Saturday, April 27, 2024


     This morning I came across  a post on Facebook about a 1942 Model 12A John Deere Combine used this past fall to harvest some grain.  This antique jogged my memory of a 1950's summer job with a farm equipment dealer.  At the time I was a student of agricultural engineering at Cornell  University.  I proved myself with the veteran mechanics on that job when I was able to field service that particular model of combine and get it working properly when others had been baffled about how to fix it.  So why is it that I can remember the name of my employer from fifty years ago,  but have a huge deficiency in remembering names in other contexts.   To be honest, I have always had a weak spot about remembering names. That leads me to pondering about being aware of our weaknesses and whether we will do something about that weakness.   In the past I did try some things to improve my deficiency with a set of audio tapes.  

    Continuing with another thought I would like to comment about awareness--  especially awareness of ones impact on others.   I currently volunteer as a docent at a local museum.  I do like to tell stories about the items of interest in the museum.  However, I try to be sensitive to the reaction of the guests!  I am forthright about that by assuring them I will tell them as much as they are interested in, or simply be available for questions.   Even when they have given me permission to tell some stories, I keenly observe their reactions.  When the eyes glaze over, I know it is time to shut up!

    Further on awareness, I have to share my pet peeve about individuals  who are totally unaware of their annoying behavior.    I wonder if their minds are simply shut down by their egocentric processing of the world around them.   I find it especially annoying in conversations that are not really conversations.  I have encountered at least two of that type in recent weeks.  They will start a thread of a topic and segue from one element to another with no chance for you to make a comment.   That is bad enough, but it gets worse in that the thread of the topic can literally go on for 15 minutes or more.   Both of these persons I encountered are fine citizens and tragically they are alienating a whole community of "friends" by being unaware.  

In closing, I hope that I continue in my senior years to be aware of my own  idiosyncrasies  and to find a way to gently suggest changes for others who are unaware of their annoying behavior.


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