The Greatest Obstacle – Discovery #3

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Sunday School Question

We had an interesting question asked of us in Sunday School this week (adults call it ‘community group’ but I like Sunday School).  The question was this:  Tell us of a time you changed your mind about something.

The answers were all over the map, from the profound to the trivial. Linda’s was changing her mind about discomfort. She used to hate being uncomfortable and avoided exercise. Then she realized it is always temporary and she can get through it, so she has changed her mind.  Mine was changing my mind about what it means to be white. My paradigm about this shifted changed when I read the book, ‘Between the World and Me’ by Te-Nehisi Coates.  Another person said he had changed his mind about many social issues, going from being socially conservative to being more liberal.  Another person said she had changed her mind about salads and vegetables, having hated them and now liking them. That may seem trivial but I don’t think it is because it will have profound consequences in her health and life.

I thought of this question when I came back and finished drawing this napkin. Discovery is often about changing your mind about something. You believe something, maybe subconsciously and unspoken or maybe not, and then you discover something new and it changes your mind.

The Threat is You

The problem, as this quote suggests, is that discovery won’t come, and certainly won’t be initiated, if you already think you know something so surely that you aren’t willing to contemplate something that would threaten it. Without the willingness to discover, to be enlightened, to consider ideas uncontemplated, you must have a certain level of security and you must have a certain level of interest in something beyond yourself.

It is a very sad, pitiful and especially worrisome when the person unable or unwilling to discover new things is in a position of power over others.


Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel Boorstin, 1914-2004, American historian and Librarian of Congress.


 

Hidden Discoveries – Discovery #2

Man, is this ever an odd one! When I start with a quote I don’t understand very well I usually end up with an illustration I understand even less. Then again the quote is about things hidden and not understood so … never mind, it totally makes sense to me now.

“We discover in ourselves what others hide from us and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves.” – Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues


Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues


It’s No Accident – Discovery #1

While I was drawing this napkin one of my many millions of live streaming fans said, “If this is true then an accident isn’t an accident at all”. At which point I ordered a ban on this person and had them deported. No, just joking. What I really did was every so gently explain why this person was so egregiously wrong. I then finished the drawing, came into my office and scanned it, then started writing this commentary.

However I had real work to do (work that makes me almost minimum wage I will have you know) and put this aside after writing the first sentence above. I came back to it this morning and can’t remember her reasoning anymore. Probably because it was so non-sensical but maybe because I am old and senile. Anyway, I remember something else she said and I am going to effectively rebut that instead.

She said, “That would mean the first person who saw fire discovered fire”. I said, “No, you are wrong” and deported her. Wait, I already said that joke. Ok, what I really did was say, “No, the first person who found a USE for fire discovered it. It’s not just seeing something that is the discovery, it’s knowing what to do with it that is.”

At that point she bowed down in front of me and pledge eternal faithfulness to my intellectual superiority. Or she said “pfffft” and we moved on to talking about the new shades I had just put up. I can’t remember now.


Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1893-1986, Hungarian-American Physiologist. He is the discoverer of Vitamin C.


This original drawing is for SALE and you should buy it! Or, you can always by a print of it for much cheaper.

But & And – A Short Short Story

But and And

She was stuck in the middle of somewhere but wasn’t sure where that was and that made her feel lost and scared but she did like her shirt and how her necklace matched her hair but she was self-conscious about her freckles because it was so weird that she had only three of them in each location on her face and she did like her new eyelash extensions that she had never used before but were given to her by her friend who she thought she might see so she wore them but now she doubted it because she didn’t know where she was even though she knew she was somewhere and then her ears started burning bright red which was not usual because she was usually blue but it made her look around and she saw a teepee in the distance not far from a big city that only confused her because she knew she had somewhere to go now but wasn’t sure where because they both looked attractive and both her ears were burning meaning both places were talking about her so she decided to wait and think about it some more.

The End

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Success #5

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When it is Good

There is a funny tradition in running. It is that when you run a race you can wear your medal all day long, no matter what you do. Go to lunch? Wear it. Go to the gas station? Wear it. Whatever you do, it’s cool. We also think it’s sometimes cool to bring your medal to show others, perhaps to work or school the next week, or maybe to a gathering of friends who you think might like to see it. Yes, it’s a form of boasting and us runners are ok with that. We like telling the world what we have done. Partly it’s for the ego strokes and partly it’s because we want to encourage others. When we have end of the season parties runners will often wear whatever medals they have won during that time period to show others. We will tell people how we did, good or bad. Often the ‘bad’ races make for much more interesting stories.  Sometimes there is a ‘humble brag’ moment. That’s where you tell how bad you did, but oh, by the way, you had a personal record in spite of that. All of it is fun, supportive and communal. We all get it.

When it is Bad

What we don’t do is wear our medals every single day. We don’t tell people we ran this or that race again and again and again. We don’t try to one up each other by interrupting a story to tell that we went faster than they did or farther. We don’t demean or diminish other’s success no matter if is greater than or less than our own.  We don’t try to make ourselves look better than we are.  We don’t ignore others when they tell their stories of success. We know that we are all rooting for each other.

When it is Ugly

It is not often this happens but when it does, it is ugly. That is when a runner is so insecure that they lie about their accomplishments. Worse yet, when they cheat to achieve them. That is why there is nothing worse in the running community than when someone takes a shortcut in a race to appear to have a better time.  That level of dishonesty and deception shows a deep level of insecurity and immorality.  That person has been poisoned with the delusion that appearing to be something makes it so.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is it makes you farther from being what you want to appear to be. It is ugly, it is hurtful and it is counter-productive to the progress of anyone who indulges in it.

More and Less

The same is true in any field. In politics, academia, business, creativity, etc. The more you obsessively boast of your success, the less success you will actually have.


Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote by Sir Arthur Helps, 1813-1875, English Writer – Interesting read about his life in this and other articles.


 

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