----- Original Message -----
From: Sue
To: Wayne ; Tony ; Shelly ; Rich ; Nancy ; Laura_A ; Laura ; Kelly ; Kara ; Jim_F ; Jim ; Jeannette ; Jean_Ann ; James ; Harold ; Diana ; Clark ; Chris ; Charlene ; Brandi ; Bob ; Bill ; Austin ; AJ
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 6:11 AM
Subject: Fw: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

 
----- Original Message -----
From: Kelly Kelly
To: Heather ; Mandy ; Gilly ; Brent ; Sue ; Doug ; Teresa ; Becky ; Sandra ; Gloria ; Jean Ann ; Waco Wayne
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 8:22 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

> >
> > The daughter of a Soldier:
> >
> >
> > Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I
> >was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me
> >beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and
> >witnessed one of the greatest act's of patriotism I have ever seen....
> > [Remainder of message cropped, since it was irrelevant to the reply.]

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Sue ; Tony ; Shelly ; Rich ; Nancy ; Laura_A ; Laura ; Kelly ; Kara ; Jim_F ; Jim ; Jeannette ; Jean_Ann ; James ; Harold ; Diana ; Clark ; Chris ; Charlene ; Brandi ; Bob ; Bill ; Austin ; AJ
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

The "Red Friday" story Sue sent me is a prime example of why I don't believe the human will is any freer than the wind. And the wind isn't truly free. It is a consequence of natural causes and effects.
 
Do you really think all the cheering and clapping that was going on at the airport was something each individual did without some causal agent (or a network of causal agents) putting the desire to be patriotic in her (or his) head? Have you ever thought about how differently the people reacted to American Soldiers during the Viet Nam era? I have.
 
I noticed approximately 5 years ago that my fellow citizens had started waving the Flag moreso than I have ever seen. Driving down the street was like being trapped in a perpetual Fourth of July Celebration, considering the number of homes displaying the Flag. Cars had so many American Flags on them that they looked like escorts for a Presidential Motorcade. Even pickup trucks that once bore the symbol of Old Dixie were displaying the Red, White, and Blue.
 
The young men that were sent to fight in Viet Nam were not radically different than the young men of today. And if they seemed to be different, it was because they were a product of their time, not because they freely choose to be different.
 
The Major Media handled the situation in Viet Nam differently than the Major Media are handling the Mid-East situation. I never watch television, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper. Therefore, I could not understand why everyone suddenly seemed to be becoming overly patriotic. But of course, I knew the reason was not because they each freely choose to be extremely patriotic. Me being a naturalist, I knew some sort of causal agent had to be stimulating the desire for patriotism into each patriotic individual I witnessed.
 
The wind isn't truly free, the human will isn't free, and rocks and boulders are not free. Once in awhile we see rocks and boulders bouncing down the side of a mountain, doing their own thing. But generally speaking, rocks and boulders are not as easily influenced by causal agents as the wind and the human will are.
 
One last comment before I close. The facts I've stated here are not widely known. Why? Well for one reason, it is easier to keep control over a people who think they are free than a people who think they are being controlled. Another reason, individuals would be less likely to shop till they dropped if they realized they were being stimulated into such behavior. And, though there are other reasons, the last reason I shall give is, the truth of causality, especially when applied to human behavior, is ridiculed by those who want to maintain control over the individual (and also by those who are ignorant of the facts, of course).
 
It took 2000 years (from the time the Greek philosophers theorized the earth was round) before the average individual gained enough awareness to realize that the earth is round. It may take another 2000 years before individuals gain enough awareness to realize that the will isn't truly free.
 
For more information click here: www.naturalism.org

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Sue
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 3:30 PM
Subject: More Info In RE: Red Friday

Sue, you sent me the "Red Friday" email at a time that a letter I had sent to Jimmy (James Jr.) was still fresh on my mind. And the analogy was perfect. Although, possibly some to the recipients of my reply might not know what stimulated it into existence. Therefore, in case you were wondering, I'm attaching a copy of my letter to Jimmy as well as the essay that his letter was printed on back of.
 
Read his letter and you will see my reply to your "Red Friday" fits perfectly--or to me it does. Maybe you can advise me whether it fits or not, according to how you see it?
 
As always, your friend, Wayne.

