Lights, Camera, Inaction

Inaction 2

So the lights dim, the camera starts to roll, and what happens…


ACTION!


The show starts…actors spring into action, and the plot takes shape–we have a positive influence and impact on our fellow man and the world we live in. 


But there is a sorry alternative storyline.


Where after the lights and camera…nothing happens.


There is a eery silence and a weird INACTION!


Like the actors are asleep at the wheel, went off to play golf or to comedy night, or perhaps went home to momma, and are cowering, and hiding under their beds.


Is this the unfortunate state of our country today?


The world is our stage. 


As the sole superpower, the United States is the prime actor today.


We have our calling to go do good–to help, to save, and to bring peace and freedom. 


But lo and behold, what happens when we have a policy of inaction?


Where we want peace, but are not willing to do to much of anything for it or perhaps in spite of it. 


So how is our world faring today:


– In Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, and more, millions are dying and injured, while tens of millions are fleeing, displaced, or are in refugee camps, and chemical WMD are in use by Syria and ISIS, while our red lines were drawn and then withdrawn, and we don’t know if we are training the opposition or throwing in the towel on the ground.


ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, etc. are rampant and overrunning the Middle East and North Africa, killing, torturing, raping, destroying, and plummeting, as well as recruiting back in Europe and here in the States, amidst calls for attacks against us and our allies. 


Russia takes Crimea and is resurgent in Eastern Ukraine and the Arctic, and antagonizing all around Europe with ever encroaching warplanes and warships, and militarizing and modernizing their formidable nuclear arsenal, and we stand up a new NATO rapid reaction force, while we are again surprised by Russia, now in Syria.


China is expanding into the South China Sea, flexing it’s economic and military muscle, and cyber attacking and stealing our vital government and economic information assets with relative impunity, while we trade with our partner and pivot this way and that. 


North Korea restarts it’s nuclear plant, readies for another banned missile launch, sinks South Korean ships, plants deadly landmines on the South’s side of the demilitarized zone, and provokes toward a military confrontation, while we lick our wounds from the last broken agreements with them. 


Iran has stymied the people’s freedom movement, executed the opposition and homosexuals, builds toward a deadly nuclear and ballistic missile future, seeks the destruction of America (“The Great Satan”) and Israel, is massively funding and arming their terrorist proxies to the tune of billions of dollars, and has gotten a get out of jail free card and sanctions lifting.


So what can we do?


Well in the past, we were a meaningful deterrent to countries and people doing bad things. 


We stood proudly and tall for human rights, freedom, equality, democracy, anti-proliferation, and sustainability.


We didn’t have to fight everywhere to make our point–but just knowing that we were willing to stand for righteousness and justice often meant those with evil intentions stepping back and rethinking it.


Occasionally, we did have to put our blood and treasure where our mouths were, and perhaps we often did this too rashly and imprudently (when diplomacy or some saber rattling might have done the trick). 


However, the world cannot afford for us to be war weary or chase empty legacies of peace built on blind hope or a running away from our responsibilities. 


While the world burns, we can’t be looking for Nobel Prizes instead of seeking out the fire extinguishers and medical kits to save and to heal. 


As it is so wisely stated: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


Peace is not born of inaction, but of brave actors willing to do what is necessary to achieve all that is good and all that can be done. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Traits To Be Prez

The personality to be President:


1. Experience, Diplomacy


2. Direct, Honest, Strong, Results-oriented


3. Passionate, Dedication, Survival of the Nation


A short interview with Andy Blumenthal


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Mankind’s Endless And Elusive Pursuit Of Happiness

Happiness

So I took this photo yesterday of a lady on the Metro reading The Happiness Project.


The book is a multi-year bestseller about the pursuit of happiness and how the author, Grethen Rubin, took a year and made a project of getting happy.


She did this through a “methodical” project with “measurable goals” and working to “build on them cumulatively.”


Now happiness is being described not as a goal or project, but as a “movement.”


Why is happiness such an elusive pursuit to so many throughout the times?


In fact, in looking for how to achieve happiness throughout the ages, we can’t even agree on what it is or how to do it.


Carl Cederstrom in the New York Times provides an overview where the how-to for achieving happiness has changed more times than some people change their underwear.


Here’s to the rainbow of finding happiness:


– The Greeks/Aristotle – Be a good person, live ethically, cultivate one’s virtues. 


– Hedonists/Epicureans – Pursuit whatever brings you pleasure


– Stoics – Happiness is achievable even when experiencing hardship, suffering, and pain


– Christianity – Happiness is not achieved on Earth, but rather in the afterlife/in divine union.


– Renaissance/Enlightenment/Thomas Jefferson – Happiness is an unalienable right, and related to property rights.


– Today – Achieve authenticity and be narcissistic, express true inner selves, get in touch with inner feeling, worship our bodies, and productivity through work


I believe that the relentless pursuit of happiness is due to man’s inability to truly reconcile being/feeling happy with what he experiences on an almost daily basis on a spectrum of unhappiness:


– Disappointment


– Failure


– Unacceptance


– Rejection


– Bullying


– Abuse


– Injustice


– Suffering


– Poverty


– War


– Disability


– Disease


The result of man’s expectation of happiness yet its continued elusiveness to him manifests in people running around like a chicken with their heads cut off (something my mom told me about that she saw as a little girl):


– Changing, leaving, coming back, or clinging to religion.


– Disenfranchisement with government, politics, political parties, and politicians.


– Entering into and dissolving marriages and relationships.


– Migration to different parts of the country or even moving abroad and traveling here, there, and everywhere.


– Cycling your money and investments in real estate, material goods, and a host of investments (stocks, bonds, hedge funds, etc.).


– Trying out a series of different educational pursuits, careers, and hobbies–surely one will be my passion, provide some meaning, or make me happy!


– Trying to squeeze more and more “things” into and out of a 24-hour day. 


– Looking for a quick fix through partying, pornography, sex, drugs, alcohol, and rock & roll. 


What’s the trend in happiness now?


A relentless pursuit of innovation and transformation through technology, robotics, everything autonomous, self-healing, self-reproducing, searching for new (and perhaps better) worlds, and even time travel. 


Oh, and let’s not forget pursuing a longer life (or the holy grail of immortality), so we have more time to try and be happy. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)