As we leave 2010 and move into 2011, let me finish with a few thoughts on a few subjects.
First of all, I am thankful for my friends and family and my health. As I look back, 10 years ago at this time, I was unsure of having any of those, following two failed attempts at a sustained relationships and a bout with homelessness. I wasn’t sure where I would be living or even if I would make it to the next day. I was in the middle of living in seven places in five years. I almost moved to England and was so unsure of myself that I never knew from one day to the next what I would end up doing.
Ten years ago, Bill Clinton was in his waning days as President. We had just had the most contested and disputed election since 1876. Who could have predicted what George Bush wrought. Today, we contest everything. From elections and TV preferences, to sports and even science. Bush’s Presidency and the subsequent consequences of it have made us a more divided, fractious, malicious country. We have seen jobs disappear, lives ruined, communities decimated, people attacked, terrorist acts and the circus of the rich and pompous and important become more fodder for discourse than ever before.
We don’t talk to each other anymore. We talk at each other and even when presented with the truth, we refuse to believe. Ten years ago, Glenn Beck was nobody. Now he’s on the radio and TV and has taken the place of Morton Downey, Jr. as the screwiest nut in the jar.
We have become more connected and less social. We are on the Internet, yet we disconnect from those who are (or should be) most important to us. The last 10 years have changed all of us, and not for the better. We are older, not wiser. We value the wrong things and still are seeking out things in search of happiness and not finding it, because somewhere along the way, we lost ourselves. Wisdom comes from the pain of knowing where we went wrong and not doing it again. People never learn that until its’ too late. It is easier to blame others than it is to accept your own mistakes and learn from them. Just remember, when pointing a finger at someone, usually three are pointing back at you.
Ten years ago, I was blaming everyone and anyone for my problems. Today, I know that my problems and how I handle them are my own doing, not anyone else’s. As I like to say I have a good life, but it’s not easy. The Greeks say that wisdom comes “through the awful Grace of God.” I’m more of the Danny Devito line in “The Big Kahuna” “When you see the folly in what you’ve done, but you can’t change it, because it’s too late, that’s when you carry it around with you for the rest of your life and honesty will reveal itself on your face.”
I have seen the folly of my life and know who is to blame for it. Me. If more people realized that, then it would be a much better world, I think. So, for 2011, why not try and become a little better, less opinionated, more centered and most of all, forgiving. Of others, but mostly yourselves. Understand that we all see the world differently and have different lives and experiences and stop villifying each other over the petty stuff, like politics and sports (two very inner-connected enterprises). Remember that we are here for a very short period of time, the world will continue to spin when we are gone and forgotten but our legacy’s will live on in what we did and the people, big and small, that we impacted.