There is Meaning

Please read my new blog at The Times of Israel called, “Is It Really All In Vain?

On Sukkot, we read Megillat Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) about “vanity of vanities; all is vanity”–everything is temporal in this world and seems meaningless. Yet in what we perceive as meaningless, there is truly so much meaning when we understand the bigger picture of what is happening to us and perhaps why.


G-d works in mysterious ways and bad things can and do turn into good things too. 😉


(Source Photo of Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Seeing Your Life Flash B4 Your Eyes

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So in near death experiences, it is common to see your life flash before your eyes. 


Researchers believe that what you see isn’t necessarily in chronological order, rather there is no time or space, and people report that “it all happened at once.”


Additionally, people feel the experiences and pain from others’ points of view. 


It’s like a melding of time and space in a single continuum. 


This so-called life review experience (LRE) is eye-opening. 


It’s almost like a G-d’s eye view of your life in the world. 


In the worst case scenario, what we see at the end is what we failed to see during life–how far wrong we went and how much we hurt others. 


If we wait until the end to open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us all along, then frankly, it’s too late to do anything positive about it. 


Maybe you have to come back (reincarnated) for another try to do things better and make things right. 


Hopefully, you learned something from this go around so that you are building incrementally and purifying your heart and your soul. 


If though life experience, it’s ups and downs, and pains and suffering, you still learn nothing…then what you see in the end is your own blindness to the eternal lessons of the omniscient creator–all in 20-20 extra clear hindsight. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Pundits Know Sh*t

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If you haven’t seen any of the many videos flying around about everyone who said “Trump will never be president,” then you should.


Presumably, these were people in the know–senior politicians and statesmen, experts galore including scientists and professors, news media, talk show hosts, comedians, and Hollywood stars.


Virtually none could even imagine him winning as they “promised” and “guaranteed” it and even swore they would leave the country otherwise.


But as we all now know, they were completely wrong and misguided. 


Similarly, in a book review today in the Wall Street Journal of “Public Intellectuals,” the big mouth know-it-alls out there or what my friend’s father used to call “intellectual idiots” failed to predict all the black swan events.


From the fall of the Soviet Union to 9/11, the Internet bubble and recession of 2001 to the mortgage meltdown and financial collapse of 2008, from the Arab Spring to Brexit…the pundits are all left looking like schmendricks!


Whether this is caused by personal biases, shortsightedness, herd mentality, or incompetence, the educated intellectuals just don’t seem to be able to see around that next bend anymore than the rest of us. 


Moreover, because of their walled-off elite status, they are functioning and talking through loud speakers from their ivory towers rather than from the real man’s world of everyday hardships and challenges. 


As I often tell one of my esteemed colleagues, it’s not how often or how loud you say something, but how sincere it is. 


The pundits typically miss it (although they seem so smart when talking with 20-20 hindsight about what happened and why), and as contrarians already know, it typically pays to do the opposite of what the so-called experts tell you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

100% Burglar Proof–Tell Me Another One

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So I saw this advertisement for a “100% burglar proof” system and I was just bewildered.

Does anyone really think we can be 100% sure of anything–let alone security?

Everyday thieves rob the safest banks, cyber criminals hack the most secure systems, and crooks break into the most secure sites.

Everything we do comes down to risk management–assessing and classifying risk, selecting controls to mitigate risk, and monitoring those for effectiveness and necessary modifications.

For children, maybe things are basic black and white–it’s simpler that way “good guys” and “bad guys” and so on, but for adults we know there are at least “50 shades of grey” and that means that there are no certainties in life–whether security, sure financial bets, or perfect opportunities–everything is a gamble in some respects.

I remember someone once joked about even marriage being somewhat chancy, since “you never really know the person until you wake up with them in the morning every day.”

With 20-20 hindsight, all the pundits seem brilliant, but only the prophets can predict the future with accuracy.

As to any product or vendor that markets itself as having a 100% success rate, you better get yourself a money back guarantee on it, because you will definitely need it! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)