Introduction

Let’s get this clear right from the start: this book is about the way things look from my point of view. I am a mere mortal with the exceptional knowledge of my personal experience over the past sixty years on our planet. I am not a doctor or lawyer, financier or God and you will have to take my words with a grain of salt and make your own decisions for your own life without blaming or praising me or anyone else I mention. This is my story, and like so many other stories, there may be a word or two that inspires you to dream, rekindles a dying flame, incites you to wake up and take action or warns you to run away screaming! Or, like some books I own, it may serve to help get you to sleep or to prop open a door – although, if that were my purpose in getting this book into your hands, I would do better with my time to just give you one of the many old paperweights I already have.

We all want to live the best lives we can with as little pain and as much joy as possible. We do this with the knowledge we have gathered from our experiences and the resources we discover. There are infinite resources available to all of us at all times, but only a small fraction of them are apparent to us at any given moment. Like an ant crawling along the ground completely unaware of the giant human observing it, the ant is completely unaware of the imminent flood from a garden hose or the giant foot looming like a god over its very existence! It wouldn’t even recognize us if it looked right at us.

Our awareness is completely subjective, as is the meaning we assign to everything. Like the ant, sometimes an idea or answer is staring us right in the face, but we haven’t been taught what it looks like and so we don’t recognize it. As children, grownups are constantly telling us, “Look at the birdie!” “Look at the doggie!” “Don’t eat that mushroom!” We are being made aware of the world around us, albeit from their point of view.

We don’t notice how many red cars there are until somebody mentions red cars and then, suddenly, they are all over the place! This, of course, distracts us from the blue cars until someone mentions those, and now blue cars appear to be ubiquitous, maybe even crowding out the red cars. And what is the meaning of all these red and blue cars? How do you see them? No matter how hard they try to tell you what they see, no one else will see them quite the way you do. Some will continue to focus on the colors, some on the quality of the paint, some on the cars themselves, some on the engines, some on the character of the people inside the cars based on the color they chose. However, now we are triggered into thought on some level every time we see a red or blue car.

This book, like the thousands of others available to us at all times, is a mere mention of the world as I see it and have experienced it. It is not an exhaustive treatise on the answers to life, but it is a token of gratitude to my fellow humans, living or dead, for the many gifts they have so generously shared with me. Gifts that made my life better, and sometimes worse. This is my list of red and blue cars so that you might notice them or be reminded of them and pass the word along, as we have for millennia, in front of this campfire we share.

~Anton Uhl~

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