11 January 2014

Irapuato Three King's Day Parade

07 January 2014

Chicago People

My daughter Angela posted the item below to her to her Facebook page. She received it from her good friend Ashley. It was captioned "I think Grandma and Grandpa Mrotek would have liked this post. Happy New Year to some of my favorite Chicagoans."

The Grandma and Grandpa that she is writing about are, of course, my parents, George and Armella, who are now in Heaven and to whom I owe so much. They are part of the generation that came of age during the Great Depression, served their their country during the dark days of World War II and the Korean Conflict, built the Interstate Highway System, and put a man on the moon. That generation deserves a great debt of gratitude which will never be paid in full.

One of the hallmarks of the people in those days was their ability to take things in stride. I believe it was called backbone and common sense. The cold and snowy weather may have been a nuisance at times but was never allowed to be an excuse. When I was a lad in the 1950's they just bundled us up well against the cold and sent us to school and the schools never closed for bad weather. The only time that I can remember my school being closed was for the death of President JFK.

God bless you Mom and Dad, and I hope this gives you a chuckle.


03 January 2014

My Word of the Year for 2014

Today I was reading the blog of my friend Pamela Toler called "History in the Margins". She chose the word "boundaries" as a theme to concentrate on in 2014. In December of 2010 I came up with a one word resolution for the year 2011 in a post called "My Word for MMXI". After careful consideration the English word that I chose was "ideate" (pronounced AHY-dee-aet) which is a verb that means "to form an idea of", "to think of", "to imagine" or "to conceive of". It is synonymous with "to dream", "to envision", "to fancy", to "fantasize", "to picture", "to visualize", "to conjure up", or "to see in your mind's eye". When used in the intransitive form (without an object) and in the imperative mood (command) it means: THINK!

The word that I chose for 2012 was "update" in a post appropriately named "2012 Update". The word "update" is, of course, a verb that means to make something that was suitable for times gone by more suitable to the present and the future by adapting it to recent ideas. It is synonymous with "improve", "correct", "renew", "revise", "upgrade", "amend", "overhaul", "streamline", "modernize", "re-brand" and "contemporize".

The word that I chose for 2013 was "motivate" but I didn't write much about it in a post called "What Motivates YOU?".

My word for 2014 is "ataraxia".It is a Greek word meaning a proper attitude characterized by “freedom from worry”. By suspending judgment, by confining oneself to phenomena or objects as they appear, and by asserting nothing definite as to how they really are or should be, one can escape the perplexities of life and attain an imperturbable peace of mind. For example, the current struggles between the different ideologies of the Democrat and Republican parties with the extreme ideologists of both sides firmly entrenched in dogma is causing much angst in the general populace. If we suspend dogma, however, even just for a little while, and just explore possibilities perhaps we can find a path to enlightenment about those things where we can share a consensus. Take the case of Galileo, Copernicus, and Pope Urban VIII. Galileo and Urban VIII were locked in dogmatic controversy over the heliocentric model of the universe. Even though Urban knew that Galileo was probably right, he just couldn't give up church dogma at the drop of a hat. Galileo stubbornly asserted his scientific “dogma” and ended up suffering dearly for it by the loss of his freedom. Copernicus, however took the path of “ataraxia”. He wrote about the heliocentric theory as if it were nothing more than an exercise in thought without claiming it to be dogma and thus furthered the aim of science without strife.

So, how about you? What is your word for the year? Something positive I hope!


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About Me

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.