Guitar Slim • The Things That I Used To Do
This song bring to mind, for me, the topic of self-improvement that many of us seem to confuse Buddhism for, including myself.
With a lot of help from my friends, I'm starting to see that improvement is more of a side effect that shouldn't be of concern. The true practice is the realization of suffering, then, ideally, emancipation from it.
This topic comes up often at Ox Herding especially in the comments, and this one seemed to pierce the topic in a way I found comprehensive;
"Self-improvement can provide great cover for the genuine and terrible suffering we produce. But self-revelation, well, reveals the suffering in full. Through self-revelation, we discover that we are sadistic, paranoid, entitled or whatever other delusion governs our behavior. Once we see it, then we can accept it and become free of it."
Back to the song, I don't think Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) has much of a concern with self-improvement in this one. Rather, it seems to me he's had a sincere, humbling revelation of his cycle of suffering and is choosing to walk away.