Equilibrium

Webster tells us it is a state in physics in which opposing forces are balanced. In our bodies it is the things in our ears that keep us from falling over. In our markets it is the equality of supply and demand. In our hearts and souls it is a sense that all is well. Right now in my life at least it is a concept I have not enjoyed for too long a time. 

I started to write last week but the events at the Capitol put me in a state of confusion. Due to the randomness of my ways, chaos is not a unique experience but this time it seemed to overwhelm me. How could I find a foothold? Something that was in some way normal? Tough to find.

I have had this feeling that I am being incredibly selfish. I have a great wife and family, live in an idyllic place with a roof over my head and food on the table. Suck it up boy. This too shall pass. But will it?

I am not talking about COVID. There is a vaccine and despite our foibles, sooner or later we will all get inoculated. Yes, there has been death and disease and this is consequential enough to scare one but it is incidental, as crass as that sounds. 

There is a substrata in our country and our world that has people feeling they have been screwed. States and countries want to regain their rightful position in the hierarchy whatever the hell that means. 

China’s bitch goes back over two hundred years. Putin and Russia are trying to go back to the 90’s and the USSR. Turkey wants to be the kingpin of the Middle East and every little tyrant wants to flex their muscle. 

Governors like Cuomo and Newsom are basking in the limelight, eying bigger and better positions. Bezos, Zuckerberg and Musk count their money and their clout in reshaping our world. Don’t get me started on the Pelosi’s, Shumer’s and Mc Connell’s of the world. When you come right down to it, it seems to be everyone for themselves. 

I am of the opinion that it is clash of styles. Humanists versus scientists. `The latter look at most things as an equation or a transaction. Black and white and survival of the fittest. There must be a cost benefit to everything. Thank you for your service but you are no longer needed. I am sorry but you don’t fit in any longer. We have found a process or machine to replace you. 

Humanists are based more on history or tradition if you will. Morality and the Golden Rule are at the forefront. We should all play by a set of rules that look to enhance the greater good. There is no “I” in team and all that. Fairness, equality and justice are the bywords. 

Is it just me or is this a clash that is being fought every day in every dot in the atlas. We have made our world smarter, faster, more efficient and convenient in oh so many ways. I used to go to the hardware store on Main St. Now I go to Home Depot. We loved a neighborhood bar to get beer and a burger. Now we just call up the chain and have it delivered. 

All this feels like progress and Utopia in our world. If we play it right we don’t have to come into contact with anyone we don’t want to. I no longer think about homelessness because I really don’t see it anymore. Riots, crime  and violence. Sorry, I just don’t feel your pain.   

 My daughter sent me an article about a mayor in Colorado who went homeless for a week. He is a staunch Republican but had the guts to do it. His life and his insight has changed dramatically. What if you or I spent a week in housing project or even a jail? Do you think we would be so dismissive and callous? 

By this time if you are still reading, you are saying TTG is a real downer. I don’t blame you. But at the same time that old pragmatic SOB in me says we or at least I have got to take a long hard look. I think we are kidding ourselves if we don’t.  Do you? 

This isn’t a revival meeting and if we were saving souls I would have to be first in line for redemption. But last week’s events as well as those of the summer focused on the optics and not the underlying condition. The jerks that busted into Congress were the same ilk as those who tore down Portland and Minneapolis. In both scenarios there were those who are upset and probably rightly so. Their message was bulldozed by violence and now have given the cognoscenti on both sides the means to rationalize their hatred. 

There is inequity but everyone can’t be the same. The system has screwed up on education and healthcare but the downtrodden are not without fault. There is a thing called standards that we have to agree on. What is decent and what is obscene? Both in wealth and behavior. The chasm between us is enormous. 

Can we do it? I really don’t know. The political charade of impeachment is not a good start. The selfish and infantile behavior of Trump has created a nightmare. Both sides have built war machines that are revved up and raring to go. 

In my own small and probably naive way I am asking all of us to lay down the arms and try just for once to see the other side. Put away the barbs and the tudes and just say how can we get together? Everyone and I mean everyone has a valid point. It would take some very humble and big people to understand that. I crave some sort of equilibrium in my life. Do you? 

As always

Ted The Great 

Factoids:

The Amazon argument goes both ways. In one sense they have taken over the supply chain and monopolize it. On the other they have given small businesses the ability to market products to people that would have never reached. 

While working as a volunteer at homeless shelter in Denver I unscientifically figured out that about 25% of our residents wanted to not be homeless. Another 50% were either mentally ill or substance dependent. The other 25% just liked being homeless. 

There are 300,000 people in prison today for drug violations. 45% of those in federal prison are there for drug offenses. Most “Three Strike” laws mandate a life sentence for even those who have never committed a violent or aggravated crime. 

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