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06-3-2016 00:13:32  #1


What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity."--Horace Mann

Everytime I remember this thing I did I'm brought to tears.  It was a long time ago when I worked in an amusement park.  My main job was to drive the train, but I sometimes worked the inside where the rides were.  This park was geared more for smaller children, and one of the rides was somehow unattended.  It was called the "Zooms," I believe.  A little boy climbed out well before the ride had a chance to stop.  One of the Zoom cars knocked him down and scraped his back.  I don't ever recall running that fast before.  It was a very powerful ride, but somehow I collected the strength of ten and I stopped a lower slung car from rolling the boy over and breaking his neck.  He seemed unscathed as he crawled away.  I asked him if he was all right, and checked him over for scrapes--miraculously he had none.  When I was satisfied, he ran off, probably to look for his parents.  I think I was stunned a little bit for the rest of the day, thinking that I had saved a mother from burying a very young son.  I still tear up about it, not that I ever wanted any grand attention or anything like that--I'm just glad that even if I was never able to do anything else to make something better in this world--I think I might have done a couple more things, but I can't remember what they were--I feel satisfied that I saved a life.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

06-3-2016 13:51:55  #2


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

And what if that kid grew up to become a serial killer? I'm not being morbid, nor is it my intent to diminish what you believe is an example of making the world a better place, but in my experience life is a very complicated thing, and even at the best of times, it's very ambiguous in terms of what would make it a better place.

I wonder how exactly Horace Mann would have defined his "victory for humanity" condition, something he felt needed to be satisfied if someone wanted to be spared a shame-filled existence? Did it somehow manage to exclude the sticky reality that often one person's idea of better is another person's idea of worse? Did his idea of "victory" represent a moral conquest of some kind, an imperious spiritual belief, or was it literally a military action? 

Whatever his definition, it sounds like he set the bar very high, too high for the vast majority of people. I would have established a more modest expectation, and just asked that everyone display signs of humanity in their lives, because the truth of it is that there are too many people in this world who are incapable of even that.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

06-3-2016 16:54:17  #3


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

The child could also grow up to be a pillar of his community.  But mine was just to save him for his parents, not raise him as one of my own.  I made the world a better place, at that moment, for his parents, because they could enjoy him in his childhood longer than they would have otherwise had I not been there.  Leaving the world a better place does not mean leaving it better for ALL of mankind.  You miss the point, sir.  You don't have to have done something like conquering all of our enemies singlehandedly or invent teleportation, or something else Earth-shattering.  Some of the greatest "victories" that have been won are on the small scale--within the realm of the vast majority of people.  Help an elderly person home with their groceries.  Pet a dog.  Save a wonderful old typewriter from another one of those dadburn blankety-blank-blank-blank keychoppers.  I just bought a 1955 150 that I plan to give life to again.  There's a small victory and in this deed, I leave the world a little bit better than it would be otherwise, in that I'm keeping a piece of history from further cluttering a landfill.  I guess I could be doing something more useful by just taking the thing to a scrapyard and letting someone else turn it into something that would benefit mankind more than what an old manual typewriter could do.  You  could argue the point on and on.  But, the main thing I am wanting to get across is that 1.  I am proud that I saved a child so that his parents did not have to bury him at that time;  2.  Victories can be big or small.  My guess is that Horace Mann is simply saying "Do something!!  Don't just sit on your hands.  Get out there and do something however small.  It may not change the way we now know life, but DO SOMETHING!!!" 


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

13-3-2016 09:25:55  #4


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

I'm sure everyone here has done something to make the world a better place, and we probably don't even know which thing it was that did it. I try to make the world a better place every day. The thing I'm proudest of is my kids, but I'm not sure pride is what we're meant to be in it for!  Two things are sure, though. One is that anything I can do, someone else can do, or is doing, better, and the other is that even the most indispensable people die and are washed away in the sands of time.

How's that for cheerful.

The least we can do is try to get their typewriters.

 

13-3-2016 11:59:43  #5


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

I'm 62 and haven't killed anyone. Yet. (If I catch a key-chopper in the act, that may change.)
I've worked hard all my life and paid my taxes. I always vote.
I'm on my third pound-hound.
All-in-all, I figure I'm above average in terms of humanity.

 

13-3-2016 21:41:32  #6


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

KatLondon wrote:

The least we can do is try to get their typewriters.

LOL
Pay your respects to the vultures....😉
 


"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the typewriter."
 

18-3-2016 18:19:35  #7


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

Looks like we're all going in the right direction, except for the key-chopper caught in the act.  Too bad we can't educate these bugs.  And as for getting the typewriters of those who died and were washed away in the sands of time, I think of that as a way of preserving, at least in part, the memory of these people.  I have my Mother's typewriters, and the typewriters of some very good friends.  I feel very privileged to be able to see that their typewriters didn't die too.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

27-4-2016 05:26:01  #8


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

It seems to me some sellers are getting clever at manipulating the emotions of typewriter lovers. For example:

Royal 10

I don't know if the seller is being artful by the seemingly naive descriptions "nasty" and "terrible condition". Seemed merely like refreshing un-salesmanship until:

"I purchased the typewriter to salvage the keys for crafting, but find that there may be some interest in this old relic for other parts or restoration."

It's clearly in very good condition as old typewriters go and probably does not need more than cleaning - in fact it shows signs of relatively recent replacement parts and maintenance. But I would have simply passed it by with a smile except for the threat of destruction. It's as if it's being held for ransom. The price is in some sense reasonable but I would not consider this use or resources except for the threat. Intentionally or not it's crafty marketing, but I'm not sure if I will be influenced by terroristic threats. It's not as if I have a warehouse and an infinite bank roll!

Thread drift following the path: good acts -> ethical dilemmas -> key choppers


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

29-4-2016 22:57:42  #9


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

Scabs the keychopper going soft?!  NAW!  I don't believe it.  He's trying to raise his/her ransom by appealing to the sentiments of some poor soul who's probably starting a collection.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
     Thread Starter
 

30-4-2016 23:01:47  #10


Re: What Do You Feel That You've Done to Make the World a Better Place?

TypewriterKing wrote:

Scabs the keychopper going soft?! NAW! I don't believe it. He's trying to raise his/her ransom by appealing to the sentiments of some poor soul who's probably starting a collection.

Later... "You are bidding on a set of four BEVELED GLASS PANELS that I salvaged from an old 1919 Royal Model 10 typewriter.  They are not perfect, displaying some chipping along the edges and corners as pictured caused by the metal clips holding them in for the last 97 years."

 It didn't make it.

 


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

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