Ron Colone: On the subject of all those scars

RON COLONE

I see certain people posting screenshots of their phones displaying the time 11:11. The ones I have in mind who do this — all people I know and like and enjoy being with — believe that there is something extra special, extra spiritual about the number 11 when it is repeated. They take it as a sign from the universe or their guardian angel telling them they’re on the right path and reminding them to trust their intuition and listen to their gut, and to be courageous, confident and creative in going after what they really want in life.

Seems to me that’s a pretty good message and mantra no matter what time it is.

For me, though, the significance does not stop with or depend on the numerals. I think it’s just as special of an occasion when any numbers repeat or form a conspicuous pattern. And because I think that, and also because some people in the past have expressed doubt when I mentioned how often the numbers are all the same when I randomly look at my phone to see what time it is, I have gotten in the habit of clicking screenshots as evidence.

Looking back over the past 17 days, I note that there are 24 screenshots in my photo gallery showing repeating numbers. There are: eight instances of 11:11, five 4:44s, three 1:11s, two 2:22s, two 12:12s, a 10:10, a 3:33 and a 5:55; and every single one of them, at the time of taking it, was accompanied by an inner smile and a silent prayer of gratitude.

Those who study and follow a stricter form of numerology than I would disagree with my "anything goes" approach to the numbers. They would contend that each numeral holds its own unique meaning, with interpretations ranging from good to bad, birth to death, success to failure, caution, confidence, creativity, destruction, advancement, hesitation, health, wealth, well-being, sickness, sorrow, solitude, partnership, fellowship, ownership, flexibility, freedom, fulfillment, perseverance, surrender, and countless other colors and nuances.

All that said, there is an occurrence of 11-11, though, that I do want to bring attention to — the one on this week’s calendar: Nov. 11, Veterans Day.

It started out as Armistice Day to commemorate World War I, which ended the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, chosen as the day to remember, to pay our respects to the veterans of that bloody war, and to celebrate and be grateful for peace.

Thirty-six years later, having endured other bloody wars and other miserable conflicts, we changed the name to Veterans Day to honor all who’ve served in all the wars.

In observance of this year’s Veterans Day, I want to acknowledge and honor our vets for their special brand of service, patriotism, sacrifice and bravery. I also want to recall the other reason for the holiday in the first place, which is to celebrate peace and the cessation of hostilities.

If there’s one thing this country could definitely use right now, it’s a cessation of hostilities.

So, this Veterans Day, while we rightfully honor our servicemen and women, let us also aspire to the qualities we ascribe to them. Let us rise to the call of service, each in our own way, to people, to humanity and to our ideals. Let us find the strength within ourselves to sacrifice — for something greater. Let us summon the courage and bravery to overcome our fears and doubts and worries and weaknesses. And let us remember and realize that patriotism is more than-rah-rah-rah for the Red, White and Blue. True, there’s a love and pride of country and culture and our history, but unless it also encompasses a striving to uphold and attain our ideals and principles, and to be guided by what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature,” then it is empty and ignoble.

It’s 11-11, Veterans Day — and I am grateful for our country, and those who have served it.

Ron Colone can be reached at ron.colone@gmail.com

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