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The Smartest...


The smartest man I know... I've known many.  That is smart men in my life.  And this declaration does not nor is it intended to take away from all the smartest men or women I've ever known. So, shed your ill-thoughts, if you can. Abandon your jealousy.  Open your mind.  Be mindful for a moment of someone other than yourself, if you please.
The smartest man I've known, as far as book learning was my husband.  A degree in botany at a SUNY; then manuevred to Upsala for a degree in psychology.  Then onward to FDU for a masters degree in psychology till there was a family emergency.  He thought he'd never go back to college. I kept reminding him that he should. For his reading capabilities were incredulous. I was always in awe of them. And too, envious at times as I struggled to read.
Then in what he thought was his final career destination.  The bottom dropped out. He wondered how I his wife could've predicted the politics two years before. For I only understood street. He soon transitioned to full time student. Entering two, NJIT and William Patterson College at the same time while working part-time. As well later receiving a Masters at Montclair State. He and I were like two ships in the night passing in our early marriage. For I was working full time as I then went to school part-time simultaneously.
And as I write all the aforementioned I can say as studied as he was. He was not the smartest man I've known. Yes, indeed a competition in my mind of multiple smartest people I've known and know. It's a toughy, for sure.
Until this morning. This morning, after a suggested near twelve hour sleep as my acupuncturist had mentioned to me multiple times yesterday in session. I did as he advised me. Although needling usually knocks me down a bit, for sure. This knocked me out.
As I awoke this morning, I realized I had time to ponder before certain chores. As I grinded a new bag of coffee and stared out our kitchen window. I reflected on what serves people within their lives. What is it we all are looking for.  And how many of us are smart enough to recognize it, and brave enough to forge ahead with our ideas.
When I was age seven, our then family of four sat for passport pictures to be taken in a local shop in nearby town Dumont. We were to move to Australia. 
Yep. I was to become an Aussie. My Dad was encouraged to move out to Australia near people he was related to. And to become a sheep herder.
Needless to say, it never happened. I think my Mom may have put her foot down or his parents were not in favor. Who knows.
I've witnessed so many people NOT live out their dreams. Was it lack of bravery? Or something else?  Whatever it may have been, I have seen people settle for less quality in life because of it. Not moving on a deep desire to change.  And that is deadly. Why? Because most of us can be more than we are, and should.  I consider that to be a selfless act. Being our true selves.  Following an intangible idea. Only one we feel we must attain. That deep, deep feeling inside most push away,  struggle with, fight off, die because we don't listen to it, although hearing it.
The smartest person I know is someone who I knew as a teenager. He was my weights-coach in high school.  He was a gym teacher. He was a football coach. The kids that knew him loved him. And he was and has been respected. 
What made Fred McClain the smartest person i know is that he didn't wait to go after his dream of being on farmland. He moved young enough to enjoy it. Share it. Still sharing it as I write this piece. 
It seems as though he didn't count the years extra he could get for his pension as a teacher in New Jersey. No. He moved clear across to the middle of the country. Set out to do what he did say he would. What he seemed to desire. Why? I don't care. I only care that it is what he desired. That is living your truth. Many can do it in this country. Few even come close.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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