To all of you special friends and readers, I send you the happiest wishes for Chanukah and Christmas. May you find that special peace within yourself and then share it with the world.
Talking about our world, I find the rise of Newt Gingrich to be emblematic of the pitfalls of our political system and of our internal, individual selves. Until we monitor our own desires, and hold them to a higher standard instead of our current mantra of “Me first,” we will continue down this empty, selfish and twisted path. Personal actions must be considered in the election of public officials because their professional actions will mirror their individual moralities.
Over the years, Gingrich has taken on different leadership roles and proclaimed himself a master of them all. Hogwash. He is a master of none of them. He is a man who “scans”, ignoring scholarship and substance. Thus, his focus is fleeting. In his personal life, with three wives on record, he cheated on at least the first two. In his Congressional endeavors, he took what he could get (which believe me, taking a stand against President Clinton in the 1990’s, was NOT a victory for Newt) and exaggerated his impact. Just as in his his failed marriages, which included loyalty, love and honor vows that were blatantly breached, his professional career was never as successful as he thought it to be. Newt is a surface man, not a substance seeker. Frank Bruni, a writer for the New York Times, summed up the makeup of Newt in this article. Not only is Newt’s behavior analyzed, but so is the actions of other politicians. Bruni’s piece says it all.
Then Robert Reich drives home the blindness our lawmakers have as to what is their job to the general population first, with a much higher precedence to those advantages the jobs hold for personal fulfillment. It is so simple: the public servant owes his constituency his all. Period. He was elected to deliver an organized, financially sound and a fair and just safety net for those who have less. What perks are available to the official should not be the deciding factor on his duty to enact laws and programs for our nation.
Our government has always been open to corruption by the lawmakers and power players, to the detriment of the American people. Despite this old practice, a pattern that t’was, one fact remains whether or not the minority party agrees, is that in the past, and as ’tis true in the present, they are occupying their offices with the intent of personal fulfillment rather that governing for the people. What t’will be in the future, remains to be seen.
In the ever-shocking development of human behavior and endeavor, I hope more Americans than not will find it in their hearts and minds to dig down deep and not only set a new, higher-valued mind set about what is right, but also decry and protest the base, self-fulfilling actions of our elected officials.
On a lighter note during this holiday time, I present to you the wonderful video of a talking dog. It is a serious mistake to deny some higher mental functions to our furry friends. Probably mixed up with once again, our tendency to compliment ourselves by demeaning others. During my thirty years of parenting dogs, I can vouch for their (at least in the Labrador retriever breed) ability of word recognition. My current honey of a canine, Castine, certainly knows the meaning of “cheese”, steak” and “bacon.” In fact, a few years ago I was draining a pound of just-cooked bacon on a paper towel on the kitchen counter. I left the room for a while, and when I returned, the paper towel was still there and looked like it had not been moved one iota, but the bacon was gone, baby, gone. Pretty smooth move from my pet. No punishment was necessary: these Labs have huge super-egos, and she sent herself into exile under my desk. Obviously, the bacon was well-worth the self-inflicted punishment. Our current crop of movers and shakers in government have no sense of self-punishment. Aha: could it be that dogs are actually more moral then some humans?
Think on that thought a while during your holiday festivities. Enjoy yourselves, your family and devoted friends. Was t’was is over. What “tis” is. But what “t’will” be is still wide open for improvement, a possibility for a sea change of individual behavior and standards that would trickle down and penetrate all of our institutions, public civility and most important, be taught BY EXAMPLE to our children.
A joyful holiday to you all. Remember: “T’will” be again.