Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adam Savage & Food for the Eagle

For those of you who, like me, watch the Discovery Channel's MythBusters, here is a rare treat. It's co-host Adam Savage's speech to the Harvard Humanist Society:

Prayer doesn't work because someone out there is listening, it works because someone in here is listening. I've paid attention. I've pictured what I want to happen in my life. I've meditated extensively on my family, my future, my past actions and what did and didn't work for me about them. I've looked hard at problems and thought hard about their solutions.
See, I order my life by the same mechanism that I use to build things. I cannot proceed to move tools around in the real world until my brain has a clear picture in it of what I'm building. The same goes for my life. I've tried to pay attention. I've tried to picture the way I want things to be, and I've noticed that when I had a clear picture, things often turned out the way I wanted them to.
I've concluded by this that someone is paying attention—I've concluded that it's me. I've noticed that if I'm paying attention to those around me, to myself, to my surroundings, then that is the very definition of empathy. I've noticed that when I pay attention, I'm less selfish, I'm happier—and that the inverse holds true as well. 
There's a lot more, so drop by and read the whole thing. I wish I could have been there that night. The third paragraph reminds me of the scene in the film The Ruling Class in which paranoid schizophrenic nobleman Wacked Out Jack, played by Peter O'Toole, believes that he is god:
"How do you know you're God?" his aunt asks.
"Simple," Jack answers. "When I pray to Him, I find I am talking to myself."