5 Things That Make More Sense Than Ferguson

No matter your stance on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, you have to admit that the trial was unusual. Not only is it rare for a grand jury to decline an indictment, it is rare for them to decide whether a person is innocent or guilty. It is also strange that the entire body of evidence was laid out for the grand jury. In fact, it was also pretty weird for Darren Wilson to be able to present his side…for four hours…

Okay, you get the picture. Nothing about that trial was standard…or correct, in my opinion. So, to reorient our moral compass, and reinstate some logic into this unbalanced world, let’s talk about some stuff that makes sense. In fact, let’s talk about anything that makes more sense than Ferguson. Just to get ourselves right.

5. Discrete Mathematics

Actual quote from Wikipedia: “In contrast to real numbers that have the property of varying “smoothly”, the objects studied in discrete mathematics – such as integers, graphs, and statements in logic – do not vary smoothly in this way, but have distinct, separated values.”

Yeah, I don’t think I could tell you what that sentence means if I had a dictionary in front of me. But it makes more sense than Ferguson. In fact, I have another math problem for you: “bad guy + bad actions = no freedom” Why did America get that one wrong?

4. String Theory

-Well, I tried to read up on this one too, but I can’t get past the fact that this doesn’t have anything to do with knitting. Still, there is more sense in this than Ferguson.

3. Lady Gaga

C’mon, everyone. I love Lady Gaga as much as the next person, but I’m not even sure that Lady Gaga understands Lady Gaga. I’m pretty sure she closes her eyes and grabs trash off the street and applies it to her body. Still, that meat dress makes more sense than Ferguson.

2. Platypuses

-Or platypi? I’m not sure at this point. But even though I think this little echidna is adorable, it doesn’t make much sense. A duck bill?  A beaver tail? Able to lay eggs? No, someone was reaching far into the grab bag of animal parts when they made this little guy. Of course, platypi (platypuses) still make more sense than Ferguson.

1. Life

They say that life is a box of chocolates and that you never know what you are going to get. Luckily, this little adage gives us more insight into the most difficult concept of our…well… lives… than anyone can for Ferguson.

So, why do all of these things make more sense than Ferguson? Because nothing makes sense about Ferguson. And now that we live in this topsy-turvy world where we don’t value the life of any citizen, well. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so hard to tackle these difficult concepts. Because the most basic thing, protecting a human life, is now something that is foreign, that we don’t recognize. So, I figure we better start simple: with the most difficult concepts that we have.

I Never Watch the End of Moulin Rouge

because it’s sad.

The End.

No, seriously.  I watch the epic singing number, Nicole Kidman regal in her silver headdress and Ewan McGregor, in all of his misguided writerly passion. Then they twirl in rose petals or something and sing, “The only thing you’ll ever learn is how to love and be loved in return.” And then they kiss, and the evil redhead with a bad lisp is conquered, and some absinthe is had by all.

That’s the ending that I see.

What really happens is (and spoiler alerts abound here, but the movie has been out for years, so shame on you) Kidman breathes her last breath by coughing up blood from a crippling bout of consumption, and McGregor cries over her body in probably the most anguished way I have ever seen. His grief is almost repulsive, almost provocative. And then he dies, shriveled around his typewriter, a loveless man.

Okay, I made up the last part. But honestly I’m surprised I can even still remember the ending because I refuse to watch it. And believe me, there are plenty of other movies that I do this with, that I don’t remember the beginning/middle/end because I refuse to watch them. I keep myself in a sweet cinematic oblivion.

But what a difference it makes when I just cut off that last part in Moulin Rouge. Then, I live in a rose-colored world where clouds are made of cotton candy. And what a nightmare it is when I watch that last part. There’s suddenly a dark cloud over my entire life, and it’s made of black licorice (yuck!). Really, it is like some awful “choose your own adventure” story. On one hand, you have the perfect fairy tale. On the other, you have a Grimm’s fairy tale. And there’s NO in-between.

And while I could make this post entirely about one half of humanity, (me) who stops it before it gets ugly, and the other half of humanity, (not me) who pushes on and completes the entire film, it’s not really about that. Or, it’s not as cut and dry.

