Friday, April 23, 2021

The Physicist Fisherman and the Dreaming Mogul

I'm watching an excellent movie, "Cuban Food Stories", directed by a Cuban-American immigrant who returned to suss out vanishing regional cuisines. You can watch it for free on Kanopy, a streaming channel often available through local libraries. You can also rent it for $5 on Amazon or on Apple. Good review here from Food & Wine.

One part of the film introduces a grungy-looking guy, the latest in a long family line of fishermen. But he’d been destined for better things. He'd studied hard in school, and when the Soviets planned to build a nuclear power plant in Cuba, the Cubans educated him to a PhD level in nuclear physics so he could work there. But the Soviet Union imploded, the reactor was never completed, and this guy, needing to feed his family, stepped onto the family boat and got fishing. You'd never guess any of this background to watch him. He seems like just another grungy fisherman. But then he told the following story which shows that his intelligence has not been wasted after all. He’s used it to figure out the key to human life:
I once read an article where a great entrepreneur was asked "With all the money you have, why do you work so hard?“

“To make my dream come true,“ he answered.

“What dream?“

“To live on an island in the Caribbean in a little house near the sea with a boat so I can take my family fishing.”
Perceptual framing is not "positive thinking". It's not about concocting a hopeful story to help you stoically endure your bleak reality. It's not crutches or blinders or rose-colored glasses.

It's about keeping your perspective lithe enough that you can contemplate at least a few of the infinite angles, and select one that's beautiful and truthful. Just because some life development seems to evoke a soundtrack of mournful violins, you are not obliged to gratuitously load The Film of Woe into your personal projector. You get to choose the film! It's your projector! Everything happening - the entire whirlwind - is nothing but fodder for you to frame per your caprice. That's what we're here for. You're free!

After all the stuff that's happened that you'd previously declared Unacceptable and Impossible to Contemplate, here you still are! Still you! Same you as ever! Nothing actually happened, aside from the ordeal of your framings, and you could have framed any of it any way you'd liked! Pain is inevitable, but suffering's optional!
Leave a person in a quiet room, and he might meditate and one day leave in a state of vast peace. Put some bars on the window and the same person might decay into a debilitated wreck.

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