Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

Recently, I discovered one of the benefits of growing old...beyond mere longevity. Age has forced me to think more intensely. In the past year, I have traveled to Scotland to research the Scottish independence movement and then traveled to Myanmar/Burma to study the human rights efforts in that country. I loved the trip to Scotland. It was nice to return to where I did post-graduate studies 45-years ago, however the trip to Myanmar changed my life. I am a different person than I was before spending a month in Myanmar.

When I returned to the States, I had a routine appointment with my cardiologist, Dr. Marchand. My heart issues are fine, but I asked him why I was so driven. He paused for a moment and then said, "You have seen the light."

In the past four months, I have spent a great deal of time writing about seeing the light and attempting to flesh out the next question. Why? Why have I seen the light? In the process, I have looked back on 7-decades of events in my life. Steve Jobs calls these events, dots. I have danced with death a couple times, in which I learned that I was finite. I have become more left of center than I was even back in the 60s during the civil rights movement. I think about the legacy that I will leave the world. I want to use my experiences in my life to help those who are younger to enjoy life. And the list goes on....

Then it dawned on me. That is precisely what Steve Jobs said was the reason for my seeing the light...I was connecting the dots. This is part of his commencement speech at Stanford.

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Who I am today is based upon having the wondrous vantage point of connecting many dots over the years. The connecting of those dots as I look back reveals a wondrous revelation of seeing the light...a light like I never imagined as I was experiencing the dots. As the events or dots occur, that is not the time that one can see the meaning of the dots. Nevertheless, hindsight is.


Emperor's Clothes thumbnail Emperor's Clothes The Donald Isn't Invisible
A Tweet to God... thumbnail A Tweet to God... A Tweet from James Baldwin
Crowd Size thumbnail Crowd Size Size Isn't Critical, But the Truth Is
On Riding to Samara thumbnail On Riding to Samara Then and Now....
Invictus thumbnail Invictus Thank You, Mrs. Davis
A Dog's Purpose thumbnail A Dog's Purpose The Person's Purpose
What Donald the Dumb is Missing in Life?  thumbnail What Donald the Dumb is Missing in Life? Eppie
P.T. Barnum Has Returned to Life  thumbnail P.T. Barnum Has Returned to Life What Goes Around, Comes Around
Robert the Bruce  thumbnail Robert the Bruce I'll Drink to Him!
Thus Spoke Dr. Marchand...  thumbnail Thus Spoke Dr. Marchand... And Ginger
Ginger, Socks, and Poe thumbnail Ginger, Socks, and Poe Finding Lenore....
Narcissus and the Donald thumbnail Narcissus and the Donald "I Love Me...."
Adams and Jefferson  thumbnail Adams and Jefferson An Ethical Battle
Lambs Eat Ivy thumbnail Lambs Eat Ivy And Ginger Eats Lamb Ears
Icarus and the Donald thumbnail Icarus and the Donald Warning About Flying Too High
The Meaning of Ginger thumbnail The Meaning of Ginger The Winter Solstice
Winfield Scott thumbnail Winfield Scott And Where I Live
How Will I Live to My 100th Birthday?  thumbnail How Will I Live to My 100th Birthday? Answer: Ikigai
The Value of Travel:  thumbnail The Value of Travel: Education
We Don't Have a Democracy...  thumbnail We Don't Have a Democracy... Yet Either
A Lesson of Life thumbnail A Lesson of Life Learned from a Cockroach
Ginger, the Dances, and the Lady  thumbnail Ginger, the Dances, and the Lady It Is All About Determination
Step Beyond the Impossible Wall thumbnail Step Beyond the Impossible Wall Learning from the Mongols
The Great Value of the Philosophers' Stone...  thumbnail The Great Value of the Philosophers' Stone... To Me
Accomplishing Things in Life...  thumbnail Accomplishing Things in Life... Even Long Shots
Teach Your Children, Part 2 thumbnail Teach Your Children, Part 2 But When?
Mentor Tell You Something About You  thumbnail Mentor Tell You Something About You The Value of Post-it Notes
Only Those Who Dare to Fail... thumbnail Only Those Who Dare to Fail... Can Achieve
Deplorable...  thumbnail Deplorable... Defining the Definition
Chimps or Bonobos thumbnail Chimps or Bonobos From Whence Did You Evolve?
