All things pass…

By skepticlawyer

… Both love and mankind are grass…

When I was a child and something shitty happened (which I then complained about), my father would often point out that ‘it’s only temporary!’

At the time I hated it, in part because no-one wants to admit that great truths can also sometimes be a bit glib. However, the temporary nature of shitty things is the flip side to the equally temporary nature of wonderful things, of which the video below is a potent and beautiful reminder.

[Also, a warm welcome to all the readers who’ve made their way over here thanks to The Australian, which did a nice write up on the blogging competition for which we’ve been shortlisted — see right. There will be some chewy stuff going up in the next few days, so in the meantime enjoy the eye-candy here and our earlier discussions. More soon.]

Feel free to natter away to your heart’s content below.

7 Comments

  1. Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    (OMG, a Murdoch doesn’t mislead for once!)

    And on things temporary, put time in a y axis, nice (or not) on the x of a Bell curve – adjust origin and skew to taste – that’s how I suspect it works. The powerful control sigma and skew in a society, the Fates determine the origin of individuals. For some, the shears of Atropos do a kindness.

    I’ve always thought that pessimists are, on first principles, happier than optimistic Pollyanna types – the latter more often than not disappointed, the former either pleasantly surprised or with the opportunity for an “I told you so”. Thus the Buddhist pessimism, “all life is suffering”, promotes contentment.

  2. Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    That lines up with a general view on life. That it’s beautiful and precious precisely because its so fragile and finite.

    DB, I think the happiness optimist v pessimist thing is about a trade off between the disappointment you mention and the hope that optimists have an advantage in. Different people will presumably have different preferences as to the amount of hope they need and the amount of disappointment they can tolerate.

  3. Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    [email protected]: I’m a curmudgeonly cynic, and maybe it’s associated with, in everything I’ve played, being a useless forward and a damn good back … Even in snooker I’d go less for potting and more for snookering.

    It probably also reflects my uni and professional life – I found pathophysiology a breeze, and write/sysadmin robust systems by assuming I’ve probably made errors, and trying to think of what ruins my assumptions – the contrariness of the real world I have to respresent, and the stupidity of lusers (silent L).

    I think hopeless situations can often bring out the very best in people. Sometimes, the very act of giving up, yet still standing up, is the only thing that can turn the tide.

  4. Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh…. for poignant images made with sand, appearing and disappearing in mere seconds … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cri7aQHRT7k

    (From “Ukraine’s Got Talent” – a gifted young lady with sand and a lightbox underneath.)

  5. Posted April 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Ukrainians are another people that do sand art, although she is unusually good at it. I sometimes wonder if it has its origins in a long historical association with the Mongols: there used to be a lot more Mongol origin people floating around that part of the world, until Stalin deported most of them to Siberia after WWII.

    I do like the idea of something beautiful carried wholly in people’s heads, which they then have to teach other people. It is fragile (if those people die before the information is transmitted, then the beautiful thing is lost), but then lots of things are fragile, which rather makes the Buddhists’ point for them.

  6. Davo
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    The movie (movie? um, motion picture production? Flik?) by the name of “Kundun” gives an interesting insight into the background of Tibetan ‘sand art”.

  7. Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] said

    I do like the idea of something beautiful carried wholly in people’s heads, which they then have to teach other people. It is fragile (if those people die before the information is transmitted, then the beautiful thing is lost)

    Perhaps the best example: Love (esp the philadelphian variety, more above-the-neck than the other forms)

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