Beware of the Ides of March
I am sure many of you remember this phrase from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Ceasar. First whispered by the Soothsayer, then falling into the dialogue between Brutus and Ceasar, finally, Ceasar dismisses the Soothsay as a dreamer and ignores the concern. In a moment of great foreshadowing by Shakespeare, the audience is warned of Ceasars’ peril.
Today is the Ides of March (the 15th) and since it’s part of our cultural lexicon I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the subject:
I read a fascinating book a few years ago by Daniel Kahneman, Think Fast Think Slow, where he articulates how your brain naturally processes information in two different ways; quickly based on pattern recognition and training and slowly based on contemplation and absorption. Two examples would be reacting to the crack of a baseball bat and then deciding what college to attend. Our brains are powerful parallel processing engines that track vast amounts of information that don’t always reach the conscious mind. Did you ever wonder about the number of mathematical calculations that your brain makes when you throw a ball down the field to someone who is running away from you on a windy day?
When you have an intuition about a situation or a person, how is that formed and what level of concern should you have? Great storytelling leaves clues for the audience to follow as the plot progresses.
I wonder if in our lives we get clues, intuitions, or signs that we need to pay better attention too. Each of us has a perspective on divine providence, the fates, or how randomness affects our lives, I won’t tip into a theological debate that’s for each of you to sort out. However, I am convinced that our brains are amazingly powerful tools, skilled at pattern recognition if, in a moment of mindfulness, you have an inkling, intuition, or an epiphany it might just be foreshadowing in your life.
So, on March 15th or any other day, it comes to you “Beware of the Ides of March”.
Let’s go be great!