Asea, Adrift,Amok….

I love to do crosswords and manage to finish off at least one a day. Asea or adrift is a state of confusion in which the individual is completely confounded with no solution in sight. Amok means to lash out violently after a period of brooding. I am taking my meds but all of the above describe my mental state more than once in these past few weeks.

As is my want, I try to figure things out. Take a given set of circumstances and see if there is a way to make things better. Not merely for the sake of change or to be the savior of the world but more to be the arbiter between conflicting interests in the hope we can come up with something for all. Considering today’s world, I think I have met my match and I may just move to the sidelines and let the chips fall where they may.

We have just been through a pretty serious hurricane down here. As in Texas there is no escaping floods, winds and destruction. The irony is that you can dodge chaos by a few miles. Some make it and some don’t. The Keys might be 100 miles away but their devastation is humungous compared to our minor inconveniences. But in the end everyone pitches in and does whatever they can by opening their doors and their wallets to the less fotunate. The Cajun Navy from Louisiana came on their own to Houston and never once asked for a dime.

A week or so has passed since Irma. Even though Jose and who knows who else is looming out there, things are getting back to normal. The Kumbaya moments are passing as they have in previous disasters. Most notoriously with the horror of 9/11 shared by a country and not just a city or metropolitan area.Then civility ebbs. We soon get back to fighting, bickering and complaining. Translated, we get back into ourselves.

For a moment let us consider we are partners in one way or another in this thing called life. A lawyer friend once told me that partnerships were wonderful until one side or the other feels like they are being screwed. Then they should be disbanded because you will never get it right. I guess that is what happens in marriage, business, and even society. The whites hate the minorities though they will never tell you so. The blacks and hispanics feel a similar hatred that can only come from oppression in whatever form. The rich think they pay too much. The poor think they should have part of everything. Please define for me what is fair share for both? I don’t know the answer but it is in the middle and not on the extremes. But it is on those outer fringes that we live today.

Trump’s address to the UN brought several things to mind. In many ways it was a violation of what the United Nations was supposed to be. But then again playing nice really doesn’t work. Russia China and the US can make it their way or the highway by their veto power. Resolutions have no backbone. The Donald called a spade a spade which is forbidden in diplo speak. People mentally booed and hissed but the fact remains. years of dealing with North Korea has not changed them one bit. Neither side gets the other.

I am a centrist or moderate or whatever you care to call me. But that is not allowed. A conservative pundit in Denver said I was a copout. He is entitled to his position but basically he is saying there can be no compromise. Ditto progressives. With no exaggeration I see both sides and neither are completely right. What the hell am I thinking?

We have a winner take all society. Whacko fans scream into the TV camera their team is #1. I love it if at the same time they accept eventually accept winning or losing for what it is. Ain’t going to happen. People will argue their make of car or truck is superior to yours. My kid is smarter than yours and if he or she isn’t, I am going to pull out all the stops to make sure they are. Our country club is so much better than yours. Even in a community, our neighborhood is so much nicer or higher end than yours.In the hoods it is all about turf.  Capitalism and competition are great but we have taken it to extremes and that is now woven into the fabric of our society.

What is the solution? I hate to tell you but I don’t think there is one. That is the cause of my mental gyrations. It would take some level headed leaders and a patient populace. In an ideal world we would try one way and then understand it has to be tweaked. We might even try the other way and do the same. I think that is what the forefathers had in mind but that requires states-people and at the same time an inquisitive and informed populace.

It would be interesting to have a list of say, ten tenets of both the left and right. Then I would like to have the believers to mark them on a scale of one to ten how strongly they profess them and even something stupid like would you be willing to die for that particular ism? We say we are one side or the other but are we? Is the other side so hated that we feel that American urge to win at all cost and show no weakness? Or do we see some validity in their arguments but just can’t say, let’s talk about it.

Next time you go toe to toe with anyone give that some thought. It can be on anything no matter how minor. Just for one brief moment can you listen and say genuinely that he or she has a point? I am at sea and I really don’t want to go amok. Please help me.

As Always
Ted The Great

Factoids:

At the onset it was thought the desire to be number one was a matter of survival. In a psychological sense there is a debate whether it is the desire to win or the inability to taste defeat. Jimmy Connors of tennis fame for so many years said the latter was his motivation for excellence.

Statesman or states woman…a wise, skillful, and respected political leader…. Webster’s Dictionary.

The location of the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City was gifted to the organization by John D. Rockefeller. Real estate mogul William Zeckendorf bought the land with money donated by Rockefeller. The property was used to build the league’s international headquarters, which was designed and constructed with an interest-free loan from the United States. The whole area is considered international territory. In fact, the building doesn’t have to meet all of NYC’s fire and safety codes because of its status. UN diplomats owe $16 million in parking tickets.

When adjusted for inflation John D Rockefellers wealth surpasses Bill Gates by ten times. Not particularly pertinent but fascinating.

 

 

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