I have often wondered what history lessons are like in Germany about the period between 1900-1950. From an outside perspective it is easy to characterize Germany as the villain of that epoch. Is it viewed as period of shame? Or glossed over as unfortunate past events? Often people and nations have a hard time seeing themselves as others would see them. When looking at others, it is easier to make judgment that we believe is right. We can see their faults, shortcomings, idiosyncrasies and failures. Or we laud their beauty, strength, courage or “perfection”. Self-reflection is usually skewed in either a positive or negative direction. People, just like nations, have a history that they must reconcile in order to move forward. Recently upon thinking of Germany’s past and looking in the mirror, I reflected on what nation I represent.
At first I though Switzerland, a neutral state that is willing to keep the currency of others in secrecy. It had some possibility but fell short. Then I considered my ancestral homeland of Poland. It has been overrun by many others and despite almost disappearing at certain points, it keeps coming back with resilience. This would be nice and comfortable for me but unfortunately it’s not true.
Unfortunately I’m France. Man, it pisses me off to write that! There are many things to love about me but I give off an air of aloofness that puts people off. At times, I’ve let my enemies take parts of me without much of a fight and needed the support of close friends to make me whole again. I can be characterized as lazy but generally I work to live, not the other way around. My reputation for being standoffish is justifiable but also location based. If you truly want to get to know me, don’t do it where the crowds are. I’m much better off the beaten path and rich in areas that you didn’t know were there.
What country are you? Please don’t search Facebook for a quiz that tells! Figure out that story for yourself. If you don’t like what you’ve found (as I don’t), then make the necessary adjustment. Despite being France, I can change my actions and therefore my story about who I am. You can too. Just because you were beaten, trampled, torn apart and considered unworthy in the past, does not mean that your history needs to continue on that path. Your history cannot predict your future, unless you let it!
Have a great day!
The shoehorn*, crowbar and bulldozer; all use a combination of an inclined plan and a lever. While they all have the same base components, almost no one would ever use one as a replacement for the other. Using a bulldozer to get your shoes on could get messy really quickly! It’s overkill and everyone can see that.
As we go through the tumultuous times in our lives, it can seem easiest to bulldoze through challenges. As the “pressure” of daily life seems to be getting higher, bulldozing can become the default lever that people use to move forward. In the end this leaves a flattened earth with nothing living left behind. People are especially susceptible to being hurt in the process of bulldozing. Getting what you want from a personal situation is usually better served by using a delicate tool rather than a massively destructive one. In a world where we’ve become comfortable with possible heart attack from a drug intended to length your eyelashes (tongue in cheek), it might be that our tolerance for negative consequence has gotten too high.
Choose the right tool for the situation. Damage control is not something to be done after the fact. It can be done beforehand with even better results. Exercise your leverage without the destruction.
*A shoehorn may not be something that young people recognize. It is a tool that is used to help slide a shoe onto a foot. They used to be prevalent but I’ve not seen one since my grandfather passed away.
It’s full blown election season and this one is a doozy! Now I know that it is a “faux pas” to talk politics but I will keep it clean. Regardless of who you personally support there is the ever-present idea that if another side is elected that the country is “going to hell in a hand-basket”. Having heard this type of fear during many elections and never seeing it actually happen, this race may be heated but not particularly new. The major problem that I see is not with the election but the bigger problem: the 3rd person.
At the end of the National, State and Local elections, a large majority of people will submit themselves to being victims of the 3rd person. “They”, “he” or “she” will cause all kinds of problems in the lives of regular citizens. This point of view leaves those citizens completely powerless and it is completely contrary to the founding principles of this country. The very first words of the Constitution are “We The People”, not “They The Politicians”. At a certain point, that fact got lost in the shuffle of daily life. We do not all have to run for political office. However the elect, complain and blame model is not progressing us toward a better life. While it is obvious in politics, it is evident in other areas as well. The 3rd person seems to ruin many people’s lives daily.
The boss, the guy in traffic, the gossipy bitches at work, the carbs, the alcohol and so many other 3rd persons can be blamed for where we are. These are easy scapegoats but much like the view of politics today, this is a losing long-term strategy that leaves us powerless. It is time to say I and WE before giving power up to “THEY”. Regardless of how real your complaints about they are, it will get you much farther to focus on what you CAN do rather than what they are not doing. Have the constitution of your life start with “I”.
Have a great Labor Day!