Who We Are & Who We Can Be Pt.1

When I was seven I was caught shoplifting

I had been enjoying some unsupervised free-time in the toy department when I decided that I’d help myself to some Star Wars figurines.

This wasn’t the first time I had stolen something.

There wasn’t a high degree of difficulty involved because someone else had already opened the packaging. I simply waited until I was alone in the aisle and then placed three of the toys in pocket of my windbreaker. I walked out the door, got in the car, and headed home to enjoy the results of my inter-galactic crime spree.

I enjoyed them for about 2 hours.

When my mother found me playing with the toys, she asked me where I had gotten them. I knew that I needed to say that I had taken them from the store, but I didn’t tell her that.

I told her that “I found them”.

She didn’t believe me.

I was taken to see my father.

I told him that they were “given to me” by a stranger.

He didn’t believe me.

I was taken to see the retail manager.

I told him that I had stolen them.

He believed me.

If you know me well you’ve heard this story and how it turned me from a life of theft, but I want to point out that it took a significant amount of work by many people to turn the tide of rebelliousness and burglary in my life.

I had a proclivity for theft and no desire to turn from it.

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Beyond Thunderball

Photo: MGM

When I was 9 years old I saw my first James Bond Movie, It was the mid 60’s classic “Thunderball”. The film was a thrilling cavalcade of car chases, scuba battles, and shark bites.

This might have been one of the most amazing experiences of my life had I not been a pre-pubescent innocent trying to comprehend a twenty year-old, made for the middle-aged man, fantasy movie.

While I could follow the plot about stolen nuclear bombs and international upheaval, try as I might I could just not make any sense of the interpersonal motivations.

In children’s stories, the bad guys are obviously bad, the good guys are obviously good, and the issues are fairly “black and white”- people are bad because they do bad things and they are good because they do good things.

In this movie the bad guys did bad things, the good guys did bad things, and the girls did the worst of things!

I understood “what” the Thunderball people were doing, I just couldn’t grasp “why” they were doing it.

It didn’t make sense that two men would fight to the death over a woman.

It seemed illogical that a fighter pilot with top secret clearance would be so casual with his credentials when a lady starts rubbing her hands in his hair.

In short, I couldn’t understand why men kept making bad decisions about the future of our planet whenever women were around?

Since I’d never been to Jamaica I just assumed that maybe this is the way people behaved there?

When I asked my dad about it he said, “It’s not real”. When I asked my mom about it she said, “I had a some growing up to do.”

I felt like the Thunderball people had a lot of growing up to do.

After I’d “grown up a bit”, and by grown up a bit I mean “made several bad decisions about the future when a woman was around”, I realized that the only truly honest thing about the 007 film series was its assertion that men will attempt the ridiculous to possess a woman that they shouldn’t have.

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Bazinga!

CBS Television

I thoroughly enjoy watching The Big Bang Theory on CBS.

It’s a television program about a group of young, male, scientific geniuses who interact with life mostly through their non-genius, female, neighbor.

While the actors are good, and the dialogue is clever, what really makes the show exceptional is the performance of actor Jim Parsons in the role of Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Sheldon’s friends are mostly incapable of comfortable human interaction because of sheltered childhoods or overindulged desires for input and analysis. ┬áHe differs from them in that his anti-social behavior is not brought on by a lack of experience with other people.

Sheldon is incalculably brilliant.

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