When Wisdom Takes Flight….

By now, you have seen or perhaps been subjected to the “Great Toilet Paper Famine of 20”, an event marked by mass hysteria and empty retail shelves where bundle after bundle of God’s gift to personal sanitation once resided. Folks, it isn’t over yet. I am sure the public hasn’t considered the tremendous value that peanut butter plays in the management of the dread Coronavirus. You see, if you coat your hands with peanut butter, you will be far less inclined to touch your face and thus transmit the virus to yourself. Given our current inclination to do something, anything to feel as if you are making a difference in the struggle with this malady, the peanut butter approach is not unreasonable. Poof, three days and there’s won’t be a jar of the sticky goo to be had.

Really?

I read an interesting comment from a friend today who has entered the golden years associated with life in his eighties. AJ has accumulated much wisdom in his lifetime and isn’t afraid to dispense it from time to time. He described his current status as still here, despite the curve balls he has been thrown. AJ is composed of equal parts common sense and fearlessness, each born of wisdom. You don’t have to guess with AJ, he is on front street. His wry smile is in front of a mind that is always busy. That folks, is because he has accumulated much wisdom. AJ isn’t likely to get in a fight over toilet paper.

So, what is this thing called wisdom, the absence of which is on full display during the Great Toilet Paper Famine. Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. A truly wise man will also possess unbiased judgement, compassion, ethics and benevolence. When you turn on your television and are treated to a fist fight over a package of Charmin, you are NOT seeing wisdom on display. You are seeing folks abandon the hard earned wisdom that comes with life on the ground and, instead, acting like hyenas over a fresh kill. Given the current climate, we are sure to see an award for the accumulation of the most toilet paper by an individual in a single day……

By it’s very nature, wisdom is the product of time. You are not handed a basket of wisdom at birth, you accumulate it. I love all things aviation and there is much wisdom in this arena. At Nellis Air Force Base, in 1978, the Air Force was conducting red flag training relying on the old (1954) F-105 fighters and the newer, superior F-16 fighters. It didn’t look promising for the 105’s when the newer jets bounced them. The experienced fighter jocks in the slower jets relied upon wisdom to hit the deck at 100’ and light the afterburners. This is an altitude the newer jets cannot perform at. The old sleds vacated the premises, on the deck, at 700 MPH, leaving rooster tails in the sand. The F-16’s never got close. It is said the F-105 can be flown at speed, on the deck while the pilot can read the paper with his feet up. You will not find fighter pilots in a toilet paper skirmish.

I have given up attempting to lend reason to the madness associated with toilet paper. If you are unfamiliar with the fable describing the trek of Lemmings to the sea, take a little time to do so. Lemmings are rodents, and will follow each other faithfully, although their march is really migratory in nature. Is this what we have become?

If you are among the shoppers who simply need to replenish a week or two inventory of toilet paper, hang in there…….the Great Famine will run it’s course. Later, this spring, you won’t have need to justify your purchase of huge quantities of paper to your friends…elevating you to the status enjoyed by wise people! The deniers will be out in full force…..guaranteed.

Have a great day!

SR

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