Under the Green Desk Lamp…

I was talking to a friend of mine recently, and he brought up the idea of checklists. The idea that so many people—probably all of us to some extent—live their lives by a specific set of items to tick off. Each one representing an essential expectation for their life.

Before they’ve even lived it, they’ve got it all mapped out.

  • Find the Job.
  • Meet the partner.
  • Buy the house.
  • Walk the aisle.
  • Have the kids.
  • Take pictures in front of famous landmarks.

It’s slightly different for everyone of course, but we all have some form of checklist. Most likely, this is a good thing, keeping us on track and focussed on the wonderful things we want to do with our lives.

It can take over though. Too tight a fixation on these checklist items can cause you to lose sight of life as it happens. To look ever to the future in our hopes can lead us to miss out on the meaning of the moment.

It’s important to ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice in the moment for a chance at something else in the future? It’s a tough balance, but I have often found the greatest joys in life have laid not on the path I expected to take, but in the side alleys and dark bars of spontaneity and surprise.

Now, far be it for me to discourage anyone from chasing their dreams. Go for the things you want—hunt them as relentlessly as you see fit, but as you hasten in your pursuit, don’t forget to look around at the things passing by. It may be that they are the things you’ll find you miss.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Bushido of Bogney, Part III

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Bushido: (武士道) literally meaning “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. (Source)

Bogney: A tiny dog, wise for his years.

Today, we once again combine the old and the new for a fresh new perspective on life through the eyes of our classy canine friend. This is the daily living of a small dog. This is the extrapolated wisdom of the ages…This is the Bushido of Bogney.

-Click Here for Part I-

-Click Here for Part II-

The face of an animal may speak volumes to one who can read it.

As I prepare to leave for another day of work, I look upon the tiny dog I will leave behind. There is a sadness on his face, and it confuses me at first.

I am going to work—but he gets to stay home. Should I not be the sad one? He never has to work, he gets all that he wants provided for him. How can he be sad?

Bogney yawned and stretched. I saw the age in his face.

A thought occurred to me then.

If one human year is 7 dog years, one day must be the equivalent of a dog week.

If so, how similar it is to our own.

Bogney’s day begins with a walk, some play, and food. It is a relaxing joy, much like a Sunday.

This is followed however by a long stretch of time alone. He cannot do what he wants, eat what he likes, see who he wants to see, or go where he wants to go.

He sits, I assume, patiently waiting for this boring stretch of time to end. This is not unlike the work week.

Finally, I return to him, and he resumes with fun and play and food and happiness. This is much like a Saturday.

Suddenly, I understood how similar are the lives of dog and master.

I looked at Bogney anew.

What a somber realization, I thought.

His wise brown eyes agreed.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Bushido of Bogney, Part II

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Bushido: (武士道) literally meaning “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. (Source)

 Bogney: A tiny dog, wise for his years.

Today, we once again combine the old and the new for a fresh new perspective on life through the eyes of our classy canine friend. This is the daily living of a small dog. This is the extrapolated wisdom of the ages…This is the Bushido of Bogney.

-Click Here for the Original Article-

Lesson #1:

At the start of each morning, Bogney is given his portion of food for the day. When I am out of the house, he will rarely touch it. When I return, he eats it ravenously. This is a clever concept lost on even most people. When earthly pleasures are limited, we must be prudent and careful. When the source of these pleasures is close and there is bounty for all, we must remember to occasionally indulge ourselves.

Lesson #2:

Bogney is a creature of habit, and learns quickly what are the expectations on him, and the proper etiquette for any situation. When at home, he knows his walk times, when to go to the bathroom, and the expected rewards of each. When he is at another residence, this is thrown off. At times such as this, Bogney will divide up his washroom breaks, hoping to be rewarded for each tiny movement. It is a clever trick, but rarely successful.

Nevertheless, he will continue with the ruse whenever the possibility arises. To pursue with creative vigour any potentiality we desire is the mark of an ambitious soul.

Lesson #3:

In the company of his master, Bogney is a model of restraint and composure—entirely content with life, and his place within it. However, on the occasion of company arriving at his home, he becomes cloying—clinging to his master’s leg in a desperate bid for constant attention. We most value the things we have when we can see that they are also valued by others.