I think the real issue is that technology, on a greater scale, is going to continually give us the tools to numb ourselves, and we are going to keep asking for them. Excuse me if I simply regurgitate the entire plot of Click, but aren’t we all going to get to the point where we just fast forward through all of the sad parts? Actually, that’s where we are now. I am doing that now. Maybe not in my actual life, but in media. And we are getting to the point where the line is blurring between the two.

So, what I am taking issue with is not our ability to create. To make technology work for us. To direct, shoot, and produce sad films that I will inevitably have to fast forward through. It’s that we have such a problem with emotions in our culture. And we’re using technology as a huge bandage on this festering problem. Because about every song I hear is some woman trying to act tough by telling her ex-lover that he’ll “never see her cry.” And don’t get me started on men and crying. (And really, most men could use a good cry.)

So, why don’t we? Why aren’t we allowed to cry? Who decided that it was weak to cry? We seriously have some sick obsession with denying ourselves the catharsis of tears. Pills, food, and yes, even the fast forward button, all keep us safe from that dark, spiraling staircase we’re all afraid to go down inside of ourselves.

But of course, like all things, it starts with you. You have to give your permission to feel before what I tell you will sink in. (I would prefer if I wasn’t the one who made you cry, either.)

But if you don’t let your emotions out to play once in awhile, I promise you that they will come tearing out of you. And it will take all of your strength to put the cork on when it’s over.

So, once in awhile, watch Moulin Rouge to the end. Cry. Feel. Know that not everything gets tied up nicely at the end. And other times, turn it off. Live in a world where things are sweet and poetically justified.

Just don’t torture yourself. Well, maybe just a little bit. To remind yourself what pain feels like. And then shut it off again. Or fast forward. Whatever you prefer. Just remember to feel once in awhile.

Just remember to cry.

It’s Totally Okay to Forget Things

Today, I started my morning looking at squirrels.

Ah, yes. It is that time of year when the squirrels make themselves look busy and bury everything they can’t stuff into their little troublesome cheeks into the ground. I watched a particularly robust squirrel take a few bites out of each piece of food he found. Then, like a person out to dinner asking for a doggy bag, he hopped a few feet and immediately buried the morsel. He did this time and time again, digging his small hole, dropping it in. And leaving it.

And that’s the kicker, he just leaves it. I mean, will he ever come back? Will he ever return to his literal root cellar with all of his winter wares inside?

The fact is no. Just no. He isn’t guaranteed to come back. And even if he draws himself a little map, on a little leaf, of all the places he buried his treasures, he still won’t come back. Because by then, he’s forgotten how many holes he has buried. Or what he even buried. Or why he buried those snacks in the first place. Because he’s only a squirrel, and he can’t be expected to remember all of these things. (And neither should you be expected to remember everything, either. But we’re getting to that.)

So, what happens? Does he emotionally berate himself like humans do? Will the squirrel call himself stupid and hit his head against an oak tree until he remembers where his food went? No. He leaves that seed in the ground. And it eventually grows into an oak tree itself. Out of his mistake, something else grows, something else is given a chance to flourish. If he didn’t forget, if he had simply eaten it (like he seems to have eaten everything else in the yard), we wouldn’t have all of the beautiful trees that were planted by accident. He may see it as forgetfulness, but really it is forgiveness, which is always a gift you do not know you can give until you do.

And so, when I watched this little squirrel busily bury his food, but also his memories in a way, I realized that we were very much alike. Or perhaps, I realized that humans needed to be more like squirrels. That is, we need to allow ourselves to forget.

Because we’ve become so consumed with documenting our entire lives. Taking pictures of ourselves, our meals, our surroundings. And of course, sharing them with others, so their memories become our memories. This behavior has become so instinctual that we would put ourselves in danger just to get that perfect picture.

Tonight, I’m here to say that it is okay to forget. More than that, it is okay to not document everything around you. It’s okay to let things wash over you. It’s okay to let things leave. It is okay to forget! Your perception of things is warped anyway. You will never remember things as they truly are. And no picture taken on your phone can help you with that.

In general, I think we’re all spending a lot more time dwelling on things when we should be burying our nuts and forgetting them. Letting them grow into tall trees to shade us or letting them stay buried under a frozen ground. The choice has been, and always will be, yours. However you choose to forget what you must is your own: will you fortify yourself with old pain and memories, or will they become your past?

In the end, we need to remember, ironically, that forgetting is good.

