First off, my apologies to Jerry Garcia. It's just where my head is today. I believe life is what you make it and if it is not turning out the way you want, it is your own repsonsibility to make changes that work for you. For me, I have found that in order for me to make things work in my life, the key is to be positive, open minded and caring of others. That's why I am working out, running and doing my best to keep doing crosswords and keeping up on current events. By covering those simple bases, I can feel good about myself (both mind and body) and only measure my progress against goals that I set for myself, not by how anyone else is doing. If there are things I don't like that are going on around me, I can use the positive feelings I have about myself to have the confidence to provide suggestions to resolve the issues. That does not mean that I have all the answers (see being open-minded, above); what it does mean is that if I am not part of the solution, I am part of the problem.
Delays in resolving things, blaming process and just saying no are to me, unacceptable responses to issues that require being addressed. I am sure that if people actually took the time to understand the other person's point of view, we could come to compromise that everyone can walk away from the negotiating table feeling good about the resolution. By getting past personality to the actual issues at hand, work can actually be accomplished. By letting things fester over time, conditions will only deteriorate and more roadblocks are erected to coming to consensus just because of resentment for the delay. By only saying NO because you want to exert some kind of authority you believe you have only weakens you and again, builds resentment. By listening to the other side and seriously taking their concerns into consideration and by doing your homework in order to develop a well reasoned, cogent argument, the whole (blending of ideas) can become greater than the sum of the parts. Life does not need to be a zero sum game. Politics does not need to be a zero sum game. Man is a social animal and he/she is really, truly successful when he/she collaborates for the good of the many, not just the one.
So, to that end, I will ask all of you who spend time on Facebook, My-Space, etc. to also take some time and get involved. E-mail your representatives, Senators, President, Governors, etc. Don't just say "Yeah, I agree with you! or You idiot, get out of office!" Do your homework and become part of the conversation. Democracy is really hard when you get down to brass tacks. It requires the citizenry to be involved. Don't settle for the 15 second sound byte from EITHER SIDE. Listen for logical arguments. Better yet, become part of the conversation at home. Respect each other's opinions and if worse comes to worse, you will agree to disagree; but at least it will be a more lively discussion than just watching another hour of Big Brother or Real Chance at Love II.
It's been bad weather and I have been recovering from a cold. So, no running, but I found my soapbox, again.