This is a significant departure from my attitude for most of my life. Rarely have I demurred to offer an opinion on any subject with which I have a passing acquaintence and often but a feigned familiarity is sufficient to justify a judgment on my part. I also like playing with words.
It is increasingly clear to me that my vision is very unclear, when it comes to the Big Picture. I see mostly small things at close range and have no idea how they connect to everything else. They do connect, I think, but how and to what effect is a mystery I do not expect to grasp. So my opinions on politics, religion, social reform, world peace or public policy are no more likely to be any good to humanity than those of anyone else who knows a thing or two.
I CONTINUE TO CONSIDER PERSONAL GROWTH POSSIBLE.
Though most of my attempts at self improvement seem to have been dead-ends, I am more inclined to view them as Thomas Edison assessed his 40,000 trials leading to the invention of the incandescent lamp: I have never failed; I have discovered so many things that do not work.
Progress for me is often no more than the avoidance of things experience has taught me are unwise. I try new things; many are unwise; each is a new discovery. Progress is a long and winding road that leads to the next turn.
I WANT TO BELIEVE, IF COLLECTIVE PROGRESS OCCURS, I SERVE IT BEST BY TENDING MY OWN PROGRESS, HELPING OTHERS WHEN ASKED AND WHEN REASONABLE, AND BY INTERFERING AS LITTLE AS I CAN IN THE AFFAIRS OF THOSE WHO PREFER BEING LEFT ALONE.
Continuing the twisted trail metaphor, one does not so much reach the end of the road as one reaches a stopping point. There is always one more thing that could have been done, but time runs out for us all. I do not intend my time to expire soon, but eventually it will and I shall leave things undone, trips untaken. The trail I leave behind may or may not be of interest to others. If anyone chooses to pick up where I left off -- if one can even do that -- no doubt that one will discover more things that do not work and that will be progress.