Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
Her quote clarified my life. For years I've wondered why I'm so bored with trite conversation. It's not that I believe I have a great mind, but I am overjoyed when I find someone with whom I can discuss life after death, history, science, new technology, discoveries in the medical profession and other provocative subjects.
As an example, for the past several months I've been researching whether someone from the "other side" comes to escort us to wherever we go when we die. The information I've accumulated is astounding. Two of the women I've talked to were hospice nurses. When I asked the question, "Have your patients said anything about seeing someone when they are near death?" both of them gave several instances of the patient stating that someone was in the room with them.
Many years ago the father of my children died. He was 46 years old. About two days later he appeared at my home and stood in the middle of the living room for about two hours. I freaked out. Until I started my research, I had completely forgotten about this. Obviously it scared me so much I put it out of my head. Talking to people about these experiences captivates me.
Another thing that mystified me for years was how bridges and tunnels are built. Each time I met an engineer I would ask about this. Eventually I found someone who explained how tunnels are built. The same held true for bridges.
One of the most riveting puzzles to me was how airplanes land on aircraft carriers. Many military men explained the procedure, but I didn't get it. At the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., a short film showed exactly how the planes landed and how they were stopped by a metal cord stretched across the ship. Voila!!
When people talk about their grandchildren or other people I don't know, I want to run home to my cave. Television shows are another pet peeve. When I'm with a group of people who start talking about reality shows or sitcoms, I feel as if my head is going to explode. With great concentration, I tune them out to think about anything I can to keep me from screaming, "Who cares?"
If I am introduced to someone who talks about robots, who can recommend an extraordinary book, or a person who knows a lot about outer space, I'm ecstatic. People who have unusual careers fascinate me. On a flight last year I came across the most spellbinding man I'd ever met. Because his job is so covert, all I can say is he is a specialist in the long-range shooting of aircraft from the deck of a ship. We talked nonstop for two hours!
Mrs. Roosevelt's words enabled me to understand why I'd rather see photos of animals taken on a safari than of a grandchild's kindergarten graduation. If people think I'm discourteous, so what? To quote Marlon Brando: "Before I was 50 I cared what people thought about me. Once I reached 50, I no longer cared."
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