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Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Being Left Out

From my study I can hear occasional boisterous events as they occur in downtown Saint Petersburg.  It can be the Honda Grand Prix race cars, fireworks on the waterfront, planes circling in an air show over Albert Whitted Airport, or bands playing at Progress Energy Park.  Nearly all such events are open to the public and I could attend if I so desired.  Therefore even though I seldom attend, none qualify as real “left out” events.  I am similarly content with my lack of travel.  While on a budget, I could still manage an occasional travel splurge going to far parts of the USA or even the world.  But here again, I have no burning desire to travel great distances.  I am content to occupy my little corner of the planet.  The essential ingredient to feeling left out is a sense of deprivation.  At age 67, a stunning fact is that I have never been deprived of a single meal.  Could it be possible that I have never felt deprived?  To answer that in the affirmative would not (considering all my advantages) be dependent upon worldly conditions, but upon spiritual conditions.  A feeling of deprivation on my part would of necessity derive from a sense of envy.  And on that score, I can in no way plead innocent.  I have many times felt myself in an envious state—whether it was yearning to be in honors at school, desiring a more powerful position at work, or most especially as a youth envying rock stars (or for that matter anyone who could play a guitar and thereby garner the attention of females).  I have been envious of talent, fame, and fortune.  The means to contentment in my life has not been the result of spiritual triumph so much as the onset of senility.  I am at the age where it becomes a little silly to envy the improbable—to envy things that are no way in the cards.  For example, for me to envy a NFL football player would be downright loony.  Even I have that much sense of propriety.  At this point, my compassion (rather than gnawing envy) goes out to the young and restless with many promises yet to keep.   

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