Monday, December 7, 2009


Okay, I get it. We are all tired of having to learn something new. Why can't we just stick with the tried and true? The good old days were good enough, why change a gosh darn thing? To this, I say, "Hog wash!"

In Shakespeare's King Lear, the king says, "Nothing can come of nothing" to his daughter Cordelia, meaning that as long as she says nothing to flatter him, she will receive nothing from him. Later, Lear nearly repeats the line, saying, "Nothing can be made out of nothing" (Act 1.1 and Act 1.4 respectively).

One can get a lot out of Shakespeare. King Lear is a play about a foolish old man, who having created a kingdom worth possessing, wants to give it all away and retire to the life of a thoughtful recluse. So, having three daughters, King Lear gives away his kingdom to his "worthy" daughters in the hopes that they will continue his wise rule. All he asks is the comfort of his children in his dotage. The third daughter, Cordelia, refuses to be drawn into the game of praising an old fool, gets nothing. But, there is now fool like an old fool. Lear does not understand that the fidelity of Cordelia is the true test of filial devotion. The empty promises of his other two daughters soon turn to scorn and Lear is left without a kingdom, without respect and without the love of his daughters, excepting Cordelia, who he has dispossessed.

Yesterday, I asked my daughter for help. She told me to do it myself. It is not bad advice. Still, I could not feel a little bit like King Lear, helpless and alone in the world. My sister keep telling me she doesn't want to learn anything new. My wife tells me I am never satisfied with anything. My son tells me that I am the old fool that King Lear became.

So be it.

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