Congratulate yourself.

You made is through another year.

You lionized another birthday

And hoped for many more.


You dressed your transgressions in purple robes,

Tolerated the tolerable,

And dreamed another dream.


That person that you were last year

has passed on to become memory.

The person you are to be this year

is being contemplated as we speak.


I hope you made the proper number of mistakes

and hope to make a similar number this coming year.

Mistakes mean that we are doing something–

Perhaps something we have not done before.


Congratulate yourself.

You are known by your blunders,

Admired for your accuracy,

And vilified for your honesty,

As are we all.


Congratulate yourself.

Though time flew by, you persevered.

Though you did not do it all,

You chipped away at it.


Congratulate yourself.

Say, “Happy new year.”

Welcome to the land of beginning again.


Keep those thoughts positive,

Those acts causative,

The mind cognitive.



Do you like this thought?  Comment below.










by Kenneth harper Finton ©2014

Her name is Holly.

Just because her name rhymes with jolly, does not mean that she was sunny and joyful on this fateful Sunday.

Most of the day, though, she was jolly.

It was Christmas Eve and Holly was at her best in that season, but she still managed to have a terrible day.

Her plans were innocent enough. She went to church on Sunday morning as was her custom, then picked up her kitten whom she had named Missy and went to the retirement home to visit her mother. The two went down to the cafeteria for lunch, leaving the kitten to play in her mother’s room.

It began to snow heavily. Holly smiled, as she was in full holiday spirit and the fresh snow made everyone smile. “We will have a white Christmas after all,” they laughed. Missy batted at the sock hanging on the Christmas tree and they spent a pleasant hour talking and watching the antics of the kitten.

Her mother gave Holly a Christmas present wrapped in red foil paper and she picked up the kitten to head for home. She could see her breath in the cold air. She placed the kitten in the old VW Beetle that she had restored, wiped the windows and carefully began the drive home.

Aha, you say … The roads were slick and she had an accident.

No, that is not the way it was.

She needed to fill up with gas, so she pulled into the convenience store and went inside to get a soft drink and potato chips. By the time she came back to the car, the snow had covered the windows again, so she took the brush and cleared away the snow. She stepped around the gas hose to clear the back window, then walked around the Beetle as she merrily brushed away.

Aha, you say. She slipped on the ice, fell and broke her hip. That is what caused her bad day.

No, that is not the way it was either.

She stamped her feet and got back in the car and pulled slowly away from the gas pump. She had not gone more than a few feet before she heard a metallic clunk from the rear of the car. “My God,” she thought, “I forgot to take the hose out of the tank and hang it on the pump.”

Aha, you say. The gas spilled out all over the ground and caught fire from a static spark she produced when she got out of the car. The entire pump threatened to explode.

No, that is not the way it was either. It was even worse.

The station was equipped with quick release safeties where the hose meets the pump. All that had happened was that the hose had come loose and dragged beside the car. There was not a dent in the Beetle not any damage to the hose. Not a drop of gas was released.

Holly arrived safely at home, placed the car in the garage and went into the house. She remembered that her mother had given her a present, but she had not taken it out of the car. She went to the garage to retrieve it, not aware that she was being followed.

Aha, you say. There was an intruder and he attacked her in the garage. She is about to become one of the twenty-five percent of the women that are molested sometime in their lifetime.

No, that is not what happened either. It was worse than that.

What can be worse than that, you ask?

She quickly got the present, shivered and shut the car door to hurry inside. The car door would not close. She opened it up to see what was keeping it open, but nothing was visible. She shut the door again and glanced down at the floor of the garage.

The kitten lay twisted in the floor, laying in her back, twitching a bit, but still purring.

Ouch, you say. I was not ready for that.

Neither was Holly. She ran to the house to get a towel, wrapped the kitten to keep it warm, called the emergency number at the pet hospital and rushed off to get help for the kitten.

The kitten did not make it to the hospital. It died purring on the seat beside her.

That is terrible, you say.

Yes, it is.

How do you think Holly felt? Self incriminated, a murderer of kittens.

Of course, she was sad. Of course, she wrung her hands and sighed.

Was it her negligence or the kitten’s curiosity? She had to think that it was a bit of both.

Is there a bright side to any of this?

There is a legend in a faraway country that every time a kitten dies a brand new human babe is born into the world. If this legend does not exist, it probably should. At times like this we need a little help from our imaginations. We dare not totally extinguish the spark of hope.

The kitten had short, but happy time while yet it lived.

This is a positive.

The kitten will not have to bear the pain of littering nor the shock of neutering. It will not have to spend countless hours on the window sill staring out the window and wishing to chase those birds on the grass.

This is a positive.

Let us leave it at that.


ALMOST FOREVER: a Christmas Story

by Kenneth Harper Finton ©2014



It was Christmas Eve.

Sarah was alone in her apartment.

Fred had left a week ago.

The holiday season had all the ingredients of a miserable experience.

Sarah has just turned forty-five.

She felt that her life has been spent giving a lot and not getting much back.

She wondered if that was her own fault.

“Am I deluding myself?” she asked. “Have I really given enough?”

Fred had told her she was arrogant just before he walked out the door. “You always think that you’re better than me,” he had said.

She had been accused of arrogance before Fred was around. Roger, her lover and dance director had complained of her air of superiority. She recognized there might be some truth to it.

However, the difference between arrogance and truth is often a fine line that depends on the delivery of the message.

Sarah had always known that she has much to relate and much to give. She had thoughts that ran deep–more than the average person wants to talk about. Most of her life she felt alone, even in a room filled with people.

She needs a real listener, but good listeners are all too few.

It has been a lifelong battle, this seeking for a real listener. It is a battle that she fought daily, yearly… almost forever.

