One need not be Kreskin or Jean Dixon these days to figure out what is on someone’s mind. (For those post boomers they were popular psychics in our younger days).
All one need to do today is take a glance at their social media postings, read their emails, or hang up from talking to them (on one of those rare occasions we use our cell phones rather than email). You see, (again this is for the youngn’s), we baby boomers have had our share of drama.
Drama requires talking in person or on the phone so we much prefer email or social media. Unfriending someone no longer requires drama, creating an army of like-minded friends (aka bullying) to defend one’s decision to terminate a friendship and if they try to rekindle it, the army of friends knocks them back down (double-bullying). I always wondered why folks can’t just unfriend quietly in social media and simply move on. Nobody else really cares who we like or dislike.
Now, with the click of a mouse, we simply unfriend them or even more dramatically block them. Yowsah. Click click click. Feel the power, Luke. (For those of you post-boomers who don’t know who Luke is, well……never mind.)
So these days, especially this close to November, friends are often made or broken based on which glorified policy wonk aka POTUS aka President gets to live at 1600 Pa. Avenue for the next 4 years (and possibly longer).
Many expect the rest of us to tow their party line. Let me get this straight with everyone up front. I do vote, but I register as an Independent. I choose the candidate, not the party. Parties ALWAYS let you down, candidates do about 50% of the time.
Politicians are so far from being my role-models they don’t even show up on the radar screen. And anyone who makes or breaks a relationship based on which politician I think is best for the job, may be a friend, but is a friend in deep need of psychiatric care (and I’m not making a joke here).
My friends are based on character. They are not “armchair powermongers” who enjoy the “divide and conquer” that their favorite trained politician has shown them. I like/and love people based on many other factors…..how they feel about themselves and others, their treatment of animals and the planet, their generosity (and this need not be financial but in sharing their personality/gifts etc., their sense of humor/or their appreciation of humor, and so many other factors). Their political preference is so far down the stream, I don’t really even care.
Even in today’s (somewhat dysfunctional)…ok very dysfunctional world, there are many reasons to be happy and/or grateful. Some are so basic we almost miss them. We awaken yet another day. That means we still have a reason to be here on the planet. It may not have been revealed (to us yet) but it is there, and usually others discover it before we do.
Sometimes we have our health. I will admit, my health is not optimal but it is well above what it should be. In fact, given medical science, I should have died numerous times. At first, that made me bitter. Later I learned it was “what it took” for me to truly look within, and I became a vegan and started hiking the mountains with my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London.
Not everyone has to become a vegan and hike mountains with the one they love to be happy. The trick is simply to learn from one’s errors, and attempt to correct them. Do a little better than yesterday. If you ate a Big Mac yesterday, don’t eat one today. If you didn’t exercise yesterday, walk a block today. I changed my lifestyle very gradually…I didn’t stop eating milk, fish, meat, eggs, etc all in one day and begin leaping buildings like Superman. It took almost two years, a lot of reading, a lot of patience from Lee who was already well on her way to a healthier lifestyle, and the willingness to give it a try. I didn’t know if it would work. I only knew that the way I had been living didn’t work. And a little over a year past those changes, I am just beginning to learn about life and treasure it as it should be treasured. I am but a newbie and can tell I will be for a very long time.
My happiness (or lack thereof) was the same under the administrations of JFK, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, both Bush’s, Clinton and Obama. Presidents had absolutely nothing to do with my mood (though it was so convenient and easy to project any of my own problems using their own shortcomings; and each has had many, but each have done much good as well). America, with all its issues has continued to exist and thrive throughout many diverse administrations. I believe that has much more to do with the people of America, their faith in America, and their reverence to the U.S. Constitution; not any one person living at a nice address on Pa. Ave.
So today, simply make the decision to be happy. Do one little thing that is better for you than you did the day before. Journal it. The next day do another. You may slide backward some days. I know I do. But keep trying. Don’t blame me. Don’t blame an enemy. Don’t blame the President or a candidate you don’t like. All that will simply delay your road to happiness. Joy is within you. Not 2000+ miles away in Washington, D.C. I believe I am on the right path to be happy. I can’t guarantee it, but it feels right to me. One thing I know for sure, though (based on experience).
That is, spending one’s time on social media to teach them what to think, feel, believe, how to vote, etc etc etc. is a sure way to emptiness and unhappiness, and I’d bet the farm on that.
Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and designer. He founded Londons Times Cartoons aka LTCartoons.com which has been Google & Bing #1 ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts since 2005. He is married to nature and wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London. They live in their beloved Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas where they spend a great deal of time outdoors and hiking. They are active in animal, children and green causes.