And you need to be able to forgive yourself for forgetting, too. Now, I don’t mean telling yourself it is okay when you forget to pick your child up from school. Yeah, that’s not good.

But if you forget something occasionally, please let yourself off the hook. We are human, after all. Which, I know what you are thinking: humans are smarter than squirrels, we have bigger brains, so we should be able to remember. And maybe that’s true. But maybe something in us wants to forget. Maybe something in us is hardwired to glitch. Maybe something in us wants that oak tree to grow instead.

So, soak in the memories, but also let them flow back out, having been filtered through you. We’re only here for a limited amount of time, and you can’t take any of it with you. All you can do is what the squirrel does: take a few bites, bury it, and move forward.

The Best Friend Test

Do you ever roll your eyes when you see those quizzes online or in a magazine that ask you to evaluate your relationship with your best friend? Based on the answers you give, you are suddenly rating your friendship on a scale of “frenemie” to “BFF” and spiraling into a neurotic musing of whether you should have a “talk” about where you want your friendship to be in the next five years.

The point is, those quizzes only scratch the surface of your deeply complex and incredibly fulfilling friendship. Yes, the same one where you eat a a jar of Nutella, and lounge in your underwear together. Those “would you rather spend a lifetime with your best friend on a deserted island or on top of the mountain” questions don’t really cut it. So, I’ve made up a few of my own. I hope that you silently question your own friendship after reading these, too. Nothing would make me feel better than people reading my blog and wondering if they have been completely wasting their time…with the people in their lives.

5. If it is someone’s birthday, can you successfully choose a card on behalf of them?

-Everyone has had to pick out a card for someone. But have you ever had to pick out a card for someone on behalf of someone else? So. much. responsibility. Does my best friend want to be funny or serious? What if they don’t agree with the sentiment inside? I mean, really, who knew there would be so much drama in a Hallmark? So, ask your friend ahead of time what kind of cards they like, so you won’t be caught off-card. (C’mon, that was a gem!)

4. Do you know what kind of animal they would be?

-Forget being able to predict their wardrobe or their reaction to news. You need to be able to forecast what kind of animal they want to be in case you suddenly develop superpowers. You know, wonder twin status. Plus, the person who wants to be a duck and the person who wants to be a tiger are going to reveal some very different personality traits.

3. How do they eat their pizza?

-Are you a cat person or a dog person? Do you like the beach or the mountains? YAWN. Boring. Let’s get to the life-changing stuff, the deal breakers. How do they eat their pizza? And I don’t mean toppings. I mean, do they eat it with a knife and fork? Crust first? Do they roll it up like a burrito? Do you have to order two pizzas for the both of you? This is stuff you need to know ahead of time. I’m not saying your friendship should live and die on this. But it’s nice to know, so you can have a second pizza ready if needed, you know?

2. Do they separate their darks from their whites in the laundry?

We should all know what kind of person we are dealing with here. Is your best friend someone who will throw caution to the wind and let their balled up socks enter the washing machine with their denim? Or do they carefully make piles on the floor to ensure that every garment does not permanently stain another? Let’s be real here. Laundry is a gateway chore. This could lead to other habits (they stop mixing their food on their plate, for example). Let’s all just be up front with our dirty laundry, and no one will get hurt.

1. If you go to the hospital, will your best friend hold your IV while you go to the bathroom?

-This comes from experience. Just answer the question, and pick some poor sap out now. Just in case it comes up in the future. And if you are a good friend, you will give them something else in return, down the road for holding your fluids so you can pee. Like a really expensive gift because that is friendship on an entirely other level.

So, that’s it. Of course, I’m not sure if you noticed, but these questions are absolutely ridiculous. I know sarcasm is hard to read over the Internet, but I was trying to be a bit heavy-handed (like Paula Deen and butter, heavy-handed). That’s because there is no true test for friendship.

Some opposites attract, but also like likes like. Just do what’s best for you. When you need someone, they should be there. And when it stops being fun, put the “end” in “friend.” As always, what you give is what you get. No quiz can measure that.

