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Etched in stone above the front door of the high school in my little hometown, located a stone’s throw from the Montana and Canadian border, is the following quote: Knowledge is Power. That phrase is hard to dispute and one that really used to impress me until I realized there’s something much more impressive than knowledge. It’s called wisdom. Why? That’s because, if knowledge is regular TV, wisdom is HDTV. In other words, it’s a whole different dimension.
If you ranched near the Badlands of North Dakota, north of Sentinel Butte back in the 1920s, and your wife took off with another cowboy and left you with three young kids, what would you do? If you were Jess Buell, you’d ship one boy off to an orphanage in Fargo and the other two to a New England boarding school. Then you’d take off yourself.
One never knows where they might learn the shocking truth. That’s what makes life interesting. Allow me to elaborate. It has long been my theory that ancient civilizations might have been more intelligent than ours in a variety of areas. For example, we consider ourselves to be medically superior because we can transplant hearts and create drugs that’ll reduce cholesterol. Centuries ago, they didn’t need to transplant hearts or reduce cholesterol because they didn’t eat the same processed goo that we do. So who is more intelligent?
Is it possible to be the vice president of the United States and not be well known? Apparently it is and I have a case in point. But first let me ask you this; who was Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president? In case you don’t know, which I’m sure you don’t, it was Hannibal Hamlin.
Do you know what the dominant word of the day is? It’s “conjecture.” Mr. Dictionary says that conjecture is an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information. Sounds reckless and dangerous, doesn’t it? It might be dangerous, but whatever the case, we are letting it rule our lives.
A hat is a hat and a cap is a cap. There is a difference isn’t there? Then why do so many people call a cap a hat? Do they also call a cup a glass? “Wait a minute, I have to go get my hat,” someone said to me just the other day and then came back out of the house wearing a cap. “That’s not a hat,” I said. “Yes it is,” they said.
Do you know how much gold there is in the world? There is 170 metric tons. What does that mean? It means that if you melted all of the gold that has ever been mined in the world and poured it onto the playing area of a football field, sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone, it’d rise to 5.4 feet high. Why is that important? Because we might need to return to the old “gold standard.” That is, unless you want to continue with our current economic roller coaster ride.
If you’re a history buff, you probably think you know everything there is to know about World War II. Well. guess again. My dad was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 and after basic training in Minnesota and San Antonio, Texas, he was shipped to a place outside of London to prepare for D-Day. Afterward, he ended up in France, Belgium and Germany.
Let me tell you a little secret. Nobody ever gets old. Yes it’s true that people age, at least on the outside. But on the inside, they never get old, simply because that same child that was in there from the beginning will always be there, inside of you. Tell me it’s not true.
For some reason, I suddenly know a lot of people with cancer. That’s not good. Maybe it’s because I am getting older. Or maybe it’s because cancer incidence rates in North Dakota are getting higher. According to the National Cancer Institute, 590,000 people will die of cancer in America this year. That’s about eight average NFL football stadiums full of people. Plus, the NCI says that 40 percent of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lifetime. That’s almost half.