Know Jack #61

I plan on posting two or three posts today as I am taking yet another weekend off. Tonight I am going to Sleepless in Stripes III. I am joining thirty-four other fearless souls for a ghost tour and lockdown in the haunted old Idaho State Pen in Boise. Then, after a night in a cell, I’m going camping in the mountains for a couple of days to breathe in my new-found freedom afterlife behind bars. Yes, it is Friday the Thirteenth and there is a full moon tonight. Call me stupid, I’m looking forward to it all. 

One thing I think very few Americans appreciate is that we have the freedom to be as stupid as we want to be. As with all freedoms, there will always be meddlers who try and take our rights from us, but we are resistant and stupidity generally prevails in the face of common sense. That’s why warning labels are ineffective and there are Democrats.

Some people say I’m a smart guy…well, usually it’s a smart ass, but smart is in there, right? When I look back over the years, I have done some things that were really and truly stupid. I have also done some things that only seemed stupid from the outside looking in. Those latter things I call following my heart.

I find there is some merit to the saying, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” Life demands spontaneity. I don’t think it’s mentally healthy to second guess ourselves too much or over think the past. Doing stupid stuff can be a great teacher…as long as we don’t yield to the temptation to double down on it to spare our ego. What some call stupid, I call experience.

 I honestly can’t say following my heart has always produced what the outside world would call successful results. In fact, that hardly ever happened. Yet, I keep on doing it. The caveat is in how one defines success. If money, fame, luxury, and a well planned out future are a success, then no, following my heart does not lead to success. However, if one measures success by the peace one achieves with oneself, with one’s Creator, and satisfaction with life…then, bring it on.

The secret lies in finding the inner freedom to dare to act “stupid,” to follow one’s heart. I believe the Founding Fathers called this the pursuit of happiness. I’ve been a few places in the world and there’s no place like America where this freedom exists on such a grand scale. This makes sense when you think about it. I mean who do you think jumped on the ships to sail off to a new world? It wasn’t the secure and successful folks. It was those wild and crazy guys out to take a chance on life. The men and women who said, “Here, hold my ale and watch this.”

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