Roll Me Up thumbnail Roll Me Up I Am Free to be Me at 73
The Lady, Bobby, and Bagan  thumbnail The Lady, Bobby, and Bagan Triangulation Process
Teach Your Children... thumbnail Teach Your Children... To Dream
Moby Dick Found thumbnail Moby Dick Found But Not in a Book
Resurrecting Dashed Dreams thumbnail Resurrecting Dashed Dreams By Continuing to Dream
Himmler and His Quest for the Holy Grail thumbnail Himmler and His Quest for the Holy Grail Remember the Past
I Challenge the Trim Trump  thumbnail I Challenge the Trim Trump To Test His Stamina Against Mine
The Fighting Téméraire thumbnail The Fighting Téméraire Explained My Nostalgia to Me
Why Do I Care? thumbnail Why Do I Care? More to the Point, Why Doesn't Everyone Care?
The Meltdown of the Donald thumbnail The Meltdown of the Donald As America Watches
Moh Moh Spoke thumbnail Moh Moh Spoke And She Sounded Like Don Quixote
 thumbnail Return to Myanmar Dream Big
Trying and Failing... thumbnail Trying and Failing... Is Better than Failing without Trying
Listening to My Mentors thumbnail Listening to My Mentors And Dreaming Impossible Dreams
The Terrorism Trifecta thumbnail The Terrorism Trifecta Three More Dances with Death
Bobby Kennedy thumbnail Bobby Kennedy Still Reaches Out to Us.
The Queen's Haunting... thumbnail The Queen's Haunting... Bohemian Rhapsody
My Love Letters thumbnail My Love Letters They Must Be Written
We Shall Overcome thumbnail We Shall Overcome A Belief Amid Darkness
Prediction of Clinton's Running Mate  thumbnail Prediction of Clinton's Running Mate And Her Running Mate Is....
Last Words thumbnail Last Words Or Don Quixote's Joists with Windmills
Bloody Hands and No Backbone thumbnail Bloody Hands and No Backbone What a Legacy
My Sherpa Statue Spoke thumbnail My Sherpa Statue Spoke A Valuable Time Spent Listening
The 5-Things Test thumbnail The 5-Things Test Seeing Yourself as Others See You
The Angel Spoke... thumbnail The Angel Spoke... And I Listened.
The Thinkers Three thumbnail The Thinkers Three Jack, Owen, and Me
The Donald thumbnail The Donald The Relationship Between Ignorance and Knowledge
Mr. Turner thumbnail Mr. Turner The Dualism of Feelings
Morphing of the Flu with Polio thumbnail Morphing of the Flu with Polio A Strange Juxtaposition
I am Don Quixote thumbnail I am Don Quixote But I Am Not from La Mancha
 thumbnail Maude Adams Found Somewhere in Time
In My Life thumbnail In My Life I'll Never Lose Affection for People and Things
Don Quixote and Albert Einstein thumbnail Don Quixote and Albert Einstein The Two Dreamers
Learning from My Mentor thumbnail Learning from My Mentor A Knight-Errant On His Deathbed
On Seeing the Light thumbnail On Seeing the Light Chuck, Paul, and Me
Two Roads in the Wood thumbnail Two Roads in the Wood Choose Wisely
Grave or No Grave thumbnail Grave or No Grave That is the Question
Best of Times, Worst of Times thumbnail Best of Times, Worst of Times It Is Your Choice; Choose Wisely
Buddha's Strange Parable... thumbnail Buddha's Strange Parable... Which We Need to Understand
The Value of Dreaming thumbnail The Value of Dreaming About My List of Dulcineas
Another Dancer thumbnail Another Dancer David Hume
Revitalizing My Brain thumbnail Revitalizing My Brain After Winding Up in ICU
"I'm Dying, and I'm Having Fun." Randy Pausch is Correct
The Little Match Girl thumbnail The Little Match Girl And The Golden Statue
The Very Strange Year of 2008 thumbnail The Very Strange Year of 2008 A Year to Remember
The Gift of an Angel thumbnail The Gift of an Angel It is More About My Feelings
Pathatique thumbnail Pathétique Moving Music
Doing the Dance Again thumbnail Doing the Dance Again How to Address Both New Dances
I Decided to Support the Emperor Donald thumbnail I Decided to Support the Emperor Donald Starting with His Red Tie
 I Know Who I Am... thumbnail I Know Who I Am... And Have Found Two People Who Understand Me
Take Your Passion and Make It Happen thumbnail Take Your Passion and Make It Happen Flashdance Follow-up
Responses to Paris thumbnail Responses to Paris Both Are Vital
What a Feeling thumbnail What a Feeling And It Is a Great Feeling
Want to See What I'm Wearing for Halloween? thumbnail Want to See What I'm Wearing for Halloween? A Profound Question
The Campbell Cookie Jar thumbnail The Campbell Cookie Jar The Tie In Between the Past and the Present
Doubling Down... thumbnail Doubling Down... To Make Dreams Come True
The Old Pine Table thumbnail The Old Pine Table An Object of Renewal and Rebirth
It's Confession Time... thumbnail It's Confession Time... And It Isn't Sunday
The Mahogany Bench thumbnail The Mahogany Bench A Place for Dreaming....