----- Original Message -----
From: Sue
To: Wayne
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 6:16 AM
Subject: Re: More Info In RE: Red Friday

yup, I agree - it fits.  People just don't realize the influences exerted on them by environment and others.  Since you introduced me to the "naturalism" arena, I have come to realize in so many ways how true it really is.  Cause and effect, each and every day.
 
Thanks, Wayne, you help me keep perspective on things.

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Sue
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: More Info In RE: Red Friday

Thanks for the supportive comment Sue. It helps me keep my sanity. After all, if enough people disagree with what I say, and enough people tell me that I must be crazy for thinking the will is not free, what type of detrimental effect is that going to have on my mental processes? I mean, I know I'm in good company, considering the fact that some of the greatest intellectuals of all time didn't believe the will was free either. But they weren't exposed to the haughtiness and ridicule of the ignorant masses the way I am when I make the assertion. After all, the human being is a herd animal and she (or he) can only bear just so much social ridicule and ostracism.
 
Sue, the "Fender Skirts" email is another good example that the will isn't free. The reason I wanted a "Continental kit" on my car wasn't because my mind possessed the magical power of free will. The reason I wanted "fender skirts" wasn't because I had free will either. I was caught up in the fad and fashion of the time. And fad and fashion are a contradiction of free will. (Of course, I will admit, these fads were on their way out by the time I started driving. I wanted and bought "Mags" and a floor shifter for my car.)
 
Let me clarify. Out of the hundreds of thousands of decisions an individual makes in her (or his) life-time, if just one of those decisions can be shown to be the result of the laws of causality, then free will is an illusion. Either free will exists or it doesn't. And only one example is required to prove free will doesn't exist. So I can conclude and state positively that free will doesn't exist. Therefore, when we see the causal factors involved in one decision, but we can't see the causal factors involved in a thousand others, then that only means we are unaware of the factors involved, not that the factors don't exist.
 
I guess it is sort of like the 2000 year rejection of the idea that the earth is round.
 
Around 500 BC, Greek scholars like Pythagoras (and some old codgers like myself) noted that a ship sailing into port was first detected by the tip of its mast, then the sails, and finally its hull gradually came into view--almost as if the ship was sailing over a hill. They also noted the way the altitudes of stars varied at different places on Earth. Aristotle noted that the sun is round, the moon is round, and when the Earth passed between the Moon and the Sun (lunar eclipse), it cast a curved shadow on the Moon. (Only something rounded in shape can cast a curved shadow.) The Greek Scholar, Eratosthenes accurately calculated the earth's circumference. And the Greeks also created the grid system of latitude and longitude, so that with just two coordinates one can locate any point on the Earth.
 
The roundness of Earth was just as verified back then as the absence of free will is today.
 
The problem was that the ignorant masses believed a flat Earth was plain old common sense--exactly as people in this day and age believe free will is plain old common sense. After all, common sense proves that a person would fall off of a dome if she (or he) tried to walk around on it. Therefore, common sense says we would fly off into space if the world were really round. And common sense says that free will is necessary for humans to be humans; otherwise, we would be machines or--OH MY (the unthinkable)--mere animals.
 
One of the reasons I gave for free will being taught to us (a thousand times over and a thousand different ways) is because, people who think they are free are easier to control than a people who think they are being manipulated. On second thought, maybe the mainstream religious community promote free will for the same reason The Church used to kill people and throw some in dungeons (for saying the Earth is not the center of the Universe (and not even the center of our solar system)). Was that censorship, ridicule, and cruelty in order to maintain control over the ignorant masses or just plain old ignorance in action? Could the censorship, ridicule, and cruelty have been a combination of those factors?
 
Although, since free will is really an illusion, what does that say about the doctrine of eternal damnation? And in whose interest would it be to continue to promote the notion of free will even though the scientific community knows it is an illusion?
 
