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Max Roytenberg

Max Roytenberg: What I’m Trying To Say

Max Roytenberg, February, 2016, Mesa, AZ



So, talking about this and that, what is it all about? These short memos I am sharing, what is the point of my natterings? All of us are living our lives, day by day. That is what we do. What is so extraordinary about my life that I should write to you about these little episodes in my life that exercise my mind? Why in heaven’s name should you be interested?


It seems to me, looking back, that I never took the time to really examine the ordinary events in my life, to appreciate how profound an effect those every day events ultimately had. From the perspective gained by the time I have been blessed with, perhaps I can bring you up short. Look at that! That’s exactly what he wrote about. Now that I understand a little better, maybe I don’t have to wait fifty years to appreciate and better comprehend what happened to me last week, or even, yesterday! Maybe what you newly appreciate will add some richness to your life. Maybe you will live more in the moment.


I have no end of stories to tell. They float up to the surface of my consciousness with the freshness they had so many years ago when I first experienced them. But now I have context. I know the before and after, undistracted by the superficial, the ephemeral, and the flood of emotions. Anxiety, fear, ignorance; did I comb my hair, am I dressed properly, how much will it cost and do I have enough money, will I be late, what did I forget to study, does he/she like me, my God, is he/she for real? All of that may be gone from our memories when we examine the mental record in the future, but they are there and utterly alive in your present today. If you can drink it all in and put it in perspective, you are better equipped to deal with your Now.


Why should I care to do this for others? Valid question! Is this just an egocentric expression of superiority that I deign to share with my fellow humans, sublimated arrogance? Are my motives pure, just paying it forward in some way that I see may be useful to someone, maybe you? We know that in the world of technology we inhabit, I am already obsolescent, a babe in woods populated so fluently by the young. And yet, the Greek classics speak as cogently as ever to us as they did in the days of Aeschylus. Shakespeare’s words ring in our ears as truly as they did when spoken to that first Elizabeth. Life experience still matters. Who really knows why you should believe what I could have to say on the subjects relevant in your life? The answer will appear in the eye of the beholder. One thing I do know. I learn a little bit more about Me with every word that I write.


So, did you stop to notice how great the sun felt on your skin when it shone through the window of the vehicle you traveled in today? Did your partner need a kind word to buck her up when you left her; she had so many things on her plate to get done. The family member called you to chit-chat. Was there something more they needed from you that they didn’t get to because of the rush of events? Maybe you should call them back and inquire a little further. What about that thing you have been putting off because you anticipate difficulty or unpleasantness? Maybe you should face it sooner rather than later. Did you notice that beautiful child, that beautiful body, that perfect flower?


Did you take some time today to just sit and do nothing, taking a breather from the craziness? You may be able to tackle the rest of the day more successfully if you do. Easier on the blood pressure, too. Maybe, this would be a good time to think about where you’re at and where you think you want to go? Wouldn’t it be a good time to evaluate your perspective on the important things in your life, and whether the efforts you are expending are in the direction of your real priorities? Time for a course correction? Maybe it would be better done now rather than later. Better than waiting until you are my age and all you have time for is regrets.


So that is what I am all about. I am the prophet of sober second thoughts, no matter where you are in your life. I can be the Dutch uncle you never had, and never thought you needed, no matter what your age. I write to people of all ages and am sure to be ignored by most of my correspondents. No-one asked me to play this role. I am an equal opportunity pain in the neck.


Maybe it would be better if I added a few jokes to my routine? I think I told you why the chicken crossed the road. But who knows? A word to the distracted may be wise.                                                                                           

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