The Little Wooden Box thumbnail The Little Wooden Box An Updated Pandora's Box
A Great Dancer with Death thumbnail A Great Dancer with Death A Sobering Experience
Putting the Pieces Together thumbnail Putting the Pieces Together The Joy of Coming of Age
The Tulip Pitcher thumbnail The Tulip Pitcher A Picture of Springtime
Songs Can Make the World Go Around... thumbnail Songs Can Make the World Go Around... Peacefully.
The Felt Picture thumbnail The Felt Picture A Picture of Hopefulness
A Second Look at Life thumbnail A Second Look at Life Toward the End of Life
The Japanese Surrendered... thumbnail The Japanese Surrendered... But Why?
From Whence Does the Spark Come? thumbnail From Whence Does the Spark Come? The Creative Act of Pondering
The Value of Pain thumbnail The Value of Pain Or How to Retrieve the Torpedo
Discovery of Terracotta Warriors thumbnail Discovery of Terracotta Warriors... And Nessie
A Man with a Mission... thumbnail A Man with a Mission... Sinking a German U-boat
Intelligent Life on Other Planets thumbnail Intelligent Life on Other Planets Is there anyone there; does anyone care out there?
Riders on the Streetcar Named Desire: thumbnail Riders on the Streetcar Named Desire: Elizabeth and Rosa
The Pied Piper of Hamelin thumbnail The Pied Piper of Hamelin A Strange Tale
What Matisse Taught Me Years Ago, thumbnail What Matisse Taught Me Years Ago, Which I Finally Fully Understand
Alan Seeger thumbnail Alan Seeger And His Dance with Death
What I Learned About Life... thumbnail What I Learned About Life... From Facing Down the Dragon
Wading Through the Water of Life thumbnail Wading Through the Water of Life Advice by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Career Opportunity... thumbnail Career Opportunity... Being a Gladiator
The Benefit of Problems thumbnail The Benefit of Problems Or the Only Means to Success
Cancer and Crabs thumbnail Cancer and Crabs Strange History that They Both Share
Milky Way and Andromeda's Dance with Death thumbnail Milky Way and Andromeda's Dance with Death Parallels Our Dances with Death
Slaughterhouse-Five thumbnail Slaughterhouse-Five Vonnegut's Dance with Death
 thumbnail Dancing with Death Allows You to Live
It Has Been Seven Years Since I Fell... thumbnail It Has Been Seven Years Since I Fell... And Cracked My Head
The Puzzle of Life Solved By... thumbnail The Puzzle of Life Solved By... Jack and Owen
Steve Jobs and Charles Dickens thumbnail Steve Jobs and Charles Dickens How to Avoid the Ghosts
It is a Choice between Excitement and Desperation. thumbnail It is a Choice between Excitement and Desperation. Choose Wisely
Nepal Then thumbnail Nepal Then And Now
We Get Old Too Soon... thumbnail "We Get Old Too Soon... And Wise Too Late"
Booth Died 150 Years Ago Today thumbnail Booth Died 150 Years Ago Today How Has America Changed?
Fertilizing Daffodils thumbnail Fertilizing Daffodils But in the Meantime....
