There have been many scholars and important figures through the ages who came before us, some decades ago and some many centuries ago who have asked the same questions and pondered the many possibilities that we all try to reconcile in our own lives. I have given a great deal of thought to our very own existence, the set of circumstances we all come to know, the people we associate with who come into our lives, the roads we travel, metaphorically in our life, the way we look at things and interpret them, the way we live our lives, the way we view the unknown, the way we interact with others, the way we think and the way we feel about ourselves. When we think as concrete thinkers our thoughts are ordered, organized, intuitive and are based on actual experiences and we infer and draw our conclusions from such experiences.
We think logically and in terms we understand without making generalizations. We also have the capacity to think in the abstract where we draw our conclusions from experiences and generalizations. We are able to hypothesize and infer from our insight and life experiences. When we go about our daily life we try to inject some excitement, humor and happiness into each day. We try to step outside of ourselves if that is indeed possible so we can envision life beyond our own physical boundaries and personal needs. In life we find that no matter how many people are involved and connected to us in some way whether it be directly or as just friends we find we are still alone and have the full responsibility of figuring it all out on our own. Sure we have parents who nurture us and teachers who teach us and friends who help us but we will find out that we are solely responsible for our self and that responsibility develops as we learn and grow. We have no other way but to go about our own lives and live as we are meant to. We also realize we have a real need to interact and bond with others who do become influential and do play a part in our own personal development.
At times I have pondered things that have significance to me because they are part of my conscience and are my legitimate thoughts and are based on random thinking and just a deep curiosity. For instance I have recently travelled to other far parts of the world and to other major cities within the States (US) which I never had the opportunity to do before. As I travelled I can't help but realize that life is happening all around us and in all parts of the world and in our great country but we can't be in all places at the same time or for most of us in these wonderful places for our entire lifetime so we never see or ever experience such wonders and delights. For most of us we can only imagine it in our mind. This is sad in many ways because when we think of life and living we all want to experience just about everything we possibly can. When I travelled to China last year and recently to France and Canada I was very lucky because before I was given this wonderful opportunity all I could do was dream of going to such places. As I travelled in China, France, Great Britain and Canada I learned of culture, I learned of architecture, I learned of world history. I learned of wonderful people, I learned of great places of interest, I learned that though we have travelled considerable distances and we are in foreign places we all go about our lives similarly. We all encounter the same things but we are seeing these places that we don't see much at all and that is exciting and unique.
As I was in Chicago with a co-worker attending a conference I was there for the first time and I was walking around the city at night taking in the beauty of the city. I saw tall buildings, lots of traffic, people walking and talking and many fine restaurants. I stopped in a Starbucks for a hot chocolate and even dined at a McDonald's. It was like New York City which I have been to many times because I live much closer but I felt excited being in Chicago and I said to my friend and co-worker that it is amazing when you think about it as we are experiencing life somewhere else because we don't have this opportunity and so I realize that life is always happening and everywhere around us in all major cities, in all foreign countries, in all remote places in the world and when we are in a new place it is enlightening because we are seeing life and experiencing it here in a way that we don't ever see. It's just a wonderful and exciting experience and we all should be so lucky to share life in other places. I was experiencing it also as I walked around the beautiful city of Paris, France and in viewing the magnificent skyline of Shanghai, China from a car as I experienced traffic as a passenger in an SUV driving on a super highway. When we are living in the moment experiencing it we feel it is special because we can live it and be a part of it and when we are here life is going on back at home as well.
We are the beneficiaries of great technological change with the advent of airline flight travel, automotive travel, computer technology and the internet so we have been able to bring the world closer and literally it has never been any easier to see other places of the world. I often wonder how difficult it was for earlier generations to have travelled and see new places without all these modern conveniences we have been fortunate to have as part of our daily lives. I often wonder what life was like for people before auto and airline transportation, before television and before movies, before all the modern conveniences. We are always seeking to go places, do fun things and have a laugh or two and for us it is simple. We can drive to the city or we can watch an old Abbott and Costello movie on our dvd player or go see a movie in the theatres. What was it like though for our relatives born in the 1800s? How did they travel around? How did they seek to find entertainment? Photographs also are a big part of our lives and now we have digital technology. I am always amazed by the old fashioned photographs of our ancestors which are a very important part of our family history and it is refreshing to capture a glimpse into their lives by seeing such remarkable pictures. It is a window view into the lives of family we never had the chance to see but have a connection to.
We seem to come into the world with the only point of reference we know which obviously is our parents or our caretakers and we learn of our grandparents and we receive a name and are blessed with a family name and a history to our namesake. I have always wondered what the roots of my family history are that connect both my mother's side and my father's side. It is truly remarkable to think that we follow many generations before us and theoretically it seems possible to trace back when you think along the lines that we all had a mother and a father but I only had the privilege of meeting as a young child my grand parents and 1 living great grandparent. I have had the opportunity to speak with my great grandmother to learn a little about life for her and her experiences in leaving her native country of Italy to settle in the United States. I learned that her parents came here to seek opportunity and to provide a home for their family.
If I think and ponder of life and how we are destined to meet others, especially our spouse and how we are also involved in continuing the life cycle it really brings me to a religious state of mind and allows me to find a love for God, our lord Jesus and others who come into my life. I believe that our faith is very important in our life because however beautiful life is it also comes with pain and sorrow and we have to have a higher power to turn to and believe in. We need to feel safe and protected and always feel we are a part of something else. We need to feel loved and accepted and we need to know how to love ourself before we can love someone else. I have lived long enough to know that I have been a witness to many great and exciting things, I have been fortunate to have grown and been part of a wonderful family with loving parents and 2 wonderful sisters. I am always grateful to be a husband, a father, a son, a brother, and most importantly a person free to explore, think for myself and live my life. I am also very happy to have a family of my own which is my source of strength and a wonderful part of my identity.
I could go on and on about my thoughts, my ideas, my visions, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my challenges, my accomplishments, my philosophies, my failures, my successes, my sorrows, my celebrations, my experiences, my insights and my feelings but I will save that for another day and just smile and appreciate all I have up to this point in life. I know when we have to say our farewells we will always want to believe that we truly made a difference in the lives of our loved ones and we were able to accomplish all the things in life we had hoped to. We do not want to have regrets but as human beings we will always feel we had not always lived up to our true potential or did all that we had hoped to. We just need to know that we lived good moral lives, we took care of our family as best we could and we helped others to not feel lonely or be afraid. My feeling of success and happiness is not predicated on how much money I have in the bank or how many cars I drive but whether I was there to help my son feel good about himself and to believe. I can not be there for everyone but if I had touched the lives of one other person and made them feel good and smile then I have done a good thing and I hope that we all can make the world a better place and that we can all come to accept one another and share in the happy and joyous things in life. Life is for living and we should do exactly that.
Edward D. Iannielli III
aka Emily Iannielli
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