Friday, January 19, 2007

Simpson gives us a life lesson

It's the same thing every morning: I step out of the shower, and when I go to the closet to select my clothes for the day, Simpson, one of our two family cats, enters the bathroom, uses one of his paws to slide open the shower door, and then sits and looks inside. He stays that way for a long time, staring at droplets of water on the shower floor, and thinking who-knows what.

Remember that old saying, "Curiosity killed the cat?" Well, it hasn't killed Simpson yet, and I'm sure that since it is all but impossible to drown in such little water, he will likely live for a long time, curious or not.

What does Simpson think while he is thus occupied? I have no idea. Even cats have a brain of sorts, and he must be thinking something. How much time, on average, do we, as human beings, think about things beyond our immediate needs? How often do we ask ourselves about the why's and how's of life? I think that we should spend at least as much time every day as Simpson does, pondering the meaning of life, why we are here, what it is we are supposed to be doing, and whether anyone or anything actually cares about us.

But we don't reflect on life very much, if at all. We are busy, preoccupied, absorbed in the moment, doing oh-so-important things. Or so we think. And our kids? Do they think big thoughts? My son thinks big thoughts, yes: big cars, big houses, and because he is a fourteen-year-old male, undoubtedly big boobs. Does he think about the meaning of life, where we came from and how, and where we might be going and why? Maybe, but he doesn't talk about it, so I doubt it.

Where has our curiosity gone? I was always, and still am, curious about everything. If I encounter something that I don't know anything about, I research it at least enough so that I am no longer ignorant on the topic. I try to learn new words, explore new places, develop new ideas. I don't care if these discoveries and inventions of mine have any lasting effect on the world necessarily; I seek answers for my own sake, even if the answers might not be what I expect them to be, and if resulting scenarios might be unpleasant to contemplate. We can't move ahead in our lives if we don't think about things. We can't improve ourselves, or the world ,if we don't challenge the "common wisdom."

Perhaps Simpson knows that it is important to think and to get lost in the wonder of it all. If so, we can all learn from him.

Or, maybe, Simpson is simply too stupid to know any better, and the water droplets in the shower are his equivalent of television. In that case, he is much like us and we are much like him.

I really don't know. But it does give me something else to think about, doesn't it?


  1. I have always maintaind education is a lifelong process. My wife wife often asks me what I am doing on the internet, I say "researching" or "looking something up". She asks "why".

    I am glad I am not the only curious cat out there.

  2. Clearly spelling has slipped my education.


  3. If you were my age, you could use the "I'm having a senior moment" excuse if you make a typo, or forget a word or whatever. Thanks for dropping in!

  4. interesting.. I posted a comment here, I thought, but I guess it didn't take.

    I was suprised to find that you have cats. I don't know why. But, I was very surprised.

    Or, maybe, Simpson is simply too stupid to know any better, and the water droplets in the shower are his equivalent of television.

    I love that.
    ~ A hater of the box.

  5. I prefer dogs, but living in town it is impractical to have a dog. Plus they won't poop in a box. That would mean I would have to go outside in the cold. Brrrr.

    In the country, in a warm climate, I would have a dog. Maybe. Horses for sure.

  6. Thank you, luckyzmom, I'll tell him you said so!