Hi, I’m John Parillo, originally from Long Island, NY and I currently reside in the middle of nowhere Colorado. I went to school at the Naval Academy because I figured I needed a trade, and I majored in survival and graduation. After barely achieving those goals, I had the great pleasure of deploying to places that I had read about as a kid but barely knew where to find on a map. During that time, I met and worked with some of the finest people imaginable. I saw great and poor leadership, and seeing the rest of the world gave me a profound sense of gratitude for having won the lottery of life by being born in the United States.
After a stint on the ground during the Gulf War, I left active duty and worked for a healthcare start-up, and later went to GE in distribution and logistics. I was traded for a six pack of beer and a future draft pick to Penske Logistics which was, at that time, a part of GE Capital. I managed to become both a VP of Operations and Sales, as well as doing some work as a Master Black Belt in statistics.
I am retired now, much to the dismay of my dear, long suffering, wife, and enjoy working with my horses and wondering how I got this old this quickly, and what happened to my hair.
I have long been fascinated by man’s search for meaning. In the immortal words of Jimmy Buffet “Still 24 hours, maybe 60 good years, it’s really not that long a stay.” I tend to view current events through the filter of classical thought and believe that there is much that we can, and should, learn from these great voices in our past.
[ Newest ]What is Good
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 6/20/2021 10:03 AM
In my last article I mentioned that Plato lamented the Sophists use of language as a game, rather than as a tool to get to Truth. Since Plato, and his student Aristotle, had a major effect on both our modern scientific thought process and philosophical view of the world, it would be worth it to explore briefly some of his more important ruminations.
What is Truth?
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 6/13/2021 10:02 AM
Not every question is asked in order to get an answer. In the scene I described in my last article, the Roman ruler asks this question not in order to better understand the Truth, but rather to mock the very idea of Truth. Think of it along the lines of your significant other asking, “What were you thinking?” You are not supposed to answer that question. Trust me.
The Last and Greatest Creation
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 6/6/2021 10:06 AM
What can we learn from someone living four or five thousand years ago that is applicable today?
I am so very sorry.
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 5/31/2021 11:01 AM
There is a place at the Naval Academy called Memorial Hall. As you walk in, right in front of you is Admiral Perry’s flag with the words “Don’t Give Up the Ship” emblazoned for all to see. Around the perimeter are murals of famous naval engagements along with the names of the alumni who have lost their lives defending this great nation.
The Old Jew and the Indian
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 5/30/2021 10:04 AM
I have a dear aunt who used to refer to my father endearingly as an “old Jew”. Now if you read my bio, you know that my name ends in a vowel and I was raised on Long Island. Do the math. What my aunt was referring to was my father’s view on the world was philosophically Hebrew. I mentioned the Stoics and Marcus Aurelius in previous articles because I was drawn to their philosophy by people that I consider heroes. But, like my father, the philosophy that I most identify with is that of the Hebrews.
The Stoics Today
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 5/23/2021 10:02 AM
What were the lessons of the Stoics, why were they critical in Admiral Stockdale’s survival as a POW, and what can they tell us today? In my last article I mentioned both the Stoics and the fundamental question that Hannibal Lector quotes from the writing of Marcus Aurelius. When Thomas Harris wrote the character, Dr. Lector, he created him as a forensic psychiatrist. His job was to understand human nature and to use that understanding to help solve crimes. He used his background to explore the mind of humans, and, as such he studied the constants in human nature which led him to Marcus Aurelius.
The Cave Painting and the Grave
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 5/16/2021 10:02 AM
From the earliest man we can see two things that separate us from the rest of the animals on the planet, the cave painting, and the grave. Oh yeah, I get the whole opposable thumb thingy but that is a mechanical difference. The cave painting and the grave tell us that early man was aware of himself and thought about himself as an individual, and as mortal.
Who am I? Why am I here?
Hi, I’m John Parillo, 5/9/2021 10:02 AM
The word “hero” gets tossed around with distressing regularity. In fact, there are few real heroes out there. Most of what passes for heroic today is, at best, people doing their jobs in a competent manner. That said, on rare occasions, some of us get to walk among them. One time on a business trip to some nowhere town in Missouri I stood up to collect my bag, and in the seat behind me was an older gentleman, of modest stature, with a lapel pin from the 1st Calvary Division, upon which was engraved the letters LZ X. Had my eyesight been a bit hazier I would have missed it, but I nodded to the man and asked, “Were you there sir?” To which he replied, “I was. You might know me, I’m General Moore.”
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