World Hopping

Nerds lead pretty exhausting lives:

Oh, what’s that? There’s a seventh book to the series I’ve been reading? Better run out and get it. Wait, there’s a movie visually interpreting the other six books? I need to see that! But before I do, I need to buy this lemon squeezer because it has been printed with the image of this beloved series. Except, did I see that my favorite actor playing the starring role in the movie about the books is going to be on all of the morning talk shows today? Don’t mind if I do…

And so on. And of course, nerdy interests always multiply. Once one picks up one book, movie, or television show, there are four others waiting in the wings, or the queue, or in an Amazon shopping cart. They say the coward dies 1,000 deaths. For nerds, we live 1,000 lives in the worlds of other people’s imagination.

I mean, think about it. J.K. Rowling was scribbling on a napkin her ideas for Harry Potter, and now there are wedding napkins made with the color schemes of the four houses she created in her books. We nerds live in several worlds at any single time. It’s actually a wonder that we’re able to pay enough attention to this one.

But I’ve learned something trying to write my own novel, my own world. You have to decide to stop living in other people’s imagination before you can listen to your own. Of course, there will always be bits and pieces in your writing that come from somewhere else. Characters that smack of an archetype, prototype, or another character altogether. After all, good writing means good thievery.

But you can’t go on living in other people’s worlds forever. You can tell yourself that there are enough fantasy/sci-fi books out there. What’s one more, what’s yours? Just to add to the overcrowded bookshelf? I’ll just read all of the books in that genre, you think, I’ll see what they are doing and model my work after them…when I get around to writing my work, that is. 

But you can’t rob the world of your vision. We need more Captain Jack Sparrows, Hans Solos, and even Moriartys. We need whatever you are writing about. We need your book. So, stop inhaling the worlds around you and start breathing life into your own. Get writing.

Leave My Roadkill Alone

Warning! Potentially disturbing topic ahead. 

Deer are incredibly majestic creatures. Their soulful black eyes, their regal antlers, their taupe coats, their completely docile nature. They once provided us with all that we needed: meat, clothing, tools. We owe our lives to them, in many ways. (But…you read the title of this post so you know it is going downhill…)

And what do we now? We hit them with our cars. And if we could, we would forward our insurance deductibles to them when we have to replace our bumpers, when we hit our cars against their bodies. Yet, who will replace their lives?

Okay, I may be getting a little dramatic. But I have a beef with humanity. (Or, maybe a venison with humanity? I don’t know.)

Every day I pass a lot of dead deer carcasses. Like a lot. In varying states of decay, but all from one result: people. I’ve seen obviously broken legs, half-eaten corpses, and gazing black eyes staring out from the road. It’s unsettling, at best. But like all things, we keep on keeping on. We keep driving, just as the people who hit these poor creatures probably did. We rarely slow down, and we never stop.

But so do I. Recently, when I have driven past, they have started to slip past me. I have started to accept their presence as somewhere hovering around “normal” in the mist of my morning commute.

Until last Friday.

In the dark, I sped along, wanting to get home as soon as possible. I counted about 4 dead deer in the flash of my headlights, which seemed to be a lot, even for the road I was driving on. I started to mull this fact over, when I saw a fifth.

Now, the jury is still out on what I saw. It could have been the fierce wind, or a gust from a passing car. It could have been, as my boyfriend pointed out, rigor mortis, as the nerves tightened and then shot out in what looked suspiciously like a desperate hoof in the air. And then again, the idea that we all don’t want to entertain, is the notion that the poor, poor thing wasn’t dead yet. He was almost dead and dying, in the cold air. When I saw it, when I saw the cloven hoof paw the air, my hand flew up to my chest.  Should I return and try to help it out of its misery? I didn’t have my pocketknife on me, and the thought of actually cutting its throat in a humane way still gives me nightmares. What was I supposed to do but cry and mourn his near death? Which is exactly what I did. My entire night was absolutely blackened by that moment. Suffering is a fate no one, man or beast, should endure.

And then today. I wanted to see the body, for closure. To convince myself that I did the right thing by driving past.

Except it wasn’t there. None of the bodies that were there on Friday were present. It was like a giant deer Zamboni had swept them all up. For all I knew, it could have got up and walked away. My hope was that someone had called it in, and it was put out of its misery. But it could have died on the cold asphalt. My mind flipped through the possibilities like a Roledex. Now, I would truly never know.

And well, that angered me even more than the thought of someone hitting it at all all. Knocking them down like dominoes was one thing, but erasing their existence? I felt robbed and hollow, as a bystander feels when they realize they should have done something in the moment, when they had the chance.

