Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Genie Wishes

Every wish I've ever wished for myself has come true. Not all my wishes were smart ("be careful what you wish for" is a notoriously hard lesson to learn), but I accepted the results with equanimity. How can you complain when you've gotten your wish? And some of my more poorly-phrased wishes yielded evil genie prank results, and I took those on the chin, too. But a slew of clear-eyed wishes were granted exactly as I'd hoped.

My big apparent wishmanship shortcoming was the failure to request ongoing gratification. There were no "process" wishes. Only once, for example, did I play a solo trombone gig in a cool nightclub before a raptly spellbound audience which erupted into lengthy cheers while the bartender handed me, on cue, a perfectly poured foamy Belgian ale in a "Leffe" goblet. That was never my norm.

I'm not sure how it could have worked, anyway. I'm not someone who'd be happy mindlessly repeating rewardable behavior in the world's various Skinner Boxes, so I’m not sure how ongoing gratification could possibly have gratified. I'd almost surely have risked evil genie prank response.

But it doesn't matter, given that the immediacy of the moment is paradise if you're not perennially scanning for what's missing. That disappearing trick, in fact, was the best genie grant of all. It makes all other wishes - including "process" wishes - unnecessary.

I no longer find the story told in one of the most popular Slog postings, "The Monks and the Coffee," uplifting or provocative. It's just a "duh" if you've dropped the nonsensical habit of scanning for What's Missing.

Even an inveterate lasagna lover can't suffer on lasagna-less days if he simply declines to concoct indulgent fake mental drama over it.

No comments:

Blog Archive