WTF ‘bucket lists’ ???

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” So said Mark Twain.

One doesn’t travel just to change one’s views of other people and countries, although I’ve long said that one does learn that Santa Cruz (or wherever) is not the center of the universe. But, in that same way, the experience of reading a book or watching a play or movie can change our perspective.

That said, I don’t get the attraction of “bucket lists” or 100 places to see or places to sail or books to read before I die. The value of such experiences lies in the person I become as a result, not in checking items off a list. Once I’m dead, what’s the point? Unless I’m convinced (and I’m not) that I will bring my accomplishments into a next life — for instance, how karma affects rebirth — the benefit comes only in this life, and one’s interactions with other people.

Hence the thought that comes to mind when I choose not to watch the evening news to avoid being angered: “To what end? Who benefits?”