Thursday, August 20, 2009

All Things Being Equal

I want to write my morning post about the phrase and concept of "all things being equal."

All things being equal, it's as good an idea as any. All things being equal, what's the difference? All things being equal, my blog's the same as others. All things being equal, whether I have two readers or 40,000, who cares?

There's plenty of scurrilous knaves out there, like Charles Grassley, Glenn Beck, and Kim Jong Il who are doing their thing and I'm doing mine. All things being equal, that makes me pretty bad. Which is not the way I want to say it. How about this? All things being equal, these evil guys are out there doing their thing, and I, being a good guy am here doing my thing.

Just because all things are equal doesn't mean life's an indistinguishable stew. And stew would be the perfect analogy. All things being equal, you don't have stew without all the ingredients together. The potatoes, meat, carrots, gravy are what make the stew. Every two bit hobo in a train jungle could tell you that. And all things being equal, his word on the subject is the same as mine. Take his word for it.

All things being equal, I should have more patience and confidence than I have. But all things being equal, whether I do or don't doesn't make much difference. I should have more patience and confidence because, all things being equal, I should live in this moment in a singular way. Doing so means not looking ahead. And doing so means trusting my abilities in the moment. But all things being equal, of course I'm going to look ahead. So the thing to do is to be patient and confident while looking ahead because what's ahead is just more of what's now. All things being equal, it's crazy to say I'm going to be patient and confidence now but I'm not going to be 10 minutes from now.

I've always had egalitarian ideals, all things being egal, I guess. That's how we got the Eagle as our American symbol, because of our eagalitarian ideals. They cast about, looking for just the perfect bird to be the symbol, and, all things being equal, thought, what about the sparrow? The sparrow would be a great American symbol, in my opinion, because it's lowly, uncolorful, yet a hard worker. What could symbolize our hard scrabble immigrant forebears better than that? Pecking at the ground to eek out an existence, living in an unheralded yet persistent way, flying high, flying quickly, but not offering flash or seeking vainglory.

But all things being equal, they said, Yes, the sparrow is great. But what's so great about being lowly? What's wrong with some color and size? And hard scrabbling may be our way of life but it's not our ambition. And to peck at the ground to eek out an existence, we want to do better. And as far as being unheralded, we'd prefer heralded, of course, all things being equal. And a little bit of flash -- a lotta bit of flash -- is cool. And what bird is more pimped out than the eagle? (The ostrich and peacock come to mind.)

All things being equal, I think I'll quit now.

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