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And Nothing But The Truth!

Feb 22, 2017

When I look at my reflection, I don’t see grey hair I see blond and I normally turn my head slightly to one side because my chin looks better that way. I’ve been doing this for so long that, in general, I don’t even know that I’m doing it. When I see the outcome of any recently taken photograph in which I’m involved, my image very rarely appears. But somehow my father surreptitiously creeps into the shot; and he hasn’t been with us for a good few years!

Ever been walking through a shop when you suddenly turn and catch your image in an unexpected mirror? It can be quite a shock – who the hell is that? It is my firm opinion that any shop mirror should be accompanied by a suitable warning sign, this would at least give one the opportunity of pulling in one’s stomach (and of course to turn one’s head slightly to one side).

I recently went to a school reunion where I met quite a few old school chums whom I hadn’t seen for years. The strange thing was that they’d all been subjected to the rigors of Anno Domini whereas I hadn’t really changed one bit – although, surprisingly, nobody actually mentioned this to me. Jealousy I suppose!

No matter how old you are or how young you feel, one day you will reach a stage where, whilst you are buying a ticket for something or other, the person behind the counter will give a slight cough and then produce the fateful words: ‘Do you realise that it’s half price for senior citizens?’, and after you have been rendered huffily speechless, and after you have almost choked whilst trying to gulp down the words ‘you b*****d’ and having barely resisted the impulse to leap across the counter and ring the assistant’s neck, you are then forced to accept the reality that there is no way around this one. There genuinely is no point in trying to convince yourself that maybe their eyesight is bad, and no point in looking to see whether there is someone behind you to whom they were really addressing their comment. All you are left with, I’m afraid, is a ridiculously rictus grin.

I suppose it is true to say that we spend much of our life living in what can best be described as ‘cloud cuckoo land’. But I wonder whether this is necessarily a bad thing. Take religion for example, we all have our own beliefs, or none at all, but most conventional religions subscribe to an afterlife to which advocates can aspire, a place of everlasting peace and happiness. Now whether this is called Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla or Harvey Nichols, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is whether you actually believe it.

I do not have the space here for elongated philosophical discussion but – and I comment as someone with no particularly strong religious persuasion - surely it’s better to go through life believing that one day you will enter a world of perfect contentment where you will meet up with everyone you hold dear from your past (and inevitably, your future) and where you don’t seem to spend your existence emptying the frigging dishwasher? Even if this tenet were not true - and I’m prepared to be convinced that it is - who is going to feel happier during their time on this mortal coil? For example, I really don’t understand many of the doctrines of the Mormon religion but, even though I try not to give them short shrift when they knock on my door wearing their finely tailored suits, I am invariably left with the impression that they just appear to be so damn happy. Maybe I should ask for the name of their tailor!

I hasten to add that, in no way, am I implying that anybody who follows a religion is living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’. On the contrary, what I am implying is that a religious belief can be a source of happiness. Almost every invention or advancement of civilisation has resulted from people believing in seemingly outlandish theories. Galileo for example was tortured and imprisoned under house arrest for almost ten years, not only for believing the unbelievable but also for the consequent inventions which today we take for granted. At the time he was actually considered to be half way between a heretic and a madman.

So let’s go on thinking that we are thinner than we are, better looking than we are, richer than we are, more popular than we are and so on. Maybe self-deception can be the path to happiness. And if you don’t like the ‘cloud cuckoo land’ phrase then maybe ‘rationalisation’ will do if it makes you feel happier.

I really like this article by the way!

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