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Do what makes you feel good, even when not doing it

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

The logical implication here, is that some things offer enduring positive benefits, that are independent of any sources of action. Whilst others work in temporary or even temporal ways.

In the 1980s, my late father bought a cabin cruiser moored on Lake Windermere, in Cumbria, UK. It was a Shetland 570, happening to be 5.70 metres long. I was thrilled it had a 70hp Mercury outboard motor and could reach speeds over 20 knots.

Eventually, my dad moved to the area. I think buying the boat whilst he was a single parent (between 1976 and up to when I left for university in 1986, aged 18) provided him with some therapy. He never told me at the time, but I think he was always intending that move.

Sailing was fun, not least because few boats were ever in the middle of the lake back then, and consequently, no speed restrictions were in place. Gliding over the water in a powerboat gave a sense freedom, matched only, by doing similar, but on a different boat. However, for me it was transient, like the effects of a drug. So, there was no real, or inner, lasting benefits.

Fast forwarding to today and social media, I saw a video of a really long speedboat, with six outboard motors, all shoulder to shoulder. It was extremely fast, perhaps even 100 knots. After watching a few more similar videos, computer algorithms assumed I liked to see videos of fast boats.

Outboard motors are no different to cars and motorbikes. You will not see very many which house powerful engines, without there being obvious visual details of the engineering ferocity.

As children we were exposed to this mentality, not least through the TOP TRUMPS card game, which filled our juvenile minds with pointless comparative statistics, and stronger capitalistic, competitive instincts. I think some of my peers are still figurative playing that card game.

As said, dad’s boat had one 70hp outboard motor, yet an online algorithm tried to wow me with one powered by six such 600hp ones in sync. No doubt owners of such extreme mechanics attract people to themselves, and perhaps to a slightly lesser degree, do owners of highly expensive cars too; whilst not for the car per se, or the boat either, but rather; a hope, founded on automatic assumptions and/or implications of what another person’s material ownership might suggest.

So, what should we seek to be feeling good, even when we’re not doing it?

I don’t know and wouldn’t presume to tell you, especially when you consider there are approaching eight billion people on the planet.

But I want to offer this, that you read Chapter Six of the Gospel of John, with your broad, open, and imaginative mind. Maybe one day it will mean something, and maybe not. Saint John was a very profound man. He even wrote the Book of Revelations. You don’t need to be religious, or to believe in supernatural things at all. I don’t believe in an external god. Have the license of your own interpretation...

As I say,


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