The darkness behind my closed eyelids was like the cloud-covered sky, but the gray was somewhat deeper. Every few minutes, someone would come and paint over the gray with a different-textured gray - one with a touch of gold or green or red. I was impressed with the variety of grays that existed. Human beings were so strange. All you had to do was sit still for ten minutes, and you could see this amazing variety of grays.
Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person's essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?
Me, I've seen 45 years, and I've only figured out one thing. That's this: if a person would just make the effort, there's something to be learned from everything. From even the most ordinary, commonplace things, there's always something you can learn. I read somewhere that they said there's even different philosophies in razors. Fact is, if it weren't for that, nobody'd survive.
Latter-day capitalism. Like it or not, it's the society we live in. Even the standard of right and wrong has been subdivided, made sophisticated. Within good, there's fashionable good and unfashionable good, and ditto for bad. Within fashionable good, there's formal and then there's casual; there's hip, there's cool, there's trendy, there's snobbish. Mix 'n' match. Like pulling on a Missoni sweater over Trussardi slacks and Pollini shoes, you can now enjoy hybrid styles of morality. It's the way of the world -- philosophy starting to look more and more like business administration.
Even when I ran my bar I followed the same policy. A lot of customers came to the bar. If one in ten enjoyed the place and said he'd come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. To put it another way, it didn't matter if nine out of ten didn't like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what. This is what I learned through running a business.
You know, they've got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you don't like others? And you eat all the ones you like, and the only ones left are the ones you don't like as much? I always think about that when something painful comes up. Now I just have topolish these off, and everything'll be OK. Life is a box of chocolates. I suppose you could call it a philosophy.