjoy, or things that it feels good to think about. I did up the list so that, at times when I want to cheer myself up, I can remember the items on the list, and choose one to think about, and so cheer up.
The first item on the list is roses. Any time I see a rose or smell a rose, no matter what situation I’m in, and no matter whether it’s just a rose bud or wilted, it makes me happy.
And roses aren’t alone. The rose FAMILY includes apples, cherries, peaches, pears and plums. As long as there have been human beings, the rose family has been giving us those gifts.
The next item on the list is pretty girls, including women.
If for any reason one item on the list doesn’t work, I have almost thirty others to choose from.
Hmm. It’s going to be a challenge to get this script to six hundred words.
Let’s take a break.
That night on my smoke break, when I thought about my Like List — my favorite things — I also recalled the song with that same title, from the movie The Sound of Music. A Hollywood musical might be the last place I’d look to find wisdom, but the wisdom in this one song is profound.
I need to include a little snippet; I haven’t sung in ages. Let’s see if I can sound like Roger Whittaker.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes;
snowflakes that melt on my nose and eyelashes;
brown paper packages tied up with strings;
these are a few of my favorite things.
When the dog bites,
when the bee stings,
when I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don’t feel so bad.
That’s exactly what I’d suggest anyone do — in most circumstances.
A theme of my blog, all along, and a theme of this podcast, has been that managing one’s feelings is key to doing well in life. Knowledge is about ideas; wisdom is about feelings. And wisdom is what controls one’s success.
As you go through the day, any day, bad news will come to you, perhaps again and again and again. If you have consistently chosen to be happy, then each incident of bad news will be easier to deal with, than if you had chosen to be unhappy to begin with. Bad news steals, or consumes, or gobbles up, some of your happiness; but the more happiness you’ve got to start with, the more happiness you’ll have left.
A happy person makes happy plans, plans that will most likely bring happy results. This is best for one’s own quality of life; but is also essential for the good of the community.
If you smile at other people, they’ll most likely smile back, and be happy themselves. And plan happy plans for themselves, that bring happy results.
Besides, smiling feels good.