I was at a neighborhood party the other day and ended up having a conversation with a group of people who were determined to talk politics. Personally I am getting sick and tired of having my physical and mental health being determined by how much I know about the world around me.
I was cornered by a group of neighbors who knew my opinion of how our nation is evolving. I smiled, took sips of a drink I was desperately trying to replenish, when one of my neighbors starting to talk about the need we control our own energy.
Maybe it was the third vodka tonic or the 85 degrees temperature that July always supplied. I simply asked him if he knew what the definition of energy was. After a few seconds of silence one of my more voracious neighbors smirked and stated that of course everyone knows what energy is. OK, I responded. What does it mean?
He told me energy means power. I agreed with him but then asked what he thought the definition of power was? Our little circle of friends and neighbors got a bit wider either because they were interested in what was being said or they thought a bit of a verbal battle was in the works. For, after all, the entire neighborhood knew of my neighbor’s support of our President and me, well, not so much.My neighbor then began to give me examples of what energy was and how important it was to defend our means of producing energy and acquiring energy from the rest of the world. I agreed with him because the amount of blood our nation has spilled over the concept of energy is well known and held in despair.
I thanked him for his examples of energy but then repeated my question of what he thought energy was. No one said anything. They just continued sipping their drinks and waited for our neighbor to answer the question. When he continued to give examples of what energy is I asked all what they thought energy was? Not a sound.
The thought of how many American families were destroyed and how many of our heroes lost made me a bit sick. Finally I stated that energy is simple the ability to do work. I went on to explain that not one source or nation produced energy because it can be produced by air, wind, tides, waves, geothermal, or even light.
After a few more seconds and right before my search for a fresh drink, my newly discovered adversary asked why I thought I was so perfect. It now seemed the entire party was focused on our discussion. I then asked him what he thought perfection was? I know this aggravated the hell out of my neighbor because he responded by telling me I though I was perfect. I laughed and re-asked my question.
He then went on to tell me perfection had no imperfections. I started to feel like I was part of some sort of tennis event because all who was listening bounced their focus between the two of us. I agreed with his definition but then asked him to give me an example of something that was perfect. I think this question took him a bit back because he was quiet for seemingly felt like a long amount of time.
He once again answered my question by stating there was art, writings, and even movies that were perfect. I told him since he was talking about things that were made there must be some sort of imperfection built in to it. He gave me a few more examples but because they were all something there had to be a bit wrong with it. He then smiled and proudly stated that God was perfect. I gave him a bit of a smirk knowing I was about to make a point I never intended to make.
You see perfection is nothing because how can nothing have anything in it that would make it imperfect. I went on to explain that everything is becoming more simple and heading for perfection. In chemistry and physics we call it entropy. When he realized I was calling his God, all Gods, imperfect he turned and has not spoken with me since our short encounter.
People broke away looking for their family, another beverage, or simply thought it best to hide. I felt a hand on my shoulder with one of my neighbors congratulating me on what became a debate. Turning and looking at is hopefully still a friend I asked him what he thought the definition of treason was.
Words we use and don’t have a clue as to what they mean by Jim Fabiano.
Jim Fabiano is a retired teacher and writer living in York, Maine.
You can contact Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org