A New Day

I wanted to post this first thing in the morning.

Without knowing the election results.

I wanted to remind myself that the results don’t matter.

Marcus Aurelius said,

“Does what happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness?”

And he was the emperor of Rome. The most powerful man in the world. He could do anything. He chose to control his response.

What does a President do?

Barack Obama gave me $160. He went to Buenos Aires, and Argentina waived its reciprocity fee for Americans.

I’m hard-pressed to think of another President who had such a direct impact on my life.

I know the textbook definition of the job of President. I’m aware what a President can do. Like send people to war. Even though Congress hasn’t declared war since 1941.

I could worry about who has the nuclear codes. But the only President to nuke anyone looked like this. And we were at war then. Officially.

Humans are living longer, higher quality lives than ever. Which means we should be happier than our ancestors. So we don’t need to nuke anyone.

Last night was shocking. This election wasn’t supposed to be close. Instead, the voting was almost a 50-50 split.

In an age of unprecedented access, I feel like I know less about my neighbors than ever.

Instead of using social media to connect and build, I see it used to cut down and slander. The divide isn’t shrinking; it’s growing.

The ending of Watchmen comes to mind. The movie, not the comic; sorry, Alan Moore.

Ozymandias–that’s a superhero name–triggers an attack against the world designed to look like it was done by another superhero–Dr. Manhattan. Ozymandias believed the only way to save humanity from destroying itself was to unite everyone against a common enemy.

I hope that isn’t true.

The job of President reminds me of a CEO. Set a vision for the country; empower people to move toward that vision.

Unite everyone through a common goal.

I’ve seen strength in small communities. Maybe what’s needed isn’t for one person to manage 300 million. Maybe our CEO needs to delegate responsibility to local leaders. Then lead those leaders.

But that’s not for me to decide.

The most important questions I can ask are, “What is in my control?” And “What is not in my control?”

Focus on the former. Accept the latter.



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