If you haven’t read Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, you should. Because this is the central message of the book: we need to stop shielding ourselves from death. Death helps us bring meaning to our lives. If we lived forever, what would we live for? We would just procrastinate everything (not that we don’t do that now, but you know.)

Like it or not, the feeling that we have a finite time on this Earth helps us achieve our goals, fall in love, and buy that really fancy cheese grater when we can’t afford it. It helps us to understand the bigger picture, even when the bigger picture comes in the form of dead animals on the side of the road.

So, don’t touch my roadkill. Let it be a reminder that we all must decay, and the earth will feed on us as we’ve fed on it. But in that message, let us be enlightened not frightened as we drive along. And hopefully, we can start to share the road together.

Excuse Me, But I Think Your Car is Smoking…

I know what you are thinking. This can’t be just a catchy title…there has to be a story behind it.

Well, you are in luck. Although, the person whose car was smoking was not in as much luck as you and me are, snuggled cozily in front of our computer screens reading humorous ramblings and chuckling along.

No, this girl went through almost four complete traffic lights before deciding that it was best to pull over, even though the smoke from the hood of her car billowed behind her like a miniature steam engine. And I get it. It was rainy. It was foggy. It was not a relatively safe area. I’m sure she must have thought Is that me? or I’m sure I can make it through one more light before my car erupts into a ball of flame. And maybe she was right. Maybe she could have made it a couple more miles. And maybe I could have mustered up the courage to drive alongside of her instead of 100 feet back, as I decided whether to flash my high beams at her to say, “Excuse me, miss, I don’t mean to be rude, but your car is smoking.” It’s also very possible that she was completely in control of the situation and knew that her car was moments from breathing flames.

But she probably didn’t know all that. And she probably would have kept going. And you know what? So would you. Because we humans don’t like facing reality. We’d much rather keep going, our lives completely on fire and burning. We just like to wave a fan over things, saying “It’s a little hot in here, isn’t it?” We like to pretend. We like to “keep calm, and carry on.”

Hey, it’s worked for millions of years. Why stop now? (“Why stop now?” Your car is smoking. Is that a good enough reason, or are you too busy texting?)

Look, I know life is busy. I know that girl probably had a “Check Engine” light on for quite some time that she ignored. And at the risk of sounding like your disapproving father who tells you to be safe and to always prepare for the worst, well. Be safe out there. And prepare for the worst. Because there are going to be times when things work out. But for all of the times in between, which we call life, you are going to be glad that you prepared ahead of time. Just learn to expect it and accept it.

And sometimes we don’t want to admit that we are facing a difficult situation in reality. That we haven’t hit rock bottom, that we haven’t found that disgusting green chip at the end of the bag. Sometimes we don’t want to admit our car is sort of, kind of on fire. But there are times that we must, and the faster it happens, the faster you can get home safe, Miss Tokyo Drift. Just please. Pull over and ask for help when you need it, on the road and in life.

The 5 Types of Math Problems

You use math everyday. Whether you are calculating the tip for your bill, deciding how many square feet of carpet your living room will need, or, of course, subtracting the number of pineapples you have when you give a few to your friend (a totally relevant conundrum for anyone.)

Of course, no one is denying that math is an important part of our life. We wouldn’t have buildings, businesses, or blogs without it. But instead of the vast world of equations and shapes that math teachers preach about, the value of the X-value, many non-math people see another dimension, one of anxiety and confusion. I mean, we call them math problems for a reason.

So, instead of the hundreds of combinations that can be made from thousands of numbers, there are only about 5 types of math problems for non-math people, and I will be taking you through them tonight. Even if you are a math whiz, I can promise you that you’ve seen a couple of these before, and I can bet that you will be seeing them again. (Unless you are out of high school, then you don’t need to worry about literally any of this.)

1. That Word Problem That Escalates Really Quickly

-Have you ever been reading a word problem (If you have four apples, and…), and it suddenly just … (YOU MAKE CIDER ON A TRAIN THAT IS GOING 50 MPH THAT PASSES A MACY’S, HOW OLD IS YOUR BABY COUSIN?) Yeah. You’re not alone. For whatever reason, word problems are not satisfied with just being in math. They have to use numbers in word form to confuse us non-math people even further. In school, I always approached word problems as such: Hmm, a math problem made out of words? I got this. Then promptly cried in a corner when I got to the end of the paragraph-long equation and still had no idea what to do. I’m fairly certain that word problems want to take over the math world. They are pretty insane, after all.

