Today’s Topic: Current Events
This week is turning out to be one of the busiest and most important weeks I’ve had in a long while. This is especially the case because I am presently benchmarking a significant time in my life; I have major events going on which have caused me to put in long, focused days and nights of meaningful contemplation, deliberation and planning. Granted, because it also happens to be a period filled with excitement, trepidation and anticipatory adventure, my nerves and my inner-strength are being put to the test. I’ve had to tap deep into my reserves to supply my psyche with enough emotional and mental buoyancy to keep me afloat. Add the demands of everyday life, and I can safely say that the 4-5 hours of sleep each night for the past several have been the only periods of repose for my engrossed mind and frenzied body. I’m not complaining – exactly the opposite. The matters causing my busyness are incredible and make me feel alive. But, as a result, I’ve barely had time to see what’s going on in the world – I’ve been too focused inside my own realm to look out at the world around me. I know that “Snowzilla” failed to fully appear in NYC, but that the Boston area was hammered. I know that this Sunday is the Super Bowl. But beyond that, I haven’t had the capacity or cause to notice current events.
As I took a breath to write this week’s Movie Quote Thursday, being so busy got me thinking. Our lives can be so fast-paced, our thoughts can orbit our own worlds, our energy can be spent so completely on us, that we miss major occurrences as though they never happened. We can sometimes focus so wholly on our own lives that we lose perspective and awareness – and thus appreciation – for how inconsequential our issues can be when measured against the greater significance that major events have on the world. Our lives can consume us. They can at times be weighty. We can go through important and meaningful times, but perhaps taking a breath can allow us a chance to move on with a less encumbered mindset – especially if we take a minute to put an adequate frame of reference around the current snapshot of our lives.
I took a minute to look up this week’s historical events. Some of those are:
• The Apollo Theater opened, helping entertainers like Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin have a chance to get into show business.
• A patent for the gas automobile was issued to Karl Benz
• The movie Sleeping Beauty was released.
• The Vietnam Peace Treaty was signed.
• Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell formed the first telephone company.
• The National Geographic Society formed.
• JFK delivered the first live presidential news conference
• The space shuttle Challenger exploded.
• Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated.
• General Robert E. Lee became the general-in-chief over the confederate army.
• Ireland’s Blood Sunday saw British paratroopers kill more than a dozen peacefully rallying Northern Irish Catholics.
• Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet had its very first performance.
• The Beatles played their last live performance.
• The first McDonald’s opened in Moscow, Russia
• The first locomotive ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific
• John Hancock, Jackie Robinson, Douglas McCarthur, Paul Newman, Mozart, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dick Martin celebrated birthdays.
The list is certainly tiny and noticing “current events” is predicated on the reality that the events are actually happening currently, so we are in the time that we are in, but this list certainly has helped me calm down about the urgency and importance of the current events of my life. I hope it doesn’t slow down anytime soon – the excitement is intoxicating – but I think I’ll poke my head up a little more so that I can see some of the more important things going on around me.
Before I get back to it, here are a few movie quotes that came to mind during my little break which might lend to the thoughts…
“Sometimes a man’s got to be big enough to see how small he is.” –Lennie Loftin in 3:10 to Yuma
“A man should be what he can do.” –Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity
“It’s funny how different things look, depending on where you sit.” –David Strathairn in The Bourne Ultimatum
“24 hours a day, seven days a week, no job is too big, no fee is too big.” –Bill Murray in Ghostbusters