Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trustworthy History

Moving past any sort of political post it seems.......

Was thinking today about history and memories. How things are told. When someone writes a history of something, or even if they write an autobiography, how trusted can that story be? We tend to gloss things over and only "remember" things that are more than likely better than they really were. So, things are subjectively related. How does that make you feel about your own stories? How does it make you feel about what you'd read in school? Or something you're reading now?

We usually make things more dramatic than they truly were, too. "Fish stories," if you will. What do we really know about things in the past? Do we think we're that much different than those who came before us? Maybe not. We all experience the same minutiae, the same seemingly pointless things that don't "mean" anything grand and profound. Those who grew up in generations past were human, just like we are now. They went through the same things we do now, outside of the historical and chronological differences which are unavoidable.

For some reason, I know I find myself somehow imagining that "those people" were so different from myself. Their style, the look on their faces - just don't seem to fit the modern world I inhabit. But something inside me knows this can't be true. I know I came from the same places they came from. I know they went through some of the same struggles I go through now. I know this because we're both participants in the human condition.

Some of the details could be more advantageous to creating a better story, so I can't always trust if something happened just the way it's related. But - I can trust that in the humdrum of normal affairs, that guy from 200 years ago was trying to figure out life the same way I am today.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What Worries Me

OK, it's been awhile since any posts. I was inching towards political "out-of-controlness."

Now that the election's behind us, it's time to look ahead. Obama is in. Our next President and Commander-in-Chief. A good friend, Justin B, had written a wise statement (not sure if he had the original thought, but regardless, it's truth) about B.O. He said that if B.O. had tried to join the FBI, he would've been rejected based on his past associations. Well - now he's leader of the free world.

I got to thinking about the next 4 years. Here's what is worrisome. Because a large majority of the reason for Barack's victory is found in the so-called "youth vote," you can examine some of "youth's" negative tendencies and characteristics. Youth tends to be idealistic and sometimes arrogant (ignorantly casting a blind eye to wisdom). I sense that, because most of the youth will feel this is "their" President, anything said about Barack appearing to be critical will be defended out of pride. Not wanting to own up to any failure (surely this will be inevitable on some situations in the next 4 years, seeing as Obama is green as they come), they will fight, tooth and nail, to justify all of B.O.'s actions and decisions. It will become tied up in their own self-worth. You can bet on this.

The other thing, that has been cited before by many others, is the "racism card." I'm joining the chorus and agreeing that many, many viable disagreements will be written off as "racist." If you disagree or are critical of B.O., you are tagged "racist." Count on this happening. However, if Obama is to get any kind of respect, he will have to call this down and ask for some degree of rationality in judging people's critical eye. Unless he is off-the-charts arrogant (and I believe he's got the intelligence and discernment to realize it), he will do this early on in his administration to get it cleared off the table and dealt with. If he does not address it, I worry for a "bullet-proof" administration that will not accept any criticism and accept only the one-sided praise of its partisan base. That would truly be the "lone ranger" mentality that Bush has been accused of for the past several years.

I do trust that God is in ultimate control and authority. We survived Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. As another friend pointed out, we might do good to settle down and be patient; it takes a Carter to get a Reagan.