So, here goes:
1. What is a death-defying activity you've done and why did you do it?
Life itself is a death-defying activity, isn't it? I have never climbed Mount Everest or jumped from an airplane, but I drive like a maniac. Does that count? Seriously, although I don't do that much of anything that is physically dangerous, I do like to meet life and its challenges head on, thinking that to be engaged mentally like that might help me live to a ripe old age. That is the way I want to defy death. When my time comes, I ain't goin'.
2. If you were to write the text for a subliminal message to be broadcast on all national media 24 hours a day for 21 days in a row, what would it say?
How about: "Hate is a Four letter word."
Hate has got to be the thing that puzzles me most about humans. No matter what happened, or who did it, or how vile it was, or what the repercussions were of any action by someone, hate will never change any of it. What's done is done. The ongoing hate eats away at the hater and does nothing to the hatee (I know there is no such word, but there should be!) who is often oblivious to what happened or simply just doesn't give a damn anyway. Hate burns us up, consumes us in the worst possible way, and is completely and utterly useless.
3. You are God. What disappoints you most about the human community?
Being God would be a responsibility I could really do without. Since you ask, though, let me make a list.
- Hatred: See point number 2 above.
- Stupidity: Not in the dictionary sense of a lack of intelligence, but rather in the sense of stupid behaviour. Humans, whether individually or collectively, tend to take the most counter-productive and idiotic paths possible, not always, but enough so that the world around us is in constant turmoil.
- Closed mindedness: As in, my mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts. There is a tendency in the human race to encounter or hear or read something that 'feels right' and it then becomes embedded in our psyche, never to be shaken or dislodged. There is too much reliance on 'feeling' and 'following your heart,' and too little on rational thought and introspection.
4. Money is no object. What would you choose to do with the remainder of your life?
Career-wise, I can't imagine things being much better than they are. I wouldn't change anything, really, in that regard. I would like to travel more though. I haven't been to Russia or anywhere in the old Soviet Union or to China or India or Australia. With money being no object, I would love to travel around to all kinds of undeveloped places and find ways to help: drilling wells so people wouldn't have to carry water from distant rivers or from stagnant ponds; providing methods of cooking and heating that don't require cutting down precious trees or having to walk for miles to find a few twigs to burn; providing seed capital for micro-enterprises so people would be able to start their own little businesses and be as independent as possible.
5. And now for the final annoying question, why is there something rather than nothing at all?
I asked my son once about the meaning of life, if he thought there was a God, and if so why did He create the universe and everything in it. Zachary was quite young at the time, but he answered that he did indeed think there was a God and that He created the universe as His version of wide screen television, so He wouldn't get bored. That made as much sense to me as any other argument for the existence of the universe as I have ever heard. It does not address the issue, however, of how God himself came to be.
I think everything exists so that the human race will be perpetually puzzled, befuddled and confused by everything around us. It keeps us from getting bored.