People love to talk about themselves but do they really know themselves?

I thought I knew myself well until I was recently asked to provide an insight.  It all sounded very easy.  “Provide an insight, not a life story”.  No luxury here of being able to scrounge over my life’s events and pick out historical data.  No, I have to pick my thoughts instead.  For most of my life my thoughts have slumbered peacefully, alone and undisturbed.  Now I was to disturb them.

I could have cheated and based this story on any number of people, or even a fictitious person and nobody would know the difference.  Or maybe I could have picked somebody else and still been right.  I am, after all, a reflection of everybody I have ever known.  I have taken the thoughts and philosophies from a great many people.  I have imitated the shrewdness and cunning of others or the gentle heart until it become inherent in me.  I am a blend of the thoughts of thousands, but above all, I am still an individual.  Whatever I have acquired is now mine to keep, until I learn something better.

To surrender while I am content would not be very rewarding.  I am aware that tomorrow, next week, or next year more people will enter and shape my life.  That is how it has been forever.  Life has delivered me to this day.

Having always been of management status has provided me with the gratitude to acknowledge a variety of credits.  My success in management is more due to the good fortune of working in good teams filled with good people.  I have gained as much from my subordinates as I have from those who manage over me.  I also reserve some credit for myself: had I not learned from every moment or mortal I encountered I believe I would not be in this position of authority, and I would not be surrounded by the trappings I have earned.

The funny thing is I’d never stopped to look at it this way until I asked myself to write this story.  Tho hours ago I was purely a self made individual.  But like a self made millionaire has gathered the millions of dollars that has come their way, so too has a self made individual gathered the experiences that have come along.  I was born with barely a thought in my head.  Some I grew, and as I have said, some were borrowed.

Initially I had intended to write about the “home grown” thoughts.  These were the only ones I knew and are still worth mentioning.  Like many others I thought that I had a point to make or a purpose to complete (and while this is certainly creditable), I was a victim of the “I’ll do it my way” syndrome.  And all of my life I have believed, simply and solely, that I did do it my way.  In truth, nobody on Earth ever has.  There is not one person on Earth who has not gained or learned something from every interaction in their life.  Remember the old adage “We learn something new every day”?  I might extend it to “We can learn something wise every moment”.

In the past two hours I have learned so much.  What then, can a lifetime provide?

To the reader, I hope your own thoughts have been stirred as much as mine.  Or perhaps my words have meant nothing.  In that case, stop reading and travel in life as you please.  But maybe tomorrow, next week or next year we may meet and I’ll be fortunate, because I will learn something from you.  Sadly, I may have nothing to offer in return.


(Photo credit: Erik Eckel)

82 comments on “Me

  1. Not true. You give out and offer something every moment of your life. One has but to open their eyes to see that it’s there and to accept it for the gift that it truly is.

  2. It might be a ramble but it is also thought inspiring. Don’t forget that some of the shortest “speeches” in hostroy have been the most profound.

  3. The origin word ‘history’ is interesting. Some say it comes from ‘his story’ while others suggest it comes from the Greek word ‘hister’ – to talk.

    Most of us have no idea.

  4. Migs, another theory is that the word is from the Greek historein, meaning to inquire.

    Perhaps to talk is to inquire.

  5. Since Darling Harbour I have been thinking along the same lines. Who am I. I know the person you see here, is not the person most see or know.

    I have always believe that there by the grace of god, go I.

    Some see this fatalistic. That is not what I mean.

    We make choices, but we very rarely choose the environment we make them in. We are social animals.

    We are unable to see into the future, we make mistakes. A perfect life would be so boring.

    I suspect who you see here, is the person I would like to be.

    I find I like it, even if it is not real. But then I am wrong to say that, it is real. it is what I know I am.

    “Sadly, I may have nothing to offer in return.”

    I have great problem with your last sentence. I do hope that is rubbish and rambling. We all have something to offer, as long as we draw breath.

    The funny thing is that the person I have found here, is turning up elsewhere in my life. I find it easier to interact with my family and even strangers. I feel more together, that I have ever in my life.

    Somehow the invisibility and cover of the web has allowed what I would like to believe, the real me to get out.

    Now I am the one talking rubbish, but we at the end of the day, a product of our life experiences.