2. The Problem That Goes On Forever

-There’s always that problem that is so complicated that you can’t even figure out where to start. It looks more like an excerpt from pi than a math problem:

43824839284390284392433424 + 3388 – 48394839444 x 33333339

And then there is always the helpful directions on top: Solve.

Solve??? Solve what!? You got yourself into that mess of numbers, math. Get yourself out.

3. The Problem That Is Easy Until You Look At The Possible Answers

-This is probably the most common problem for me. It goes something like this:

Solve. 2 + 2 = ?

Wow, a math problem I know the answer to. Now, I just need to—

A. 134  B. -43  C. 338938  D. 1

And then the panic sets in. I don’t see my answer. What did I do wrong?! This looked so simple…I guess I will just go with A because it has my answer in it…

But really, what is that about? Isn’t math hard enough without trying to pull the carpet out from under me? It already has pulled the wool over my eyes…

4. The Problem That Would Never Apply In Real Life

-Okay, okay. I admit that whenever I see a problem regarding perimeter or area, I must confess that I wish I knew a little bit more about math so I could apply it later in life. Because perimeter and area are sort of relevant. Yet, those problems are typically substituted with ones that ask me to graph a point on my expensive graphing calculator that I will only use for the rest of my senior year in high school and then bury in my underwear drawer.  Really, though. Have you ever been asked about the coordinate plane ever again? How about the quadratic formula? Tan, sin, cosin? No??? What a big, fat surprise. Now, that we’ve established we will never use this stuff, can we stop being tortured with it?

5. That Problem That Isn’t A Problem At All

-Sort of like the word problem, almost all math problems aren’t really problems at all due to their complete absurdity. If we all agree that what a triangle will look like when it is reflected over the y-axis does not really matter, we could be finished with all of this math nonsense. I mean, who CARES when the train will make it into the station if it is traveling 70 miles an hour? No amount of money will make me curious about what will happen when I give 10 avocados to my friends when I have 12 pounds of them left. That’s really the short and long of it, and there is no need to convert the measurements.

In the end, all I can hope is that the people who understand math will help the people who are a few equal signs short of an equation.

Thanks for letting me add my two cents, even though I can’t actually add two cents together.

What’s Important

They say to stick to what’s important. In writing a plot, and in the plot of life.

But what happens when the “important things” in life are always changing? In middle school, the important thing was to have a lot of friends (and not be the last one to have a date to the dance). In high school, there were similar goals, alongside of being in tons of clubs and extracurricular activities in order to create a robust college application. Then college arrived, where priorities changed on a daily basis (do I want to go to this party, or do I want to finish this paper? Why don’t I do both at the same time?) After that came the real world where finding a job, not to mention one in your field that actually fulfills your wildest fantasies and satiates your passion, is paramount.

So, how do you focus on what’s important when the line blurs everyday? When our values change, and we have a hard time discerning permanence from instant gratification? I can assure you that the National Honor Society elections were incredibly critical for me about 5 years ago, but now I can assure you that my status as the president of the National Honor Society has never come up in conversation. (Yes, the president for NHS now runs a cheeky blog that complains and preaches a lot to strangers on the Internet.)

Truthfully, you simply need to accept the transient nature of goals and ideals. They are going to change as you reach them, or you are going to modify them to better fit your own needs. Once you recognize an accomplishment as signifying the very trophy you may have received for it (that is, a symbol of your hard work that is placed on a dusty shelf and revisited seldom), you will begin to free yourself up for the next one. Goals are meant to be reached and set aside so that new ones can crop up in their place.

What’s important in your life should never be considered a constant or a staple. What’s important is only important for a short amount of time. So, if you worry that your friends, family, or religion is not playing as big of a part in your life than it once did, it means that you are growing to fit new ideas. You need to wear your values as a second skin, that sloughs off cells and regrows new ones to fit the growing dimensions of you. Without doing that, you limit yourself tremendously.

So, go naked in your new skin. Be proud of what you value, but do not let it control or define you. What you believe in is as impermanent as your own short life. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what’s important is truly, after all, always important.