EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY

Bad things happen. People die. War happens. Careers end. What can you say?

“This too shall pass.”

Life is temporary. Our world is temporary. It was my mother’s favorite expression. She said it to comfort me when I was unhappy, if something had gone badly. It never occurred to me the expression was more than common words a mother says to console a child.

It turns out the expression has a long, ancient history. It has been used to comfort a nation at war, a country consumed by unrest. Families, individuals, kingdoms. These are words to use when other words fail you.

king-solomon-cc

This too shall pass” (Persian: این نیز بگذرد‎, Arabic: لا شيء يدوم‎, Hebrew: גם זה יעבור‎) is an adage indicating that all conditions, positive or negative, are temporary.

The phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets. The phrase is often attached to a fable of a great king who is humbled by these simple words. Some versions of the fable, beginning with that of Attar of Nishapur, add the detail that the phrase is inscribed on a ring, which has the ability to make the happy man sad — and the sad man happy.

The legend of the quote finds its roots in the court of a powerful eastern Persian ruler who called his sages (wise men) to him, including the Sufi poet Attar of Nishapur, and asked them for one quote that would be accurate at all times and in all situations. The wise men consulted with one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally came up with the answer … “This too, shall pass.”

The ruler was so impressed by the quote that he had it inscribed in a ring.

Jewish folklore often describes Solomon as giving or receiving the phrase. The adage and associated fable were popular in the first half of the 19th century, appearing in a collection of tales by the English poet Edward Fitzgerald and also used by Abraham Lincoln in a speech before he became President.

And when words fail me, my mother’s voice echoes in my head.

This too, shall pass. Because everything is temporary. 

PICTURES & WORDS – THURSDAY’S SPECIAL

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: WORDS OF THE WEEK


FROM PAULA:

Here comes another month with a new set of words to choose from. I hope you like the selection and that you will find at least one word to work on.

Here it goes: confined, jazzy, patulous, momentous, serene.


Confined

Jazzy

Patulous

Momentous

Serene


jupiter najnajnoviji

WORDS OF APRIL

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN APRIL – Y2


FROM PAULA:

Here comes another month with a new set of words to choose from. I hope you will like my selection and that you will find at least one word to work on. Here it goes: projecting, arresting, pastoral, convex, communal.


Projecting!

Arresting

Pastoral

Convex

Communal


jupiter najnajnoviji

MEANINGLESS? WHAT? YOU WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT MEANINGLESS?

Meaningless? Don’t talk to me about meaningless! 

Allow me to refer you to my most recent post, which I coincidentally published a couple of weeks ago. It really does say it all and I’m not up to saying the whole thing again. I have included the lively center of the post for your perusal.


We spend too much time trying to figure out what life means and too little time doing the stuff we enjoy. I suppose it’s normal to wonder if the reason you are sick, broke, or miserable is the result of something you did or failed to do. Normal, but a waste of time and energy because I’m going to explain everything and you’ll never have to wonder again.

Meaning of life

Learning to accept the randomness of stuff that happens is tough. We want life to make sense. We want order. We want our messes and disasters to be important, meaningful. I’m pretty sure that some god has a message about this.

I’ve put a good bit of thought into why my life has regularly fallen apart. I know I’m imperfect, but whatever I’ve done wrong, it’s small potatoes in the scheme of things. Even in my darkest moments I doubt I’m so wicked that The Big Guy has in for me. Then I had an epiphany.

You can believe what you want, but you can’t know any more than I do. Believe as hard as you want. Believing isn’t knowing.

 I KNOW NOTHING. NEITHER DO YOU.

Accepting you know nothing is a big step, so take a deep breath. Your next challenge will be how you can cash in on this new knowledge. What’s the point unless you can awe people with your brilliance — and make a few bucks?

WORDS

You need the right vocabulary to dazzle your audience. Impressively large words (4 or more syllables) in the right context can showcase your education and intelligence. People will make little cooing sounds to show their admiration.

meaning-of-life3

Big words enhance your likelihood of getting a management position. You can write important books. Have a blog like me and I know you want to be just like me. Big words can take you a long way, if you are skilled at deploying them.


I will not repeat the entire post, but if by any chance you missed it — unlikely because I run with this one at least twice a year … it sums up my relationship with philosophy. Who knew it would take an entire lifetime to discover I don’t know anything and neither do you? But you can take a look at it the whole thing: WHEN NOTHING MEANS ANYTHING.

For some obscure reason, knowing nothing really empowers me. Go figure, right?

MINIMALIST

Minimal. Minimalist. Minimalism.

So our government is now a minimalist government, giving our hard-earned money to wherever it shows a profit. Alternatively, perhaps we the Scrooges of the world, the ones who won’t give Tiny Tim’s dad a day off to celebrate Christmas. The line is pretty damned thin.


minimalist
noun
1. a person who advocates or practices minimalism in art or music
2. a person advocating minor or moderate reform in politics.
adjective
1. relating to minimalism in art or music.
2. advocating moderate political policies.

What is the difference between a minimalist and skinflint or cheapskate? Is there a difference? I live in a world where we suddenly can’t afford to give elderly people a hot meal, or hungry kids a hot lunch. Or medicine to poor people who are sick.

Maybe that’s minimalist. I think it’s just cheap. Twisted and sick beyond words. But hey, that’s me. I never minded paying a few more dollars so that people who needed help could get some. I never thought the idea of helping others was a bad thing.


skin·flint (noun) informal

  1. A person who spends as little money as possible; a miser;
  2. Synonyms: miser, penny-pincher, Scrooge, pinchpenny; and more

What do you think? Does our military actually need another $54 billion (is it billions)? I keep losing some of the zeroes on the dollars. You know, the military didn’t ask for all that money. I’m betting a lot of military guys would be happier knowing their elderly relatives will get a hot meal.

Lord knows, the guys in Washington get lots of hot meals. Every day. Big ones. The best medical care on earth. A salary that will never go away. Unlimited sick days.

I don’t see them giving their goodies away. Even in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Scrooge didn’t keep the goodies for himself. He lived the way he thought everyone should live. In a cold, empty house. Yet he was considered the ultimate miser. So what do we call our miser-in-chief?

So, when you get to thinking about what’s going on? Think:


MISER
SKINFLINT
PINCHPENNY
CHEAPSKATE
SCROOGE

Because that is us. You, me, everyone.

Where are those hideous ghosts when we really need them? Come back, Dickens. We have some work for you to do!

MADEMOISELLES FROM ARMENTIERES – HINKY DINKY PARLAY VOO

Other than that long chat you used to have with your boss, just in case he’d been thinking about giving you a raise, but wasn’t because he felt you were earning far too much money already, “parlay” means this silly — and apparently (for its day) — risqué song from World War I. It’s about the young ladies of France, but really … it’s about wanting to go home.

Come to think about it, isn’t that what most war songs are really about? When all is said and done … beat them up, then let’s go home, please.

World War I was the longest war, the ugliest war, and we are still fighting its battles today. We give the old battles new names, but they are the same, old battles.

PARLAY | THE DAILY POST