Keep Moving Forward


For those of you following my personal journey as a skeptic, I had a new development today.

I finally took all my herbalism books and textbooks off my bookshelf. The binders will be thrown away and the books will be sold through hubby’s Amazon store, The Curiosity Shop.

In all honesty, I have been putting this off for too long. My regret is not that I’m giving up herbalism. I have The Great Experiment Scholarship (http://thegreatexperimentscholarship.org) to run now and I couldn’t be happier about my nonprofit.

My big regret is that, in my ignorance and desire to help people, I used up far too much time and money that, had I known better, I could have done something else with my life.  I see it as a mistake in judgment that cost me four years of my life that I will never get back. And yes, I know that hindsight is 20/20 and that I really DIDN’T know any better so I should stop the self-flagellation. Eventually I will. Getting the binders and books off my bedroom bookshelf helps a great deal.

Ken also helped me clean out the herb cabinet. It was a wholesale slaughter: Everything must go. There were SO many little Ziplock bags and jars of herbs and hebal blends it’s scary. Between the binders and the herbs we filled an outdoor trashcan about half full. The glass got rinsed and put in the recycle bin.There was no point in keeping the jars.

During the cleaning Ken mentioned something about how many hundreds of dollars I spent on herbs. Fortunately it was a brief comment so it didn’t hurt TOO terribly bad: not the frog-stomping carnage it could have been. I didn’t tell him how I felt about the comment. It would have brought up other, unrelated issues so there was no point. And don’t worry, Ken never reads this blog anyway.

Yeah, I have my regrets but who doesn’t?

The good news is that I’m replacing the binders and books with the (VERY) old flight manuals Ken bought me months ago. I know that a 1965 copy of the Private Pilot’s Handbook is probably VERY out of date but I can at least get a bit more of an idea about flying. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE Hal Bidlack’s flying lesson. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life. But I need a bit more education between “Trees get big (visual of pushing the stick forward): Trees get little “(visual of pulling the stick back).

So, to quote a man whose accomplishments I admire, I keep moving forward.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

– Walt Disney

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2 Comments

  1. James Randi said,

    July 30, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I’m flattered and pleased that the JREF was able to aid yet another potential skeptic to see a little more light…!

  2. Josh said,

    August 3, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Dude, everybody has regrets, it’s all good. I’m just a fledgling skeptic myself, but I’ve had skeptical tendencies my whole life. Long before I could articulate my frustration with religion, or had any sense of intelligent, rational morality aside from the morality taught in the bible, I rejected all morality out of complete disgust with what I had seen from Christianity. I just decided that I hated everything about Christians, and in order to redefine myself outside of religion I would binge on hedonism and embrace the complete opposite moral code of the one I had been raised by. As a result I hurt a lot of people, got myself in a world of trouble with the law, wasted seven years of my life drowning in addictions, and made a reputation for myself that I now find embarrassing. In some ways I regret all the horrible things I’ve done that are still making my life difficult to this day, but at the same time my mistakes helped form the man I am now.

    I don’t think I could live a life without passion for the things I believe in, and that means sometimes I go too far or make errors in judgement. But if you approach life with a skeptics scientific approach, then just like the Mythbusters, mistakes are ok because you can learn from them. With only one life to live I want to be the best person I am capable of being, but when I screw up nobody is going to condemn me to eternal torment. My hope is that with my life experience, and this amazing world view I’ve learned about from smarter and better educated skeptics, I can live a life passionately promoting truth and reason but with a philosophy that helps keep me grounded and balanced. And in tandem with my understanding of skepticism, my mistakes also help keep me grounded and ballanced. (ie: not completely a cocky know it all) I’ve screwed up so many times that it helps me remember that even if I am right about some things, I’m certainly not right all the time, I should remember to treat other people with respect and understanding, ’cause no matter how ridiculous or offensive their beliefs, I’ve screwed up way, way worse, and been forgiven and accepted by the people in my life. For me, regrets are not about guilt, but instead a reminder that I have room to grow.


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