Expect Less / Appreciate More

I thought this was a great saying in the Wall Street Journal book review today.


“Expect Less, Appreciate More.”


Many people in their late 30s and early 40s become disillusioned with life. 


They have been on the treadmill chasing love, fame, and fortune for so long. 


But reality sets in and they don’t get everything they think they have coming to them.


Hence some level of mid-life crisis sets in. 


However by the time people reach their 50s, things seem to shift again, and a happiness or peacefulness sets in. 


People start to expect less and instead appreciate more from the blessings they do have. 


The treadmill becomes a long walk along the beautiful beach or park trail. 


We don’t need to chase success, but rather just see the great lives in so many ways that G-d has already bestowed on us. 


The U-shaped curve of life–where we start all bright-eyes and bushy tailed in our younger years and which descends into disappointment and disillusionment in mid-life, comes up once again to happiness and a fulfillment in our later years. 


Over the course of our lives, we learn that life does not ask, but rather it tells us. 


And if we just listen, we can find meaning and contentment amidst it all. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Election Disillusionment

mars

So invariably you hear these days from those that dislike one or the other candidate running for President, that if he/she wins, they are moving out of this country. 


That is apparently how strong people feel in terms of dislike for the candidates–in fact, the most disliked candidates in American history!


Well, I ran into this couple in the Metro.


They were from New Jersey and visiting Washington, D.C. with their daughter. 


They were wearing matching t-shirts that said:

“Election 2016Time To Move To Mars”


Now moving from the USA is not far enough away for people to get from the horrible politics and/or politicians that they can’t seem to stand…so next stop is Mars!


As a big time proponents for colonization of other planets, I think this may actually be one of the best things to come out of this election cycle. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Best Of The Best

 

USA

We all know how important voting is so that our voices are heard in the democratic process and we can help shape the direction of this great nation. 

And this is especially the case when it comes to voting for the next President and Commander in Chief of this country. 

A couple of  concerning things though about this election cycle that I am noticing:

People Not Policy – While elections in general always have their share of rambunctious slogans and exaggerated/empty promises, this election seems to be shaping up with a distinct focus on the people running for President (are they trustworthy, do they have good judgement, how much experience do they have, are they decent people) as opposed to what policies and ideas they have for where they would take the country. Certainly, character and integrity are critical in voting for someone for such an important position, but it seems to have sidelined policy from off of the main agenda. Moreover, the inclination to vote for someone based on their race or gender or presumed sympathy towards those also has upended real discussion on where we are and should be headed. Maybe you really like your candidate of choice, but are you fully satisfied (or close to it) that they have a big picture vision for our future and that they telling it like it is or are they sugarcoating to what they think their audience simply wants to hear, or in some cases is it just limited to a single policy thread or maybe little or no cloth for the emperor at all. 

Questioning The Lineup – First it seemed with the election that people did what they always do, which is take sides and argue it out on the sidelines of the cacophony of all the electioneering. People would say, oh, I like this party and this candidate or that one or the other one–and people would debate who is the better choice. But now, this dialogue seems to have changed where many voters seem fed up with many (or even perhaps all) of the candidates. Some seem to be looking for new candidates to magically swoop in and “save the (election) day” or old candidates to show that they have different stripes. I have heard some question whether they will even bother to vote at all like this with all the negative campaigning or from whom they believe will be the ultimate candidates to chose from. Rather than people saying I like this one better for this reason, now I hear many asking which is “the lessor of the (presumed) evils.”

Considering the unbelievable power of the President of the U.S. and that we are talking about this for the next 4 or 8 years, it is scary for people to think they may have to somehow settle for less than the greatness that this position demands.

There are still many more months in this election season and things can take a lot of twists and turns, but hopefully the country will work its way to selecting the true best of the best that our candidates have to offer. 😉

(Note: This is not an endorsement for any candidate or political party.) 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to cgc76)

Poli-trick-ians, No Way!

Barn

So periodically, I like to take a quick pulse of America.


So I find a way to ask someone(s) what they are seeing and experiencing, and what they think about what’s going on in Washington, D.C.


So this time, I asked someone about whether they watched the State Of The Union this week. 


The answer?


No way!


Why not?


They said (as if they heard this little mnemonic from others before), “because, they are all ‘POLI-TRICK-IANS!'”


I said, well that’s cute, but what do you mean?


This is what they said (paraphrasing):


– They don’t speak the truth.

– They just say what they think people want to hear. 


– It’s all just fighting between the (political) parties. 


– It’s not really about the people. 


– It’s not about making a difference, anymore [just about being in and keeping power].


Wow, this was pretty powerful. 


I could sense the anger and frustration. 


Also, the disillusionment. 


Checking in on the ratings, this seemed to jive with CNN (and other news media) saying, “State of the Union was President’s Lowest-Rated Yet.”


According to Nielsen only 31.7 million people tuned in…that’s out of a current U.S. population of 324 million!


On the positive side, the number of tweets was way up to 2.6 million during the hour-long address–how sweet those tweets.


Seriously though, we are here to serve the people…how do we get back their respect?


I suspect that the answer revolves around the following:


– We need to turn from fighting each other to fighting our real enemies like the threat from Islamist Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. 


– We need to break the gridlock and get something done (lot’s of things done)!


– We need to stop the political cliches and talk from the heart to the heart. 


– We need to stop thinking about ourselves and focus on the people–all the people (not the middle-class versus the rich, not main street from wall street, not the color or race that you are or aren’t)!


– We need to tackle the many big problems we are facing–the national debt, national defense (including cybersecurity), environmental sustainability, raising the level of housing, food, medical care, and education for all, and of course, everything technology and innovation!


We need to go from a perception of poli-trick-ians to genuine representatives and leaders of the people for the people. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)