Being all things to all men

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Sunday 30 October 1664

(Lord’s day). Up, and this morning put on my new, fine, coloured cloth suit, with my cloake lined with plush, which is a dear and noble suit, costing me about 17l..1 To church, and then home to dinner, and after dinner to a little musique with my boy, and so to church with my wife, and so home, and with her all the evening reading and at musique with my boy with great pleasure, and so to supper, prayers, and to bed.

Confession: I am fully aware that I do not listen to good music enough. It is balm to the soul. I can give an excuse that there is too much on my mind but when all said and done I am too restless to sit down for an hour or so and listen to auditory material. I can however listen to news as in Radio5Live because they are always jumping from subject to subject.

I like Charles Darwin’s quote “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week” or Albert Einstein “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician”. I read that listening to music releases the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine and I feel intuitively that it lessens stress and boosts the immune system. It has reduced depression and discourages me from compensatory eating. I know some surgeons played music during operations to diminish stress but knowing our luck the NHS has banned this practice on some ground or other though private surgeons can do as they wish.

Mozart

I understand that if people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are played music from previous eras, their memories are stimulated to remember previously known songs. Music improves intelligence, so studies show. I need to do some work on slowing down, which may be connected to the need to drop the idea that I am indispensable. It’s a hard one for a Gemini as we live on nervous energy.

But wait, even cows give more milk when classical music is played to them . Go on, your can google that phenomenon to your hearts content.

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My webmaster asked me today who my website was intended for. He asked me because I felt I needed to reach more people. I was tempted to say ‘everyone’ but then that reminds me of being all things to all men, and nothing to yourself’.  The derivation of this phrase comes from the King James bible, Corinthians 9:22. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made All things to all men, that I might by all means save some” This is a huge and ambitious statement and is about flexibility and adaption without compromise – you can figure out the rest.
It gained a certain derogatory meaning in modern times in terms of the futility of ‘being all things to all people’ because that causes unacceptable compromise in behaviour which is hypocritical.  We need  to stop this habit because one person cannot embrace all the requirements of your friends or your customers. We are best sticking to what we are passionate about, or simply good at.

This brings me back to my webmaster’s question. I want to attract diarists or bloggers and encourage them to write, people thinking of moving away from big cities to the south-west particularly Somerset, and people who like to be stimulated by new ideas or ways of looking at the world. I am coming up to 300 blogs now and nearly 250k words with no sign of slowing down. Rather, it has become part of my end of day routine, something that I enjoy doing and learning from, and an activity that my wife regularly reads and corrects my spelling mistakes and syntax errors.

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