At this point in our lessons, I’m afraid Bogney became quite distracted in an effort to catch a piece of dust from the air, and is well beyond any further insights. Perhaps there is some gem of wisdom to draw from this as well, but this writer, for now, will remain content in watching the show.

Fear not though, as soon as the air is cleansed of foreign particles, there is no doubt Bogney will be back with further enlightening anecdotes for us all.

-Brad OH Inc.

Profits and Prophets

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Words are powerful things. They are our chief means of communication—assuming you can move past all that ‘body-language’ mumbo-jumbo—and thus serve as our key to expressing all ideas, plans, and opinions about the world around us. They allow us to apply labels, transfer knowledge, and express complex concepts to one another—passing information along and allowing it to grow across generations.

Words are the building blocks of language. They afford to us the ability not only to share our thoughts with one another—but to comprehend them ourselves. They apply meaning and value in a world of chaos; functioning to give context and relevance to what may otherwise be inconceivable. In an earlier article, we’ve actually covered how intangible it is to consider a world ‘Without Words’.

Words have the ability to convey great and terrible concepts—elevating us above the mire, or dragging us to the depths of despair. In this strange world or ours, there are even words which are considered too heavy to be spoken, whether because they are revered as sacrosanct, or reviled as curses.

Lately, there are two words in particular which have been troubling me. They are phonetic-twins: identical save for their spelling, and their meanings too have become all too dangerously similar. These are ‘profit’, and ‘prophet’.

Profits refer to the net gains made by an institution: usually monetary. In times like these, with corporations pulling the reins of government, and the media touting the notion that true ‘freedom’ is for the marketplace alone, profits have become the apple to the wild horses trampling all good sense and civility from our society.

Citizen interests are sold out for profits. Veterans are left homeless for profits. People suffer and die without healthcare in defense of the all-mighty profit-margin. Profits, profits, profits. They’ve become the sole respectable merit, and the defining drive of a corporate machine racing driverless, determined only to see how far it can go, how long it can persist. It seeks profit, and any destruction caused in this pursuit is justified so long as it has no effect on the net-gains.

We’re often reminded of what is owed to us: this illusive promise of life, liberty, and happiness. Of course, we are further assured, money cannot buy happiness. So it’s up to us to find on our own…just keep your hands off the profits.

Prophets are those people considered to speak in place of god or any other deity—often via divine inspiration. Like our recent discussion on the ‘Insidious Threat of Legacy’, prophets often represent an increasing distance from the so-called source material, and too often become cited as justifications for acts of violence and other atrocities which can in no other way be reconciled with their foundational beliefs.

It’s as prevalent a threat today as it ever has been.

Wars are waged in the name of prophets. Buildings are toppled in reverence to prophets. Ongoing conflicts over which prophet is to be trusted and which to be eschewed continue to enable the endless global uncertainty to which we are all subject.

Profits, and prophets—they aren’t so different in the end.

Both represent the false ideals of a misguided population. A life led in reverence only to that which can be gained; a sacrifice of ideals in order to defend the sanctity of a decaying value structure. Many religious communities seem to have turned away from worship of their actual gods, and are defined now by strict adherence to the prophets who have interpreted them. So too the governments of the world—who have turned away from their true purpose of protecting their state and citizens—wooed by the unscrupulous practices of corporate lobbyists who promise to redefine the national priorities.

How can these threats be rectified? If profits are not the only sufficient motivator for directing the course of society, and if prophets have proven an insufficient source of moral guidance, then where are we to turn?

If the value of profit is in what it can accomplish, and the value of prophets is in the ideals they represent, then perhaps chasing these equally-listless sources is the wrong approach entirely. Here at Brad OH Inc., we would encourage everyone to take some time to consider the foundation beneath each of these—and that is value.

What really matters to you? If you had all the profits in the world at your disposal, what would you make of them? If you could speak as a prophet to the people, what wisdom might you impart? If you are honest with yourselves, we believe you’ll find the answers are not so dissimilar. More importantly, and herein lies the essence of the issue—you may find that both profits and prophets are red-herrings, distracting us from what true happiness might already be available to us, if only we can disavow ourselves of these tired and misaligned notions.

-Brad OH Inc.