I’ll be eighty-two in two weeks so it’s time for me to start collecting on the delayed gratifications. You know the kid in the psychology experiment that can get two cookies if he looks at a cookie on the plate in front of him for a whole minute while the researcher times how long he can resist eating it.
I love my life and have enjoyed every minute of it, even the ones where I am yelling at my iPhone for too often sending me instructions on how to get to local restaurants when I ask it a philosophically inclined question.
Sitting next to my left elbow is the flower bouquet shown in the picture below. It was given to me at a public reading from Clockwork Purple last week. It is the only physical gift I can think of that has been given to me by a public person. Oh yes, there was the time in 1958 when J. Robert Oppenheimer picked some strawberries from his garden and gave them to me for my hitchhiking trip back to college in Pullman, Washington. But that was a friendly gesture and wasn’t a payment for some act that I had done. And I was given a Darwin Award, but that was as a representative of humanity and the failed Earthark Project. On this blog, I have received a few thank you’s for saving people’s lives, but a lot more flames for being incredibly stupid than thanks. This morning our group of twenty-five thoughtful people was challenged with, “What should we be doing to solve humanity’s problems.” Most of the action that came down to was projecting love and treating our friends well because that would spread throughout the whole world. I listed several things that I have done that probably had a worldwide impact, and I challenged them to find and do some things too. But that went nowhere and I was given the cut-it-short sign by the facilitator. One person said she contacted her politicians daily with requests for action. That was it for public action.
I get my rewards, of course, but not from the public.