How Did I Get Here ?

In my never ending quest to appear at least semi-intelligent I like to read and research. I happen across a word or thought and start to pursue it. Too often I wind up down some dark alley and I ask myself,”What the hell am I doing here?” Something of the theme of my life. Crazy but fun.

The past few days I have pondered our current state of affairs. It seems like no one likes anyone. Back,white. Rich,poor. North, south, east, west. Liberals,conservatives. This is not new but seems to be approaching some sort of fever pitch. Critical race theorists want to blow up our current form of government and time honored traditions. The Proud Boys want to defend the motherland at all cost. The right wants to keep every penny to themselves and the left wants to run through it all in profligate glory.

 I could probably apply most of this to the International stage. Someone is always getting screwed or so they would like to believe. Each side wants to “take no prisoners.” I personally think this is getting quite scary. The cracks in society have become an abyss. People are questioning the founding principles of everything. Their governments, their religions and yes their sexuality. 

At first glance we recoil in anger and a bit of terror. Maybe we should just think it through. My kids gave me a subscription to Master Class. It is a series of courses given by notables on everything from cooking to design to political theory. I took the one on Critical Race theory and to be honest it was at the same time difficult and enlightening. You don’t have to agree but you do have to listen to what they say in an open minded way.  

I once listened to a talk by Louis Farrakhan. I just wanted to understand why he appeals to people. I can see why he makes sense to some. His arguments had plausibility. Of course some of you thought I was crazy for doing so. I think we are naive if we don’t. 

Today we have a world order that works..for a lot of us. Russia,China, South America and Africa don’t quite agree with us. That is a lot of people. Do we just ignore them? We are based on a lot of freedoms. Have we really thought them through  or just accept them as our inalienable rights? 

Today we esteem the right to bear arms. We have over 400 million guns in this country. And a lot of those are not in safe hands. We have freedom of speech but our universities shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It seems to me these rights come with a responsibility that a lot of us do not want to accept. 

I have been reading some articles written by Yuval Hirari, a Harvard professor in philosophy and history. He has written a book entitled, “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” He has a unique talent to question our current society and share some interesting ways to cope with it. Most of all is his ability to challenge what he calls “myths”  that we have come to accept and have the guts to ask if we should?

There is much that has been passed down to us over millennia. We are a people that like the narrative.

Whether it is folklore or the bases of natural law we take it on faith. It worked for Plato or Socrates and so it has survived the test of time. Or so it would seem. What if all that history is flawed or at least unworkable in today’s society? Yikes TTG, have you gone to the dark side? I hope not but let’s figure out what the dark side is. 

For many of us the dark side is anyone who does not agree with us. Often I have written about people’s aversion to contrary thinking. There is an inherent fear that if they delve into the anti or at least the unknown that they will be be infected with a virus or at least tempted to think that way. 

Critical Race Theory has its good and bad points. I hope there aren’t many out there that don’t think blacks have had a hard time over the centuries. Are we perpetuating that? Perhaps. The best teachers and doctors don’t go to the ghettos. They probably get the worst who are unemployable otherwise. Is that cultural and even premeditated? Not in my vernacular. 

Was it like this in prior generations? There is an odds on chance it happened. Do we blow everything up and start over?  Even in modern times we see the old newsreels of Little Rock and Birmingham with the spitting and German Shepards. Maybe some of you feel that was appropriate. I can’t!

On the flip side I am dismayed at reparations and countenance. History does not write a perfect script. If I tried to go back and right the many wrongs I have done, is that practical or prudent? I think not. We tear down statues and try to legislate decency. It has to come to total disregard for what has worked for millennia. It has worked for all of us no matter how badly we have botched things.We are not perfect but we have been lasting.

There are workers here in Flalaland who do the dirty work. They are from Haiti and speak French and sing all day. They are happy for one simple reason. It beats the alternative. For each and everyone of us from rich to poor we should contemplate that.  

As always 

Ted The Great 

Factoids:

Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class or geographic area. Quality of life, on the other hand, is a subjective term that can measure happiness. 

Conflicts are a fact of life.

Each and every one of us see things differently. We see different shades of green and red. The trick to survival in a melange of sorts. A little of yours and a little of mine. 

According to psychologist, speaker and author Guy Winch, most people who consistently refuse to admit they’re wrong do so because they have incredibly fragile egos. Their subconscious feeling is that, if they dig in their heels, they can protect themselves from the consequences that might come from their imperfection and fallibility. Winch also notes that some people go to extraordinary lengths in this process, even changing facts and convincing themselves of new realities in their own minds to escape culpability.  Hmmm.

One thought on “How Did I Get Here ?

  1. Ted This is one of your most thoughtful pieces. Good on ya Mate for reading the other side. We had a 6’6” fully bearded young genius lawyer working for us. He saw all things clearly. I got pissed at him one day and said—Alex, how can you see everything as black or white?. Everything’s grey!!! He replied—I don’t know, Peter, but it helps me get through the day. Brilliant!!!! We were at dinner for 6 at neighbor’s last night. Both women had done lots of volunteer stuff in Greenwich and Vero. One, a registered nurse worked for Planned Parenthood. I was afraid to engage on the abortion topic. Too bad. Might have been fascinating. The other did loads of ESL work (English as a second language). Good people both. Hope all’s well there. We’re in process of clearing out the house. Pain. Lots of memories going to the dump after viewing. But, it’s the right thing for us. Love to K and warmest to you P

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