In closing I'd like to quote from B. F. Skinner's 1971 book, Beyond Freedom & Dignity:
In what we may call the prescientific view (and the word is not necessarily pejorative) a person's behavior is at least to some extent his own achievement. He is free to deliberate, decide, and act, possibly in original ways, and he is to be given credit for his successes and blamed for his failures. In the scientific view (and the word is not necessarily honorific) a person's behavior is determined by a genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the environmental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed.
In the scientific view, me and my son, you and your son, are different because some (or a bunch of) environmental circumstance(s) from our past has (have) resulted in us deliberating, deciding, and acting differently from one another. Another factor to take into consideration is the difference in genetic structure. You have a female's genes and your son has a male's genes. You think and act differently both because of the differences in the environmental circumstances you've been exposed to and the difference in your genetic structure. You have hormones and a brain that has been designed by a female's genes; he has hormones and a brain that has been designed by a male's genes. You had the upbringing of a female (thought it was not exactly like the average female). He had the upbringing of a male. You had one set of circumstances and personal experiences, he had another. None of this has anything at all to do with free will, because free will is an illusion.

----- Original Message -----
From: Diana
To: Wayne
Cc: Sue
Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2006 10:34 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

This is all very true.  [In reference to the email sent Monday, July 24, 2006 9:44 AM] Our lives are controlled by rules and regulations that are decided by people who feel they are acting in our best interests.  If we did not have this manner of controling we would not have a society in which to live without constant fear of walking out our front door and being beaten, robbed, raped and / or murdered.
If everyone decided to live the rough and natural life on the mountain there would have to be rules and regulations to keep people safe and walking a social line in order to survive.
I have wondered most of my adult life "how free is free."
 
Diana

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Diana
Cc: Sue
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:21 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

I'm sorry Diana, I reckon I wasn't clear and concise enough. We are not controlled by rules and regulations. We are each controlled by factors such as brain chemistry, hormones, unconscious memories (that may be stirred up by present day situations), present emotional state, and the sentiments held in regard to any particular rule or regulation (as a result of previous personal experiences). For instance, we live in a society where many of the populace and officials live in constant fear of walking out the door and seeing some whacked out druggy smoking pot. So rules, regulations, and laws are written in order to protect society from being offended by the scene of a fired up joint. But do the rules, regulations, and laws control each and every one of us? No!
 
I can go to the park, or go to a concert, and I can see plenty of people smoking pot. And why do they smoke pot even though rules, regulations, and laws say they cannot? They smoke because some part of their life's experience has made them feel nothing is wrong with toking on some high quality sens, or they at least feel that the behavior shouldn't be considered criminal.
 
So why is it that part of the population doesn't smoke marijuana?
 
Part of the population doesn't smoke pot because the life's experiences of those people have made them afraid to smoke pot, or have made them feel it is disgusting, or have made them feel they shall go to Hell for giving it a try, or maybe even a combination of those factors.
 
Is the only reason you don't assault, rob, rape, and/or murder simply because there are rules, regulations, and laws saying you can't? Do you really presume that you are inscrutably different than the rest of humanity?
 
I don't assault, rob, rape, and/or murder merely because I find the thought of such behavior out of my character. That is, my life's experiences have left me feeling that those types of behavior are abhorrent. In other words, I don't do it because I really don't want to. And the so called "wants" that I feel are not something I created for myself. They are the result of factors such as brain chemistry, hormones, unconscious memories (that may be stirred up by present day situations), present emotional state, and the sentiments I've been impressed with.
 
I have come to realize that the reason I am not a homosexual isn't because I experience the same feeling as a homosexual but I have more moral integrity. The reason I am not a homosexual doesn't have anything to do with my morals. I am not a homosexual because the thought is repugnant to me--just that simple. Something about my life's experiences have made me feel homosexualism (for myself) is repulsive.
 
I'm sorry I didn't clarify the matter better for you. I hope you understand this time. If not, you may want to visit www.naturalism.org and spend some time reading there. Or you may wish to give this page a read.
 
When I said we are not free, I didn't mean rules, regulations, and laws exist which restrict our permitted range of behavior, and therefore limit our freedom. I meant that human behavior is causally determined, like the behavior of the weather.
 
Wayne

----- Original Message -----
From: Diana
To: Wayne
Cc: Sue
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 8:27 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

Okay.  I am now on the same page.  I have always told my children you are only as free as your heart and mind allow you to be.
I personally still have a long way to go but I have made strides in realizing that I am allowed to have my own opinions, thoughts and actions even if they do not follow what I was told was the right way as a child.  A person can only be truely free when "unto thine ownself be true" is lived.  I guess it is like marching to the beat of your own drum and not someone else's. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Diana
Cc: Sue
Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 6:45 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

"I am now on the same page." -- Diana (060803_20:27)
 
Good, I'm glad to hear that we are relating to each other in a way we can each understand.
 
