Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Looking for answers”

Getting Your Answer Now

So we live in these times when we can say ” I want my answer now!”. Believing it may be something different.


Just the other day I found myself arguing with a friend over a beer about world affairs and the economy. Unlike days not that long ago, we didn’t have to go on too long expounding about our views and the actuality of what was happening in the world.

The fun of arguing and having a position on something has been severely changed in this Information age.

The answer was in our hands! Both of us grabbed our “smartphones” and Googgled and Binged our way to what we saw was the answer to the debate on the current events of the day. AH-HA said my opponent, listen to this… as he began rattle off some profound insights… I wrangled my way to a URL that had other things to say about the topic too.

So there we were, both spouting off answers about the shape of the world. Knowledge was at our finger tips, the answers were there and we could settle this once and for all and go on enjoying our beers with a bit more repose.

EXCEPT there was one problem: Access to the information didn’t mean we could claim to be knowledgeable at all. In fact who’s to say that what is posted on those Internet  sites our search engines returned was  factual in any significant way? I mean they can site sources with keen authority, but are those sources really correct? For some cases aren’t they just other Internet sites? Are they at risk of being colored with their own opinions?

So there we were- we had opined that we had gotten to our answers about the world’s economy and agreed to disagree.

BUT THEN we realized it,,,, that the Internet may have all sorts of biased and distorted information depending on its originator.

SO that is when we sparked up our next heated debate after all it is fun isn’t it?) : “Is everything you read on the Internet” the truth… just because it has an official name or URL that appears to have some authority or has a well-organized website – how can you know?..

My friends suggestion of how to solve that debate: “Let’s take a look on the Google and see “ …. okay – so I got my answer I guess…. 🙂


Making Something Out of Nothing

Often I have heard that expression “making something out of nothing”  What does that mean to you?

Road Illuminated

I mean is the nothing good or the nothing bad? Something made from nothing good could be something bad. Something bad that ends up being good is something well earned and fortune.

I think it is about who or what makes the difference in your life…  What elements in your life will make things change? What  paths you are going down that you haven’t gone down before?

Would something from nothing be those things that end up taking your view of life in a  different way than you expected? Sending you off in a way that you would not ever have imagined.  I have had people in my life over my years that helped to make something from the nothingness of my life. Those people took hold of my spiritual center and revitalized it. Made me see things I had never seen before, that meant nothing in my life.

So who is it that will show you that there is “something” to be made from the nothing that may be in front of you? Are you willing to muster up the trust and the faith it will take to let that happen. In God perhaps.  Or will you spend your life’s days always wondering about that “nothingness” that lingers somewhere out ahead?

Advice to my kids?  Understand that time is precious, and it cherishing that passage of time that will make something of it. Something is coming… just what is it for you? Its right around the corner. 

Are you consumed with the unknown tomorrow, or looking for the something that is right  here and now? Make something of it. Your expectations have to begin with yourself. Be receptive to the idea that you CAN make something out of nothing.


Why Don’t We Ask More Questions

Advice I give my kids isn’t always followed, but I keep trying. Hoping they keep listening. One advice I have gave them is to “ask questions”.

Where is the Love Question-mark

Today it feels like we are always living with ‘sound bytes’. Short little sentences that say lots but really don’t mean much. Maybe that’s what really motivates a lot of people today when you get in conversations with them. When you ask for information about something, short answers. Sometimes ( maybe often) incomplete. The answer is the answer for your question, it isn’t a lie… but it is missing things. Things they know and you don’t.

Now you can accept the answer, you can decide it is all you are going to get- or it is all you need to know. Many times that’s just fine. I mean if you call an ice cream store and ask them if they have vanilla ice cream, they can answer yes or no (or maybe perhaps).  If you are good with that- now you can go to get vanilla.

What they might not tell you is that there is French vanilla, or vanilla with vanilla beans, or vanilla with chocolate sprinkles. Do you care?  Perhaps not.

But when there are important decisions to make in your life, things that could improve it, or help avoid otherwise painful situations, or take you on a new direction you may otherwise have not experienced. Then you should be prepared to ask more questions, be more clear about the opportunity or the path ahead.

But ironically, in those situations many times I find myself and those around me asking just the simple questions, getting the sound bite answers, and moving on. Often things that could be meaningful are left unsaid. It’s not that the other people are withholding information, they just aren’t thinking you need to know- or want to know.

So that’s what I have learned in my old age: Follow up questions and answers with more questions. And it pays to LISTEN to the answer. It will provide you the fodder for the next question. Without you may be  missing the opportunity, you may be missing a chance to better understand the choices, or better understand your fellow-man.

Simple as that. Yet with short 145 character sensibilities these days, with text message approaches to conversational English and people with so much input that short answers seem desirable- it feels like there is a lot things missing.

Not getting the whole answer feels like it happens a lot more often these days. It isn’t intentional. It is just “fill in the blank approach” to things.  So that’s my advice to my family. Ask the questions you need and follow-up with more questions. Be sure you know the course. A lot of times once you do  you realize there are people who want to provide more, and make your life better in the cause of it .

I like vanilla ice cream. I like to know all the flavors of vanilla, do they have toppings, can they put it in a cone, can they make it into a shake? Not sure. But always good to know the options. Of course there are more important things than that to know on our journey. Right?

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