Saturday, April 16, 2011

#106 / The Bucket List

Since the movie with this title, a lot of people seem to be thinking about their "bucket list," i.e., the list of things they want to do be able to say they did, before they die.

There are "bucket list" book recommendations, and a website that hooks people up with others who have included similar adventures on their personal "bucket lists."

As I have reviewed the literature, it has become apparent that most people seem to be focusing on things to "experience," rather than on things to "accomplish." The illustration I'm using here does show something of a contrary tendency, which is why I chose it.

I tend to think that "changing the world," one way or another - creating a new reality - is really what life ought to be all about. I want to admit, though that I don't really have a completely satisfactory answer to what I continue to think of as the Stockdale Question: "Who am I and what am I doing here?"

Kissing a mermaid in the rain at midnight, or some equivalent type "experiences," could be a key component in providing a satisfactory answer to the Stockdale Inquiry. I don't discount the experiential, but I find I mostly think in terms of "accomplishments," where I can say that it's at least possible that these things wouldn't have happened, or wouldn't have been accomplished, had I not been around. My list so far:

  • A couple of great children, Sonya and Philips
  • Plus now a couple of great grandchildren, Dylan and Delaney
  • Saving Lighthouse Field
  • The Louden Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz
  • Stopping new offshore oil development off California
  • Measure J and Growth Management in Santa Cruz County
  • The Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary
  • Saving The Marks Ranch in Monterey County
  • Preserving Tejon Ranch (A minor role, but I was there)
  • A few students and others inspired, I hope

I am also hoping that this is just another "partial list..." I am painfully aware that it's not that long. No mention of a world-shaking book, world peace and a new nonviolent and democratic revolution in the United States; no fundamental reform in state land use policy or California state government. None of the things that I was thinking about in my Honors Program in Social Thought and Institutions, as we all puzzled out what "Utopia" would mean for us.


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