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Monday, July 20, 2015

Fringeville #134 July 20 2015

...this is half our problem these days...

I am at times nearly thunderstruck by the sheer number of people I meet who have seem to have given up. All they have left is their whining. Social media really highlights it. It is a maelstrom of whining. At times it is almost painful to hop onto Facebook or Twitter and read the intense degree to which people whine. This is unfair. That is unfair. This is discriminatory. That is inflammatory.

Dear Lord, it just goes on forever. And if you center your life around social media, it infects you. You begin to feel that everything is stacked against you. You can never win. You become a minion of the whining gods.

Just knock it off already, look in the mirror, and accept the fact the person you're looking at is the one most responsible for overcoming life's basic unfairness.

Yes, life is unfair. It's been unfair since the caves, when the strongest and biggest one in the cave got first pick of the spoils of the hunt.

So what. We live in a nation where overcoming life's obstacles is possible. We live in America, where if you fail you're not painted with a permanent stigma and shunned. Instead you can pick up all the pieces and try again. And again. And again.

When the Detroit Automobile company failed in November of 1900, the man who started it didn't pick up his marbles and go home. He built a car by hand that won a race and got some investors interested in his ideas. He started a second company, but got into a tussle with stockholders. He left the company. And once again he did not quit. He built another car, won another race, and that success helped him promote Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford failed more than once, but he kept at it.

Bitching about unfairness isn't going to change things. Waiting for government to save you from life's unfairness isn't going to change things. Only the person in the mirror has the power to do that. You may not succeed. But you will learn a lot about yourself and you will be a stronger person in the end than if you bitched, whined, and waited for crumbs of good fortune to fall on you from the heavens.

And what of those who truly face obstacles that cannot be overcome? As I see it, the measure of a society is how treats its neediest, those who are truly unable by reasons beyond their control to care for themselves. They are our responsibility. 

In closing, I simply feel compelled to remind Americans just how fortunate we are. We are not a perfect society by any means. But I believe we are the best the human race has come up with so far. I am a believer in American exceptionalism. To me, that doesn't mean we are superior to the rest of the world. We have made our share of mistakes. But there is something about this nation that sets it apart ...not above ...other nations. For all our problems we are the only nation that has put men on the moon. We built the Panama canal. We fought wars on two fronts in WWII and then, after defeating our enemies, we rebuilt them so they could stand on their own.

I live in America. I am proud of it. And I'm not going to whine about things. If I see an obstacle I will go through it or around it. I won't stand there and say: "...gee, this is in my way. Guess I'm screwed."

Sorry if I'm a little abrasive today, but I think it's time we begin to believe in ourselves again. We are Americans, and it used to be unbecoming of Americans to whine. I'd like it to be that way again.

Maybe...just is good.

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