"I have always told my children you are only as free as your heart and mind allow you to be." -- Diana (060803_20:27)
 
Whoops, I spoke too soon, because now I'm confused again.
 
I know the heart--because of it's function as a pump for the blood--is one factor that can determine whether a person is capable of moving or not. But I suspect you meant the heart in some sense other than as a pump.
 
Did you mean heart as the locus of feelings and intuitions? If so, then why not just say unconscious mental processes or the unconscious mind or merely, the unconscious? After all, the dictionary defines the unconscious as "That part of the mind wherein psychic activity takes place of which the person is unaware." And I assume that is what you meant, isn't it?
 
Did you know that human conscious activity accounts for only 10 percent of the total activity of the brain? The remaining ninety percent of the brain's activity is the result of unconscious processes. In other words, we don't consciously create our feelings and intuition, we only consciously experience these factors and react accordingly.
 
Ask your children what the heart is and what it does to see if they realized you meant the heart as the locus of feeling and intuition. Also ask them what the unconscious is. And ask yourself what the children will be taught by the educational system about the heart. I suspect your children are being confused over the issue.
 
Can you imagine the advantage of your children realizing the fact that feelings and intuition bubble up into consciousness from unconscious processes. Therefore, why not make your children aware of unconscious mental processes at an early age, so that they better understand themselves and others?
 
Your statement would have been less confusing by saying it this way:
I have always told my children you are only as free as your unconscious mental processes and conscious mental processes allow you to be.
Some people may consider my suggestion trivial. But can you imagine someone claiming that keeping children ignorant or confused (as to the way their mind works) is trivial?
 
"I personally still have a long way to go but I have made strides in realizing that I am allowed to have my own opinions, thoughts and actions even if they do not follow what I was told was the right way as a child." -- Diana (060803_20:27)
 
Where do your thoughts, opinions, and tendency to act come from? What if you had been put in total isolation for the many years since your birth until yesterday? Do you presume you would still have the same thoughts, opinions, and tendencies that you now have? Do you assume the only factor that acted on your conscious and unconscious development was the morals you were taught as a child?
 
"A person can only be truely free when 'unto thine ownself be true' is lived." -- Diana (060803_20:27)
 
I've had family members and acquaintances get hooked on "crack" because each one assumed she (or he) had free will and therefore could freely choose to quit anytime. One female family member (a very beautiful young lady by the way) said she had gotten down on her knees in a room full of men and done unimaginable things to whoever and whatever in order to get some crack. One friend is now dead because he assumed he could freely quit when the need arose. One male family member is serving time for robbery/theft, but the real reason is the same as the circumstance that killed my friend and had my female family member on her knees. Of course, it could be said they were all doing their own thing or unto thine own selves they were being true. Personally I think the assertion is emotionally loaded and has little to do with reality. Yet, I could probably be convinced otherwise with an explanation of the meaning, provided the explanation was logical and conformed to reality.
 
Diana, for some reason you assume that when you act the way you want then that means you are free. But what I'd like to point out to you is that the so called "want" you experience isn't something you create for yourself. Do you understand that fact? You consciously experience the so called "want," but you don't consciously cause yourself to want something. The "want" (or desire or wish or need or hunger or internal stimulation or whatever you call it) is the result of factors such as brain chemistry, hormones, unconscious memories (that may be stirred up by present day situations), present emotional state, and the sentiments held as a result of previous personal experiences. Some of my friends, family, and acquaintances may "want" to smoke crack, but they do not consciously create the "want" that they experience. Once a "want" arises into consciousness from the unconscious, then the person will strive to satisfy that want by nearly any means that seems satisfactory. And a human striving to satisfy a conscious feeling--a feeling that is cause by unconscious processes--most certainly isn't indicative of freedom in the least.
 
As I told you in my first email, I don't assault, rob, rape, and/or murder merely because I don't consciously experience a so called "want" to do those things. However, if unconscious processes should suddenly subject my conscious mind to a "want" to do those things, then I have little doubt that to thine own self I would be true. This causal law not only applies to me, it applies to everyone, yourself included. 
 