How Do We Learn? thumbnail How Do We Learn? The Lessons in Learning
Two Crazy Captains Chasing Moby Dick thumbnail Two Crazy Captains Chasing Moby Dick Then and Now
Ode to Joy thumbnail Ode to Joy In the Midst of Pain
Lead Death as You Dance with Death thumbnail Lead Death as You Dance with Death It Will Change Your Life
Reliving Many Bloody Sundays thumbnail Reliving Many Bloody Sundays Rebirth of the Civil Rights Movement
All Mankind is Divided Into Three Classes... thumbnail "All Mankind is Divided Into Three Classes..." Some Aren't Buried Until They Are Seventy-five
Obama's Golden Opportunity thumbnail Obama's Golden Opportunity On Leaving a Legacy
Suffering Yields Success thumbnail Suffering Yields Success Worrying Yields Warts
Every child is an artist. thumbnail "Every Child is an Artist." The Question is What Remains in Adulthood?
Ozone to Ferguson thumbnail Ozone to Ferguson A Journey That Never Seems To End
It Was the Best of Times thumbnail It Was the Best of Times It Was the Worst of Times....
A Hand Is Put Into Theirs... thumbnail A Hand Is Put Into Theirs... And the Hand May Be a Little Child's
Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream thumbnail Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream The Disconnect Between Dreaming and Reality
What Einstein Taught Me About Riding a Bike thumbnail What Einstein Taught Me About Riding a Bike ...Keep Moving
Joe Hill Died November 19, 1915 thumbnail Joe Hill Died November 19, 1915 "I Never Died," Says He.
Death is the Best Invention of Life thumbnail Death is the Best Invention of Life Breathing Is Not Living
From Witches to Marrying Monkeys thumbnail From Witches to Marrying Monkeys Conservatives Have an Answer
To Thine Own Self Be True thumbnail To Thine Own Self Be True... An Ethical First Step
A Lesson of Life from Alexander the Great thumbnail A Lesson of Life from Alexander the Great "Each moment free from fear makes a man immortal."
My Dots in Life Get Connected thumbnail My Dots in Life Get Connected With the Singing of Pete Seeger
Nothing is Secure thumbnail Nothing is Secure Which is a Great Blessing
Christopher Robin is Correct... thumbnail Christopher Robin is Correct... However, You Must Believe It Before It Is.
Wolverton Mountain thumbnail Wolverton Mountain The Place Where Dreams Occur
Pushing Oneself... thumbnail Pushing Oneself... What I Learned from T. S. Eliot
Articles as a Living Legacy... thumbnail Articles as a Living Legacy... Why I Write
Darkest Before Dawn thumbnail Darkest Before Dawn A Logical Disconnect that Is True
Come Alive... thumbnail Come Alive... Before You Die.
Orwell and Scottish Independence thumbnail Orwell and Scottish Independence Or Smell the Heather and Vote for Independence
Burma-Shave... thumbnail Burma-Shave... And Seeing the Light
The Chilling Reality of Global Warming thumbnail The Chilling Reality of Global Warming Where Does Lying Get Politicians and the Rest of Us?
Connecting the Dots... thumbnail Connecting the Dots... For Scottish Independence
Moravec Evolution thumbnail Moravec Evolution or the 21st Century Scopes Trial
Old Men Should Plant Trees... thumbnail Old Men Should Plant Trees... And They Should Be Planted Now.
Connecting the Dots With Jack and Owen thumbnail Connecting the Dots With Jack and Owen Teaching Them To Be Steve Jobs-esque
Changing the World... thumbnail Changing the World... The Story of My Struggle
Jack and Owen thumbnail Jack and Owen Novice 21st Century Johnny Appleseeds
Leaving a Legacy... thumbnail Leaving a Legacy... A Concern of a 71-Year Old.
Orwell and Kipling and the Battle of Burma thumbnail Orwell and Kipling and the Battle of Burma Or Why I Care
Learning to Play Chess from a Master thumbnail Learning to Play Chess from a Master What Jack and Owen Will Learn from Me.
Faulkner's Lesson of Life... thumbnail Faulkner's Lesson of Life... Even When the Last Ding-dong of Doom has Clanged.
Connecting the Dots... thumbnail Connecting the Dots... On Your Way to Eldorado