Sarah was not the lovely young sexy thing that she used to be. Her youth had passed away, yet the essence of her still lived in spirit. Her maiden looks might have run away, but she was not truly bothered with this. What she now has–the experience and the wisdom–seems better to her than the ability to lead a young man around with the sexy sway of her hips as she could do in the past.

Would it not be for creaky joints and spots of aging on her thickened bark–would it not be for shortened breath and shorter days, she would feel but twenty.

Yet, for Sarah, twenty had been a horrid age where doubt and inexperience blended in a soupy pot of lust and indecision. It was a time of looking to others for direction, looking for companionship. Sarah was always looking to the outside for the answers, but now she realizes that answers most often lay within.

She had asked herself important questions for decades. She was beginning to realize that questions often have always had the answers written into them. The answers are simply the questions in reverse. By simply turning around the question, the answer became clear.

She had asked herself, “Who am I, really.”

The answer was, “Really, I am who.”

The question then became, then who is ‘who’?

It began to feel like an Abbot and Costello routine.

‘What’ is on first base, ‘when’ is on second and ‘who’ is on third.

She laughed at the thought.

She knew that to “I am who,” she must add “I am who… I want to be.”

If only she were what she wanted to be. She was not even certain what she wanted. The choice was too large and narrowing it down proved too difficult.

She had been a ballerina until she tore the cartilage in her knee.

Then she had teamed up with Fred and spent fifteen years waiting on his every whim and fancy.

At least it seemed that way.

Fred has been kind. He supported her writing and her reading habits.

But she was not what she wanted to be. She was used to having Fred around and his leaving had disrupted her life.

She wrote poetry and kept a journal of her thoughts and observations, but she had not done much to earn a living from wages in all her forty-five years.

It came back to bite her.

She regretted not moving on into a self-sufficient life. She regretted her dependencies, first upon her father, then upon her director lover, and then upon Fred after that terrible fall.

Sarah took to the Internet like Monarch to milkweed.

The people she knew locally, she knew only in passing—so she was prepared for the superficiality of the friends she could make online. They did not have to know all the details of her life. They were more interested in how she felt than her next door neighbor or even Fred.

She could pour out her life online and still omit the parts she did not want anyone to see. There was both communion and confession online while still presenting only the face she wanted to portray.

Technology made her feel more alone. It gave her voice, but the voice went out to strangers that she cannot see and feel.

Regardless, she persisted in this miasma.

Gradually, she grew used to the odors of indifference that surrounded her.

Sarah convinced herself that this is not her personal problem, but a sign of the times.

“People today are not as receptive and they used to be,” she thought.

Sarah knew that she really needed flesh and blood people in her life.

Someone to talk to on long drives to nowhere.

Someone to laugh with her when a comedian said something witty on television.

Someone to love beside herself.

Her emotional life had reached a dead-end.

She could not bear it for a moment longer.

The nature of matter is to unite after pressure—so, sure enough, the phone rang at that very moment.

It was Fred.

“I miss you, Sarah,” he said. “I took you for granted and I miss you very much.”

Sarah smiled to herself.

She could see a pass opening in the mental mountain that seemed impassable a moment before.

“I miss you too, Fred,” she whispered.

“It’s Christmas Eve,” Fred said. “Do you feel like I do tonight?”

She did not need to ask him how he felt. She could tell by the sound of his voice.

“Yes…  yes…  I do,” she stuttered.

“Can I come over?”

“I would love that,” she smiled, feeling twenty in her bones.

“Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas.”

“See you soon.”




by Kenneth Harper Finton ©2014


My old grandpappy used say that “learnin’ is bad for a body. The more a body knows, the unhappier a body gets.”

Unfortunately, I did not take his advice, but I have yet to see any proof that he is wrong.

That is why I founded The Foundation for the Furthering of Global Ignorance.

Reading Ruins the Eyes

Reading is hellish on the eyeballs. We may not notice it for a while, but the words become increasingly out of focus and lines soon begin to dance before our eyes. The eyes will then begin to water and demand a good rubbing.

Reading Strengthens the Brain.

The natural state of the brain is mushy. The more we use it, the stronger it grows. We do not want to overburden or tax the brain, so we should replace reading and writing with movies and phone conversations.

Overworked brains need bigger heads and our heads are fixed in size and volume. We should not fill it the our brains with useless culture and relics from past thoughts. If these classic thoughts from the past had any value at all, these thoughts would reoccur to us, would they not?

Had I only paid attention to the old man, I could revel in even more ignorance than I already possess. Lucky for the present, most schools are not really teaching classic reading skills. They teach enough writing to sign your name and pass a driver’s license test.

images-1They don’t teach geography, so no one under 25 has any idea of where they are going. They no longer teach cursive, as it can be had in the fonts folder if one really needs it.

Reading Can Expand Your World

For those of us who like things exactly as they are, there is no worse threat that seeing what is on the other side of the hill. With new communications tools the universe is at our fingertips. We can make friends in Patagonia and buy stocks in Australia. We can be inspired by ideas from across the ages and the seas. The Internet may kill everything we have worked for thousands of years to achieve. Ignorance and class. I was once told Al Gore invented the Internet. I believe that he should be drawn and quartered.


It_pays_to_be_ignorant_1949-showReading May Accidentally Change Your Station in Life

This reading of history and novels must be held in check. Through reading one is able to transcend their own station in life. They are emboldened to dream of other worlds and experience other lives. This, of course, is disruptive to the homogeneous society we seek to build. When the average person learns too much about how the world really works, they tend to either revolt or become integrated in the power structure. Stability is built by the ignorance of the masses.

Once one embraces ignorance, the world is a much simpler place.