Ourselves

Somebody else can save us from black knights, invading aliens, or even time warping transvestites. It’s a big universe out there. Everybody needs a helping hand occasionally. Some more than others, but that’s beside the point. There’s only one thing someone else can’t rescue us from – ourselves.

We’re our own best friend and worst enemy. We relate best to us because we know all the gory details, the strength of every emotion, the true meaning of every thought we’ve ever had. And the only person we must live with our entire lives. (Technically that’s not absolutely true since Multiple Personality Disorder is on the rise.)

The only battlefield we’ll find ourselves on for all eternity is the one in which we struggle against ourselves. I’ll be the first to admit that finding balance between my needs, responsibilities, and entertainment is a struggle. Is it any wonder we seem a bit selfish when we introduce others into the formula?

And there’s yet another thing that we must find balance with – our inner and outer worlds. We all participate in this perpetual juggling act whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s the balance between these opposing forces that makes us who we are. And the evidence of those opposing forces is prevalent in everything we do.

There’s an old Chinese curse: may you get exactly what you wish for. It took me a long time to wrap my head around that one. A wish is useless without a plan on how to get there. It’s a pointless gesture unless you’re willing to put out the effort to make your wish a reality. That’s a failing a lot of us have. We spend our time wishing instead of making our dreams come true. Our real, heartfelt wishes, are reflected in our everyday life.

A modern interoperation of that ancient curse might be phrased: may you get exactly what you deserve. Ironically it’s a curse that perpetually comes true whether we want it to or not. The steps we take in our lives lead inexorably to where we are. The amount of effort we put into that journey is reflected in where we’re at.

One of the most obvious aspects of family is that they set the starting gate of our lives. Whatever our family does, they give us an edge in that particular aspect. Some families offer more advantages than others. Some more disadvantages. In the end, what counts is the direction we go after leaving that starting gate, where we put our effort decides our fate.

Accidents happen. Plans derail. Life throw’s us curves. But the only one who can set our course is ourself. We can take the advice of another, or strike out on our own. We can even chose to take no responsibility at all. But like Rush said in their song Freewill, “If you chose not to decide, you’ve still made a choice.” We, each individual, must live with the choices we’ve made. In the end, the responsibility, consequences, and benefits are ours.

Trump

I normally shy away from politics. It’s one of the topics guaranteed to start a fight. But with all the fanfare about our new president, one can’t help but notice.

My most immediate reaction is to wonder if the old theory about our leader-and-chief’s real job is accurate. The notion that his task is to distract the public from what’s really going on in Washington. If that’s the case, the real powers of Washington couldn’t have picked a better candidate. The eyes of the world are on Donald Trump, and maybe not where they should be.

But sleight of hand aside I started to wonder how Trump managed to get elected. Instead of spewing hate like people in and out of the Trump party are doing, I decided to listen. Logic would suggest there’s a reason why our new president managed to get elected, how the dark horse managed, not only to finish the race, but win.

On the other side of the aisle was Hilary Clinton. She was suspected of hiring assassins, payoffs, bartering her position for gain and facing yet another Judicial Inquiry. In short, she was politics as usual. Her campaign was based on trying to make everything seem okay, like the conniving, underhanded, shady politics of the past sixty years were all we had a choice of.

Donald Trump is the antithesis of that. He’s honest about what he thinks, forward in his views, unhindered by the press. He’s brash, he’s loud and arrogant. He’s as politically correct as Howard Stern, the radio personality, ever was.

Analysis’s agree here. Trump’s campaign wasn’t based on the normal politics of appealing to minority blocks. Instead he appealed to the majority. What several reporters referred to as the “unintelligent masses.” I’m not sure how being part of the bulk of the population automatically makes me stupid, but I’ll leave that for other people to ponder. I know what I am.

The new president is the latter of the two candidates. The voice of the American people has been heard. Bold beat out standard politics. The message is loud and clear for anyone who cares to listen. Politics as usual doesn’t work anymore. Politically correctness is on the way out. Honesty is preferably to the bland pap that Washington’s been selling since Kennedy. Minority rule of the White House is under question. Let’s hope upcoming candidates hear this message and modify their behavior accordingly.

However, like any action, there are consequences. The result of America delivering their message is that Trump is our elected president. He may not be what our nation needs, but he’s there none the less. Eventually he may do something stupid enough to be impeached. Until then the White House will have to tolerate his presence. If nothing else we’ll learn which politicians will sell their soul for their job. So there might be advantages in the new president after all.