Our Perfect World
"For peace comes dropping slow...."
In The Odyssey, Odysseus returns to Ithaca only after he has faced his worst fears and drawn strength from the growth he makes. Along the way, Odysseus has itchy feet; he never wants to stay where he is as he makes his way back to Ithaca. He never settles. In this story, there is a message for all of us. The only way we can make any contribution to this amazing nation is to face our fears and deny Trump. That's what the business leaders who had sought to foster manufacturing and growth did when they resigned from Trump's business advisory councils. In doing this, they erased the headlines about how these business leaders had a lot to fear in Trump. Artists have done the same--and they should have been the first to never get there, never mind go. Trump is living his dream of destroying our government and our planet and every ethical norm we cherish. As a nation, we are in crash-and-burn mode. Republicans are wimps, and Democrats lack the courage of their convictions. Meanwhile, ordinary, decent tax-payers are speaking up to oppose the stupidity, the violence, the racism. They are tying up Trump through the court system he is also trying to plunder. This is what is marvelous about our great nation. We work it.
Growing up, it seemed to me every man in America served in the military. Service was a given in my blue-collar world, and I was proud of the men--my dad, uncles, friends of the family, others--who gave over to the United States of America. Whatever motivated them, they endured the challenge of life in the military and made a commitment to risk their lives for their nation. Some fought in wars; some did not. Regardless, they, like Odysseus, faced their fear and rose above personal limitation and demonstrated that life is worth a fight. They came home sure that the world is a big place that requires loyalty, commitment, and trust.
Watching and being a part of the lives of these men, I discovered that they shared a vital passion for life: for the integrity of the people they love, for the taste of food, for the quality of romance, for the truth, for showing up on time. Having faced the worst possible nightmare, these men found what is essential in life: this moment. You.
We need to imagine ourselves in that situation because we really are. Insodoing, we might acquire that fundamental integrity that will bring us back to ourselves. Trump the trickster has forced us to search ourselves and say who we are. The experience has been both enlightening and nauseating by turn. But that is nothing new. We have gone to the edge to face that question. And we are proving ourselves worthy. It's time to say goodbye to the trickster, through our established systems. To do less is to give up on life itself. We, like Prometheus, need to steal the fire that is our birthright.