    We also change all our lives.

    Migs, you and Min are the ones that have provided the stage for this to happen.

  6. Cu, the last sentence was a bit of a dig at ignorant people. They learn nothing from life or other people.

    A bit like Tony Abbott.

  7. “In the past two hours I have learned so much. What then, can a lifetime provide?”

    What has happened in the last two hours, to make you think so deep.

  8. Cu, you’re beautiful. Migs knows me well enough to know that I now have tears trickling.

    For those who haven’t met Cu, here is this incredible feisty absolutely amazing person. She has graciously given us details about her life, but her life of struggle and of overcoming is an inspiration to all of us.

  9. I guess I’m always like this, Cu, I just don’t put that side of me on paper. I needed something to write and I wanted a change from politics.

  10. Migs, I think what I am trying to say, we have many facets to our personality. We do not show all these facets all at once or to everybody.

    We hide behind masks, and reveal what we are thinking and feeling as we deem suitable or what we are comfortable with at the time.

    Maybe that is why politics is so hard today. Modern day communications tears away all the masks that one uses to protect oneself. The result is that we do not see the real person. We see nothing. We see nothing, because without our masks, we become less than human.

  11. Migs, I think that we who have known you for a number of years know that this is you too. You’re not just “the duck”, we know you for the wonderful person who you are. It’s as Cu says, it’s Darling Harbour.

  12. Wow! Deep, man … deep … you sound like my my mates in the sixties!

    Good stuff, Migs … reflection is always good for the soul …

    Just two things to add …

    AND … (I’ll send you my version if you haven’t got it!)

  13. congrats Miglo… you achieved your goal and bared your soul…the goal being having us think about something other than politics (which is nice after a day of debating every man and his dog about the carbon price -sheesh man I can’t wait for this to be a nothing event) and baring your soul is nice and encourages us to do the same, we are but a mirror image of those around us, a kaleidoscope of colour and facets of that which is most attractive around us

  14. Roswell, that sounds to mean that it’s all preordained, but isn’t the future a matter of choice. If one aims for absolute perfection, then you are never going to find it. Sometimes rough enough is quite good enough, in fact very excellent. 🙂

  15. good post migs!
    the living journey is something i have learned to treasure -the absolute beauty of our planet continually astounds me -plenty of shit does happen (to all ), whether we seek it or not, OIOH the beauty and wonderous times can usually only be experienced fleetingly due to their often transient nature, so one has to be open and receptive to the good stuff .

    the ability to learn(and recognise that we do so) from all of our experiences and interactions seems to me to be an indicator of an open, honest, and receptive mind, ….and a bit of what roswell said 😀

    TB …..well i remember such raves – often in a “smoky” atmosphere, funnily enough.

  16. Pterosaur, like myself, you have been privileged to be introduced to Indigenous culture and to recognise the beauty of it. We’re both lucky.

  17. i don’t go too much on the preordination or fate concepts myself either min. i reckon that we face an infinity of choices and a ”true” path is one approaching one’s optimal evolution, and each of us has their own way.

    perfection,IMHO is quite a useful goal, if accompanied by the knowledge of its impossibility, and the recognition of one’s limits.

  18. you’re so right there migs – i don’t generally hold with regret, but do wish i could have spent more time with the wonderful people and cultures, i will forever treasure the glimpses i have had into that world.

  19. Migs, “Sadly, I may have nothing to offer in return.”
    What a load of BS……… migs youve changed the world in your own imitable style, IMO you are smart enough to know how dumb you are,.. and coming from me thats high praise, your acumen, your humbleness, your ‘ common man’ alpha-ism (is there such a thing) has led you to me 😯 …..( or maybe the other way round 🙂 ), your a legend in your own bath-time 😆 ..oops, umm, life-time 😀 … and most of all youve taught a lot of people about smilies 🙂 …. except for one insignificant gene you could have been a Geelong fan, alas even though you have good management skills, one can only wonder how you ‘managed’ to choose Port……. 🙂

  20. Pingback: On Isolation « The False Division

  21. I thank *uck for peoples like you( and Min), your a *star*- *clink* 😀
    To all that read Whispers, Migs is like an egyptian crocodile…. he’s in de- Nile…. 😀

  22. Reminds me of a scene from Lawrence of Arabia.

    Ali, the Omar Sharif character: Ah it was written
    Lawrence: Nothing is written
    Ali: Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it.

