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Friday, November 16, 2007



I could make this a short piece by saying that some wisenheimer put a "this vehicle equipped with a driver's side windbag" on my car. That might describe me when I get on the soapbox about those things that both interest and concern me, but it doesn't explain the why of it.

The answer lies deeper than a quick answer can reveal. There are individual reasons, and many are complicated. But, one thing I believe all bloggers share: they CARE. They want to put forth thoughts that they firmly believe. In many respects that is enough. However, the surprise comes when one finds that those thoughts interact and sometimes change the perspectives of others.

Prior to blogging, public opinion was shaped and honed by those deemed "experts." The normal course was a journalist spending years doing their trade, eventually morphing into a pundit. It was assumed that someone with a degree in journalism and years of experience in covering politics would be best qualified to pontificate upon our governing process. As citizens we trusted them (and still do) to place into perspective the news stories that float around.

Although always having an interest in politics, I spent ten years as an expatriate. Upon my return to the U.S. I found I suffered from what I call the "Rip Van Winkle Syndrome." One of the thoughts that jumped out was, "What the hell happened to my country?"

It had changed but I wasn't here to see it. And, perhaps I had changed, too. I no longer took for granted many things that I had before. For the first time in my life I felt that America was "mine," in that my responsibilities to it outweighed its responsibilities to me.

A man once said of Ireland, "Here we have no present, or no future. We just have the past happening over and over again." That is not entirely true, but it does point out a huge difference between the European and American perspective. Every January now we hear the speech by Dr. King in which he states, "I have a dream....," but don't take into account that the nation as a whole has a dream....IS a dream to some extent.

In truth, most of the people on this planet do not dream; they survive. The difference between dreaming and surviving is astounding. So I came back and realized what a precious jewel of possibility America was, and is.

Yet unlike jewelry, dreams and aspirations can be tarnished. And like jewelry, they can be stolen or damaged. To see a false hope offered a nation by people intent on self-enrichment is to witness the attempted theft of the future.

That is why I joined the "piss and moan club" known as the blogosphere. Each generation is supposed to smile at the lens of the future, and I don't see it right now. I have no doubt that the metaphorical merde is going to hit the turbine in my lifetime. Material accoutrements, to the contrary, do not guarantee a happier future.

There is a quote from Sir Isaac Newton, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." If we look (and nothing gives you the incentive to do so more than not having your own country for a while) hard enough we realize we stand on the shoulders of giants: our forebears. The men and women who provided the gift of this platform are not the famous, but rather the unknown millions who lived their lives with an unceasing hope that things would always get better. Or at least turn out all right.

And we....well we are destined to be part of the shoulders ourselves someday. There's no reward for it, only the knowledge that we tried. And in life, that is good enough sometimes.

Let us hope that a future generation someday looks back upon us as being worthy of admiration. This might sound quaint to some, yet that is what I believe to be possible.

My faith in the American government is limited. That goes for the political process, too. At my age I reserve what faith I have for the American people.

As long as we refrain from navel-gazing we'll be okay. And so will those coming behind us. We owe them that much.
Cross-posted at Michael Linn

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Blogger Papamoka said...


I'm of the same mentality as you and I just love to write. It is not that we can change the world as much as it is that we can influence the thought process to make it a better world. I love to write and so do you my friend and what we put out there for our readers to digest is part of the process to making this little corner of the world a beter place for the ones that will follow us.

Awesome post Mike! Thank you for putting it up here at Papamoka.

11:25 PM  

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