Wayne

----- Original Message -----
From: Diana
To: Wayne
Cc: Sue
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 8:46 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

You are correct in the summary of the basic whole if things.  However, I did not live 63 years in isolation and yes in the surroundings I was raised in consisted and still does of many adages that I was told.  An example is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  There are many times a day that I don't realize I have formed an opinion or feeling of a word or action that I have witnessed while I am tending to my own work.  It is only after I have left work or my mother's, kids or the store that the incidents that unconciously seeped in become concious thoughts.  It is then that I feel my own reactions and feelings.
I am still trying to figure out "tough love" as the mother of two adult children that I want to know can make it through the rest of their natural lives when I am no longer here on earth.  Just how tough is tough hence the adage "believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you."  This now opens a whole new chapter.  If I do what is best for me is it best for them?  How will I know?  How long do I sit and watch life play out and when it is time for me to join in?
I will continue to give them words of wisdom.  The adages that will make them think and make their own dicisions.
I have been true unto myself by guiding and teaching them to the best of my abilities to be an asset in the society in which we live.  What they do with the little I could give them and with the lessons they have learned and experienced after they strike out on their own is now up to them.  I know I have been successful each time they turn around and teach me something.

----- Original Message -----
From: Wayne
To: Diana
Cc: SueAleene
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 4:49 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Fwd: Fw: Red Friday - very interesting!

"...I did not live 63 years in isolation and yes in the surroundings I was raised in consisted and still does of many adages that I was told." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
Of course, I'm sure you bear in mind the fact that not all the adages you were taught are true. For example, consider the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me." That is a false adage. Names are words and words can penetrate more deeply than sticks and stones. They can insidiously strip self-confidence, self-esteem, and leave emotional scars. The strife a mentally abused person suffers can be more devastating and long-lasting than physical abuse.
 
And here is another blatantly-false adage. That is, "You get what you pay for," which is one commonly cited by sleazy salesmen. An adage I'd be more comfortable with is "While there is such a thing as a bargain, you seldom get more than you pay for."
 
And lastly, the false adage--though it is far from being the last--"Atheism is a religion." Atheism is not a religion. The difference between atheism and say, Christianity is simple. Atheists believe there is no God because all the evidence presented thus far tells them this is the case; but most atheists will tell you that if evidence of God were to undeniably make itself known, then they would change their position. Their belief is conditional and open to discovery. Most Christians on the other hand, will tell you that there will never be any evidence proving God doesn’t exist. Their belief is not conditional and not open to discovery; it is based on faith. Therefore, atheism is not a religion while Christianity is. I think the adage "atheism is a religion as bald is a hair-color" is very fitting.
 
Besides Diana, the adages you were taught are not really the key. The key is the emotional associations that you have been taught. And emotional associations are made during the acquisition of language. After all, an adage is meaningless to a person who doesn't know the language in use when the adage is stated. And language is ineffective when it has no emotional impact on the individual.
 
We did a thought experiment in which you were isolated from birth till just a few days ago. The thought experiment was done to show that you would have been a different person than you are today if your circumstances had been different. You could not have willed yourself to be as you are today because your brain would have developed differently as a result of the different circumstances. I only used a drastic example to make the concept easier to grasp. Anyway, now here is another thought experiment that I hope will be helpful:
Suppose, instead of being totally isolated, you were taught language by a person wearing a mask, so that facial expressions couldn't be observed. And the teacher spoke through a voice synthesizer, so that all emotionally loaded tonal variances would be erased. Do you assume the impact that adages would have on you would be the same under those circumstances as they've had? No! The adages could not have the same affect as they've had in the past and presently have. Therefore, emotional associations must taught at the same time the adage is taught. Or the words making up the adage must have emotional associations previously established. Otherwise, the adage will be ineffective.
"An example is 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'" -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
Interesting. Your example is commonly called "The Golden Rule." But what you may find amazing is the "rule" exists in some form in every religion. Hindu literature written more than 500 years before the Bible states, "Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you." And the Old Testament, as we have it, was written only late in the fifth century B.C., yet its doctrine of brotherly love is more than a century later than that of Buddha. That is, more than a century before the Bible was even written the Buddha stated, "Hurt not others in ways that you would find hurtful." In China Confucius said, "Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you." Taoism says, "Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss." Zoroastrianism believe, "That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself." In fact, humanists, agnostics, freethinkers, and atheists have their own version of The Golden Rule, which you can read the justification of herehttp://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/mccabe02.htm
 
"There are many times a day that I don't realize I have formed an opinion or feeling of a word or action that I have witnessed while I am tending to my own work.  It is only after I have left work or my mother's, kids or the store that the incidents that unconciously seeped in become concious thoughts.  It is then that I feel my own reactions and feelings." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
Yes, and there are also times that the unconscious observation remains unconscious, but nevertheless effect your conscious feelings and behavior.
 
