The word “ponder” has somehow struck a chord with my fifth grade class this year. They are enthralled with the idea of “pondering” and enchanted by the concept of “musing”. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear one of them say, with a smile and a twinkle in the eye, “H’m, let me ponder that question for a moment!” I have seen both words in reading journals and on history homework. They have even made up a little chant, complete with actions. “Ponder, ponder, wonder, wonder, muse….think!”
So it should come as no surprise to you that I often find myself pondering various questions about life. As a middle aged woman, I spend lots of my nights tossing, turning and pondering. A lot of the time my musings simply careen around in my head, bumping into each other and crashing off of my skull before disappearing back into the dark night from which they came.
But every now and again, the mass of unrelated thoughts and questions seems to sort of…..well……”congeal”, and I am left with a big mushy mass of questions and ponderings (is that a word? ?? Well, it should be!) When that happens, I can’t ignore the lump of confusion, and I am compelled to get it off of my brain and into the larger world.
Usually I make Paul listen to all of it. But he isn’t home.
So. At about 3 AM this morning, with the silvery moonlight coming in my window, I started to ponder some of the news stories that I had heard and read during the day. These are the fascinating questions that zoomed around in circles, again and again, faster and faster, until they formed a smooth and creamy mass of outrage.
1) Why are we still sending vehicles out into space to explore planets and suns and galaxies that are a zillion miles away? I have heard the answer about how important it is for us to seek knowledge for its own sake. Oh, really? Then why are we continually cutting school budgets?
2) Why do we seem to believe that the only people worthy of running our country are those who have never held the job? What is with this whole “I am not a politician!” thing, anyway? If we are hiring a new manager for a baseball team, we want someone who has had some experience before this! If we are hiring a doctor, we want someone who has done the job before he gets to operating on us. So how has it come about that we suddently want our entire country to be run by someone who has as little actual experience in government as possible?
3) Why do we hold kids to higher standards than adults? Kids miss recess if they say something mean to a classmate. Adults get elected to office if they can successfully insult the living daylights of anyone who runs against them. Why?
4) Does it really matter which words someone uses when they are telling us that they hope we thoroughly enjoy our upcoming holidays? Do some words count more than other words?
5) Why do the best tasting things in the world make us fat? At 3 AM, snuggled deep inside my blanket, the thought of a mocha and a glazed donut was almost more than I could stand.
What do you think? If you have any answers to any of these questions, or to the greater question of why I am awake at 3 AM pondering donuts and space travel, please let me know!