No, this is not a political post, it’s about life.
I live on the West Coast in Washington State. Every Presidential election, it seems the winner is announced before my State’s votes are even counted. It may just be me, but with age I become more indifferent about the elections. Today, I look at the lineup and wonder what our world has come to.
After every election, I wait for things to be better, but it seems that in the end, other than seeing my taxes go up for one reason or another, the world goes on, both sides attack the other, and my life is about the same. The Democrats try to convince the world that the Republicans are idiots, and the Republicans try to convince the world that the Democrats are stealing their liberties. Each cycle, it seems that what used to be considered a form of civil service creates more wealth for politicians, and the rich Republicans and the rich Democrats get richer, or make someone else richer, somehow using us to do it.
Most of us are putting forth labor so they can reach their goal of going from average Joe to rich politician. Still, we continue to listen to their ideals and allow them to manipulate how we choose or keep friends. We debate the issues with emotion, argue with fervor, and promote those ideals we have been manipulated to identify with. In the end, it’s often wealth and lobbying that influences what comes out of the politicians mouths, regardless of the party, with the end goal of influencing our thoughts.
Today, I’m sitting in my brother’s home as he and his family face the effects of a Terminal Brain Tumor. He can no longer make it to the restroom alone and his wife needs help because she can only do so much. His children, one in college, and one out in the work force are home for the weekend to help. Life, not on hold, but coming to an end. Priorities now straight, and somehow Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, neither of which has anything to offer the world in my opinion become trivial background noise, a place I hope they remain every day.
A terminal diagnosis does wonders for understanding priorities in life, and it turns out that most of them are not out in the world trying to fix world problems. In fact, for those who have families that they love, and families that love them, priorities might all be right at home. Such a diagnosis is fodder for consideration that, while we have our armchair debates about the world’s problems, most of us never resolve our own issues. On the rare occasion that we are given a terminal diagnosis we might have the chance.
Today, I would appeal to each one of you to cast aside your political discussions, turn towards your family, childhood friends, and for a minute realize that civilizations, the world, capitalism, socialism, and great societies have been running their cycles for thousands of years, and individuals have minimal to no effect on the course a society takes from start until collapse once the wheels are set in motion. If your political debates and discussions make you feel you’re having an influence, continue on, but a deeper perspective may help you focus on the areas where you can have an influence. An interesting book, “The Lessons of History”, Will & Ariel Durant, summarizes these cycles of civilization in a short concise manner.
Don’t wait for your terminal diagnosis, or for that of one close to you to find your priorities and where you can make life meaningful. First, take a close look at the presidential candidates and ask yourself if they’re worthy of much of your time or thoughts. Second, realize that today’s the day to take care of those close to you without the influence of any institution. Do it from your own heart in your own way.