Albert Einstein said "Pictures can be kind things"
You "Ought" to be Cruising
As we say goodbye to the "oughts" - the decade of years with two zeroes in the middle (2000-2009) I want to be philosophic for a minute - because the end of the year, and especially the end of a decade, is a great time for reflection. Much of what mankind accomplished in the last century can be attributed to Albert Einstein. He was a physicist and mathematician, which is a very specific and concrete way of thinking. Einstein's formulas made it possible for us to go to the moon in 1969. If you live long enough, you may take a cruise to the moon yourself someday. In fact, if you are rich enough you will be able to cruise to outer space within a few years.
Was it necessary to go to the moon? Not in a practical sense, but in the record of human history it may be the most significant accomplishment yet. We didn't discover much more than moon rocks on the moon -- but we discovered something inside of ourselves that is far more significant. We embraced an entirely new philosophy of life; that part of the meaning of life is simply exploring, understanding and ultimately embracing our existence as human beings.
We have transitioned from a society that struggled to live into one that focuses on experiencing life. We are extremely lucky to be living in a day and age where having a rich life experience is one the most pressing things we have to worry about.
So, how do you define a rich life experience? Albert Einstein was a scientific genius but he also had a deep appreciation for the mystery of the human condition, and a sentimental side many people never hear about.
Albert had this to say about photographs, "A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind."
I feel the same way about memories. In the long run, some of the richest possessions we have in life are our memories. Memories can be very kind things, like pictures. And one of the most significant traditions of a New Year celebration, and especially a new decade celebration is making changes - or resolutions, as some people refer to them.
So here is what I propose; that you rip up some of the bad memories in your lifetime like you would rip up a bad photograph, and that you start creating new memories in your life to replace the old ones.
As Albert pointed out, people continue to age but a picture remains the same. The same thing can be said about good memories. We continue to age, but in our memories we remain the same as when the experience occurred.
One of the best ways to create new and wonderful memories is to travel; for yourself and as a gift to your loved ones. This creates a fantastic memory you can all cherish for the rest of your lives. You will grow older, but that memory will never age. In fact, like many photographs, they start to look better the older you get.
I took my brother and sister on a cruise in the 1990s, and then my brother passed away unexpectedly just a few years later. We found that he had kept many of the pictures and keepsakes from that cruise in his most cherished places. He had daily programs, menus and lots of pictures. That cruise was the most time I ever spent with my brother in our adult lives, and it was the best time. Without that cruise, the memory of my brother would be an entirely different thing.
Times are tough now, but we are still getting older and the quality of life escapes us when we aren't paying attention. The truth is that there has never been a better time to cruise than right now. The ships are more beautiful than ever and the prices have never been more affordable.
I suggest that now is the time to create a new memory. It's been a tough decade but that isn't your fault. Start out the new decade with a deeper respect for love - love of your family and friends and love for yourself. Give yourself something you have always wanted - a new experience to create a rich memory. You aren't getting any younger, and neither are your loved ones.
And so, as we say goodbye to the "oughts" I want to say this, "you ought to be traveling."
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