  23. bloke. Definitely a bloke. That is a blokey idea of the world. Ie I have got to the age of 40 and realised there are other people in it, and I deign to admit some of them just might be as smart as me. Bloke.

  24. “People love to talk about themselves but do they really know themselves?”

    The premise (and truth) of that question is becoming annoyingly obvious to me as I get older.

    As to the question, the only thing most people know about themselves is what they want.

    Nice post Migs.

  25. Mangrove, another thought is it depends upon one’s reality. I’ve known people whose perceptions of others are distorted by their own experience..that reality being quite different to the other’s reality.

  26. I suspect that’s the common case Min. For better or worse. It’s a solipsistic world 😦

  27. Suspicious minds being the biggest problem, Mangrove.

    But on the other hand I have known some wonderful people, and they’re called naive.

  28. As to the question, the only thing most people know about themselves is what they want.

    Then this is me 😉

  29. Tom, then this is me..I always wanted to be Vanessa Redgrave. However the only similarity is that I used to wear flowers in my hair too. 😀

  30. “But on the other hand I have known some wonderful people, and they’re called naive. ”

    That’s just so true Min. Being a decent human being has very little to do with smarts.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say the contrary seems to be the case, but sometimes I’m tempted.

  31. Mangrove, I cannot help but think that the deities endowed us all with a thing called potential..but it’s what we do with it which really matters. I have known some Down’s Syndrome people who make everyone else’s moments, moments to be treasured.

  32. btw, nice post Migs

    When I first saw the link, I thought it was perhaps a post about ME. But then, I realised, it was really about Me!

    Although, when Mobius reads it, I guess it really is about ME

    I wonder if the same goes for U’s as well?

  33. Never thought it was about me, Me or ME. In the blogs and forums I post under the moniker Möbius Ecko or just Möbius, I’m shortened to Mo.

    So if the post had been titled Mo, I would have been surprised and honoured. But it is Migs who should be rightfully honoured in this case.

  34. Mobius, I’ve always called you ME when I haven’t called you Mobius. I will remember in future to call you by your preferred short name, Mo.

  35. The honour, Mo, is that people are saying they like the post, yet I actually thought it was just a ramble when I wrote it. Perhaps the success has been that it has asked us all to look at ourselves, which certainly wasn’t the intention. But it struck a chord.

  36. Miglo, you could be right with that. We never explore our own minds. Humans can be irrational creatures, producing thought bubbles without sources. Tony Abbott is a good example.

  37. Therefore it’s preferable to not think at all.

    Well it’s worked for Neil up until now :mrgreen:

  38. For some strange and unknown reason this one suddenly came to mind. Folk rock from 1965…for you Sydney-siders..some very historical moments here..

    Rinso: to keep Australia White. Vote DLP.

    Trivia time, Gary Shearston ended up becoming an Anglical priest residing just up north at Bangalow. He was a hit!! A lot of us Flower Power people went to his sermons just to watch…

  39. I used to be in the But What If stage of my life. I have now officially entered the Suck it and See phase..and that’s a promise. 😀

  40. Bacchus,

    Half a cray, a bag of prawns and a beveridge of one’s choice what else could a man (or lady) want.

  41. Bacchus, I’m not hugely sure that AntonyG might want you..but that of course is his decision.

    On the other hand, I’m free..but currently only have some foccacia, quince jam and brie.

  42. Sorry, more

    CRAIG EMERSON: Here’s the ABC on the big picture again. We’ve got all these policy matters to discuss, the strength of the economy, trade deal with China – and we’re on a state administrative matter about which I know nothing. I can’t help you on that, Andrew, but if you and the ABC want to consistently press ahead with issues relating to Craig Thomson, leadership and all that sort of stuff, I just don’t think it’s very edifying for the ABC. But obviously you’ve read your audience and you believe this is what they want.

    I’m here to talk about policy. I don’t know the details of what goes on in the New South Wales party administrative structure. I’m from Queensland. I don’t involve myself in those matters and I can’t help you on it.