"I am still trying to figure out 'tough love' as the mother of two adult children that I want to know can make it through the rest of their natural lives when I am no longer here on earth.  Just how tough is tough hence the adage 'believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you.'" -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
We are pretty close in age. I have adult children also. And I had to use tough love when I started eviction proceeding on one of my children. I eventually sold the property, and I suffered much anguish over the sale. But I felt that my child must learn to face up with the real world and quit blaming me for things that were not my fault. I truly would have loved to have seen my child own the property, but felt tough love was necessary in that instance. So to me, tough love is when you do what is best for your child, even at your own detriment, and even though your child is ignorant as to your reasons, or your child doesn't accept your line of reasoning, because of the difference in the child's mindset and yours.
 
"This now opens a whole new chapter.  If I do what is best for me is it best for them?  How will I know?" -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
All altruistic behavior in humans has selfish roots. Mother Teresa was accumulating brownie points with God, or in her eyes she was anyway. The father who gives his child the last piece of fried chicken gets a boost in self-esteem from the act; and he slaps himself on the back when no one is else is around to do it for him. The person who stops to help another change a flat tire is a one who believes the old adage, "What goes around, comes around." (For more information on altruism, click HERE.) And as far as knowing whether what is best for you will be best for your children or not, there is really no way for you to quickly and easily tell. You can only do what you feel is fitting, proper, or necessary and hope for the best.
 
 "How long do I sit and watch life play out and when it is time for me to join in?" -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
You cannot avoid joining in with life till death makes it possible for you not to do so. Sitting and watching life play out is taking part in life even though hindsight may tell you that you could have used your time more constructively. And supposing you feel some guilt about not participating actively in some instance, then your sense of guilt will likely have you participating actively at the next opportunity.
 
"I will continue to give them words of wisdom.  The adages that will make them think and make their own dicisions." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
When I do a Internet search for "Words of Wisdom," I get 6,340,000 pages of results, according to Google. And I would imagine that some of the "wisdom" in all those pages would be open to debate. Besides, your statements and questions indicate you are no wiser than the rest of us old fogies. Therefore, a statement a little closer aligned to reality would be, "I will continue to give them what I feel are words of wisdom." Oh, and the adages you are giving them are influencing their thought processes and decisions but they are making their own decisions? You are starting to confuse me again. Anyway, we've already covered the adage thingy previously (above).
 
"I have been true unto myself by guiding and teaching them to the best of my abilities to be an asset in the society in which we live." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
Everyone is true to himself. Mother Teresa was true to herself while she was trying to win brownie points with God. Everyone also breathes. So you were breathing and teaching you children to the best of your abilities, just like every parent does. Of course, you haven't always been in your sixties. And I imagine you didn't have the same mindset as the one you now have when you were a hot, young, 20 year-old country (or city) bumpkin. However, I'm sure you don't mind taking credit should your children turn out to be an asset to society. But don't forget to blame them if they turn out not to be. Everyone needs a scapegoat.
 
"What they do with the little I could give them and with the lessons they have learned and experienced after they strike out on their own is now up to them." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
When you potty trained your children, wasn't the lessons they learned up to them? Have you been the only teacher/influence in your children's lives? What precisely are you trying to say? Sounds to me like you are laying a rhetorical foundation in order to build a case against your children should they turn out differently than you wish. As I said, you can do as practically everyone else does and take credit should your children turn out to be an asset to society but blame them if they don't.
 
"I know I have been successful each time they turn around and teach me something." -- Diana (Tue. 20060808 20:46)
 
So you have been successful at teaching your children lessons when they in turn teach you something? I know that probably makes sense to you but it doesn't to me. What if a stranger down the street taught your children something and they in turn taught you? Are you still going to insist on taking credit for the accomplishments of the stranger? What if a teacher or a friend or a relative taught your children a valuable lesson, are you still going to take credit for the lesson that you children was taught?
 
Soooooo many questions, I know. But I get confused every time I try to read your email. Sorry.
 
Wayne