ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Journal Entry from My Past Written 24th March 1975

Updated on June 21, 2013

Self portrait - photo taken in mirror 1977.

I took this photo of myself in my tiny cabin on Macquarie Island whilst wintering there 1976 to 1977.
I took this photo of myself in my tiny cabin on Macquarie Island whilst wintering there 1976 to 1977.

Don't take life or yourself too seriously.

I wrote this journal entry thirty-eight years ago. It begins:

I was about to sit down and write a serious discourse about life then what did I see? As if in answer to my query as to just what I should write about the pages of this journal fell open (at random?) to reveal the words: ‘Don’t take life, or yourself, too seriously.’ Well! What can one do after such a remark?

I was going to say that it seems that I have been coasting through life lately, and that I have felt that things were going too easily. Not that it isn’t pleasant for things to go ‘easily.’ But somehow it doesn’t seem natural – to me, anyway. Perhaps I have become so used to self-induced strain that, when I haven’t got it, things don’t seem right. Anyhow, I know that it is in the nature of things not to allow a human being to be comfortable for too long.

The old 'Puritan Ethic' pushes so many of us.

Years of self-programming – possibly of the wrong sort – have left me with the belief that a person should always be achieving or attempting to achieve something, some sort of self-improvement. Not that one should not have time for leisure. But leisure should be a side issue (or a byproduct) the main object being work. It’s the old Puritan Ethic I guess. Be that as it may, I feel, and feel deeply, the need for ever-continuing self-improvement along some line or another.

My elder son, Stephen, around 1968 on our backyard swing.

Hard to believe this little boy grew up to be a regimental sergeant major and, eventually, an acting major in the army.
Hard to believe this little boy grew up to be a regimental sergeant major and, eventually, an acting major in the army.

In which way should we improve?

This is part of my dilemma. In which way should I improve? Now a man can do almost anything, and provided he tries to do it well and does it consistently enough, he will improve at it. Just to improve at something, i.e. nothing in particular, is not necessarily good. A man could become a social drinker (probably not really a bad thing) or an adept pick-pocket, or a professional torturer with enough practice, but would he be a better man for it?

The question is then ‘What should I practice at?’

An answer: Anything I admire or recognize as being good

My daughter, Debbie in 1974, Browns Bay, Auckland.

Hard to believe she now has three children, the oldest being now 25 years of age.
Hard to believe she now has three children, the oldest being now 25 years of age.

Now there are some things which are fundamentally good.

Now there are some things which are fundamentally good. They hurt no one, and bring their benefits to all. Most, if not all, of the Arts fall into this category. Music, painting, sculptor are obvious ones. They improve the skill of the artist. By their very nature they imbue in the artist such noble qualities as patience, and an eye or ear for beauty, perseverance and so many of those attributes we all hold to be good.

Communication can be used for good or selfish ends.

Writing and Public Speaking are not as easily definable as being noble. Both can deliberately be used for selfish ends. The same goes for a lot of the other arts, sciences and skills. Even a pure mathematician can have his equations perverted by the technologist who sees in them something that is less than pure. Look at what has happened so far with the theories of men such as Einstein and Rutherford.

Martin as a little boy. He was our youngest.

Hard to believe he's now in his mid forties and has a little daughter who is six years old. All is change.  All is progress.  Nothing stays the same.
Hard to believe he's now in his mid forties and has a little daughter who is six years old. All is change. All is progress. Nothing stays the same.

What, then, is a man to do?

So what then is a man to do? It is nice to go from day to day just living: raising a family, eating, drinking, making love, taking pleasure in such bodily exercises as swimming in tepid pools, clipping the hedge in one’s garden. It is wonderful. But is this all that God expects of his creation, Mankind?

Maybe it is.

It's no good getting 'up tight' about this perennial quesiton.

And yet I am not satisfied with that answer. Maybe it isn’t. However, it’s no good getting ‘up tight’ about this perennial question. Humanity en-masse is heading somewhere, and whether we personally contribute or otherwise will not alter that fact.

But somehow it is very satisfying to know that one is contributing.

End of journal entry. I hope you enjoyed the read.


Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Tusitala Tom profile image
    Author

    Tom Ware 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Thank you, Pennypines. I think my life changed towards wondering what it was all about around the time I started to get into Creative Writing in the late 1960s. I was then in my early thirties. I do know that I was going through an awful lont of mentally created angst at the time.

  • Pennypines profile image

    Lucille Apcar 4 years ago from Mariposa, California, U.S.A.

    I enjoyed reading this. Even at a much earlier age you seem to have acquired a good sense of philosophy.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)