The Beatles were in the middle of recording what many regard as their finest album – The White Album.
It’s my favourite Beatles album. More than that, my favourite record full stop.
But Ringo Starr, their happy-go-lucky drummer, couldn’t take it any more.
Here’s something weird.
Give someone a normal milkshake, but tell them that it’s a diet drink, and their gut behaves as if the drink is low fat. Even though it’s full fat.
Here’s something even more weird.
A patient wakes up from knee surgery. The doctor say that they’ve done the operation. The knee gets better even though the doctor only made an incision in the skin.
Human beings love stories.
We have been telling them for millions of years.
In prehistoric times, sitting around a fire telling stories was our Netflix.
Stories allow us to learn from new experiences without having to go through them.
As they unfold, we ask ourselves what we would do to overcome this.
I remembered recently that, when I was a little boy, I asked for a typewriter as my Christmas present.
I was very young. I don’t think I’d hit the age of ten yet.
Looking back, it seems an unusual gift request from a small child.
But I always enjoyed writing.
When the handle on my living room door stopped working, it was very frustrating.
I’d try to turn it but it wouldn’t shift.
I was locked out of my own living room.
I called a handyman.
When he arrived I told him what was wrong. When I turn the handle, nothing happens.
There are different ways of talking about problems.
We can talk of ourselves as having a problem. We hear this a lot.
“Jean has a problem.” “Neil has a problem.” “Arnold has a lot of problems.”
Or we can talk of wrestling with a problem.
“I’m wrestling with this problem at the moment.”
When I go shopping, I always have a shopping list. Quaint, I know.
Yet I store it on my phone, which is arguably cooler. Possibly not.
People sometimes think I’m dawdling in the aisle texing a friend, and get cross.
But I’m not. I’m checking my shopping list. Which is valid during a shopping trip.
We have good days and bad days. Or at least bad days and less bad days.
I’m always curious about the times when things are a little better.
I want to discover what we did to make things a little better.
Sometimes, people tell me that they’ve been down all week, but feel better today.
If I aim too high, or have too ambitious a thought, a voice inside me often scoffs: “Ha! Who the hell are you to do that?”
The result is that I’m often guilty of not aiming high enough. I can rule myself out of things. Even though the facts tell me I’m more than able.