    GEOGHEGAN: Well we’re going to talk about policy in a moment, but I was just wondering … I mean, are you surprised by those revelations?

    EMERSON: I just answered the question. I have no information on it. I am not a member of the New South Wales administrative committee party apparatus. I’ve just completed a 19-day visit to seven countries which look to Australia as the envy of the world, and the ABC yet again thinks that the big picture is about New South Wales administrative matters. Obviously you’ve read your audience; you believe that that’s what the audience wants to talk about. I don’t have any further information on it. You can ask me the same question 23 times; I’ll give you the same answer.

    GEOGHEGAN: Okay, well let’s move on then …

    EMERSON: Twenty three times and then we’ll run out of time and you’ll say, ‘well we’ll talk about policy next week’.

    GEOGHEGAN: Okay.

  43. Of course, policy was given a miss.

    GEOGHEGAN: Okay. Look, we’re going to talk about policy. There is another issue in the papers today that three Labor senators, who are poised to lose their seats the next federal election, have said they would absolutely have a better chance of saving their seats if Labor dumped Julia Gillard and returned to Kevin Rudd. Can I ask for your comment on that?

    EMERSON: Yes, you fulfilled my prediction. I said that you would talk about Craig Thomson and leadership. Now you’re on the leadership issue.

    GEOGHEGAN: Well, this is in the public domain.

    EMERSON: I don’t have anything more to add to that …

    GEOGHEGAN: This is what the newspapers are saying this morning.

    EMERSON: I don’t have any … do you want an answer or not?

    GEOGHEGAN: Yes, thanks.

    EMERSON: I don’t have anything more to add to that. That matter has been settled. I’m happy to talk about policy. I’m happy to talk about the state of the economy. I’m happy to talk about Glenn Stevens and his views that the glass is at least half full and rising. If you’ve got any time to squeeze in to deal with those matters, I’m happy to have a discussion about it …

    GEOGHEGAN: Okay, you’ve made that clear. Let’s turn …

    EMERSON: I’m not going to go to administrative matters in New South Wales; I’m not going to go to leadership. We can spend the rest of the time with me saying the same thing over and over again, or we can now move on to policy.

  44. Bacchus and Min,

    Min, I’ll bring the cray and prawns and you can do the washing and cover…

  45. Policy still ignored.

    GEOGHEGAN: Okay, you’ve made that clear. Can I ask you then: you have just signed off on a free trade agreement with Malaysia? Before we talk about the finer details of that, you’re still pushing for a refugee swap deal with Malaysia. There must be some concern there in the light of the revelations that an alleged people smuggler was given a refugee protection visa.

    EMERSON: No, we’ve obviously negotiated a swap deal with Malaysia. The problem is that we can’t get that through the Senate or the House of Representatives – and the reason for that is Tony Abbott believes that more boats equals more votes. What he wants to see is more people coming to Australia, because he thinks that that actually will benefit the Coalition. I think it’s a disgraceful policy position for Mr Abbott to adopt, because it means more people dying at sea – and that’s a really bad thing, particularly little kids who don’t get a say in it.

    GEOGHEGAN: Indonesia has …

    EMERSON: Sorry, I’ll just pop that back in. [fixes earpiece]

  46. Rabbit, because they’re the ones who care. I was married to a man for 37yrs who did not give a flyin’ fck what I thought, not a toss because he simply did not operate on that level. Great bloke.

    Everyone thought he was a great bloke..and of course he readily agreed with this opinion.

    He thought that my hurting was my problem, his only concern was for himself. The supreme egotist.

  47. Ego is easily fed, no doubt. Some crave the feeding frenzy and some just get on with their lives.

    We all have an image of ourselves that is rarely real, but we experience it so…it must be real. Put simply.. self is image experience as real

  48. …….one can only wonder how you ‘managed’ to choose Port…….

    Them’s fightin’ words, LOVO.

    Hold the ghastly crustaceans, Anthony, however the beverage sounds cool.

    CU, excellent work by Craig Emerson putting trolling interviewers in their box. Should be much more of it by government ministers and MPs.

  49. Jane,”Them’s fightin’ words, LOVO.”…… ya gotta get out of the wet paper bag first :mrgreen: ( you know, the one the Port came in..) 😀

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