I find the chickens to be endlessly fascinating. Pretty sure that says something uncomplimentary about me. Butt so what.
Today's hike was fun and challenging. I took both Nona and Red and they seemed to have a good time. They did a lot of scampering and playing. They usually both go with Mom on her walks and do the same scampering and playing. In the past when I've taken them on my quicker and harder jaunts they've tended to fight rather than play. Maybe they're growing out of that, or maybe they're just keeping me guessing.
I went four miles in 55 minutes. Today's route featured a few okay slopes and a lot of challenging terrain. The prairie can be smooth and flat in places, but for the most part it's very bumpy and uneven. Hiking across that kind of ground is a lot of work, and a lot of work means a lot of effort, which means enhanced fitness at the end of the day.
A very big bonus today was a markedly delayed onset of nerve pain. Didn't start feeling it until the three mile mark, and even then it was comparatively mild. That was a nice surprise. We'll have to see how things play out over time but it's possible that my body is healing itself better than I thought it could. As I said, we'll see.
The wind wasn't as savage today but it was still pesky; 15 sustained gusting 25-30. Air temps were only about 32. The sun was bright and warm, which was nice, but in the beginning of the hike the wind was quite an uncomfortable thing. The route I selected was such that all of the uncomfortable into the wind stuff came first. Once I got warmed up and hit a good stride it wasn't bad at all. When I turned my back to the wind at the 1.5 mile mark the rest of the route was either downwind or in the lee of windbreaks. That part was a real delight.
I almost pussied out and decided to take a day off from hiking. In fact I did decide that and only changed my mind when Mom asked if I was going hiking. To which I quickly replied yes. Therefore I was obligated. The "take it hard" part of my mind can be a tricky sumbatch.
Glad I went. It was the right move.
I've talked about this before. Several times. The Golden Rule says that you should treat others as you would be treated yourself.
The name "Golden Rule" and its formulation is seen by many as religious dogma, and to a certain extent this is true.
For those who can't stomach religion, there's always Kant's Categorical Imperative. Despite being rather a religious person himself, Immanuel Kant nevertheless came up with a secular formulation of the basic idea, and made a very good philosophical argument for living that rule regardless of an individual's religious affiliation or lack thereof.
One might ask why anyone would need to follow this notion of reciprocity in ape-lizard relationships. It's a good question.
At a basic and fundamentally egocentric level, it kind of makes sense, doesn't it? In general, if one treats others well, one might reasonably expect to be treated well in return.
But of course there's a very large difference between treating others well and treating them as you would be treated yourself.
Treating others well by your own personal definition of well in an attempt to secure reciprocal good treatment is manipulative. It's not evil, and it often has good effects, but it's nevertheless fundamentally manipulative. In this approach it's very hard to argue that a manipulator actually believes that those he chooses to treat well are seen as real and equal human beings.
And isn't this notion of human equality the underpinning of civilization? The Founding Fathers thought so, and they took their lead from the Bloody British.
When a person decides that other ape-lizards are equally and fundamentally human just as they are, the notion of the Golden Rule becomes something so different than treating others well that it's simply not the same thing at all.
When one treats others as they would be treated, or when one treats themselves and others always as an end and never as an means to an end, one is acting as a civilized human being rather than a feral ape-lizard.
Simple in concept, difficult in execution.
One. A family member took me to task today after accidentally stumbling upon one of my u2b videos which featured a spectacular fall. The precise details don't matter. The admonition was, "You need to be careful because you're old and will therefore get hurt." The actual argument was quite different. *If you get hurt I might have to put down my beer and actually do something, which would victimize me, so stop all the working out and other shit and do only what I want you to do. Oh, and do it the way I want it done, too.*
Small potatoes by any measure, but also a valuable experience. People who lean toward victim-hood are often quick to drop their "treat others well" mask. And why wouldn't they be? It's not like they're dealing with an actual human being or anything.
Two. A pair of soldiers fighting for opposite sides meet in hand-to-hand combat and kill each other. Neither has any doubt that the other is fundamentally and equally human. Illusions about the enemy are shattered in the face of the reality of combat. Each man believes his side's cause is just and right. Neither want to die, but each is a soldier with a soldier's job to do. When they fight, there is no lack of fear and anger and pain. At a fundamental level, though, each treats the other exactly as they would be treated in their mortal collision.
Does that last seem far fetched? Worth thinking it all the way through.
It seems to me that few ape-lizards would find no benefit from exploring the meaning of the Golden Rule.
We ape-lizards are not nearly as advanced as we like to think. We've only been "civilized" for at most several thousand years. We have not evolved even a tiny bit from the ape-lizards who watched the glaciers retreat 15,000 years ago. We are exactly the same.
If we have a future to evolve into, the core principal of that evolution will be the Golden Rule.
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty (and evolution!).