Consider this fair warning my digital peeps. I’m going political.
I know that the interwebs may not be the most effective forum to attempt political persuasion. Without a doubt it is more prone to rabid shouting than thoughtful debate. All true.
But we are at an unusual moment in United States history and because the United States is part of the broader human family, at a unique moment in time for humanity in general. The consequences of our choices in the next 100 days will be amplified and echo down through coming generations, and any action that might help in those decisions must be taken. Continue reading
I’ve voted in every local, state, and national election since I was first eligible. I take my voting responsibilities seriously, a joyful obligation in return for the benefits and pleasures of being an American citizen. I believe in America’s greatness, both historically and presently. I love my country, and with a little work, love most of my fellow citizens. The patchwork quilt that is American civil society is a delight and inspiration, at least most of the time.
But this year, I’m an undecided voter.
(A note to a friend who lost her husband in the past year)
I am suspicious you will have a different kind of Valentines day tomorrow given the events of the past year and all the loves that have moved to different spaces in your life.
Last night I went to a symphony concert. Beethoven. Concerto in D Major, Op. 61. Dead words to label one lilting phrase of music, composed in 1806, that we all recognize in the first few notes. It got me thinking about phrases that reach beyond time and place.
Once upon a time, in a place much like this one, in a time not so unlike ours, there was a little company. It wasn’t a big concern, just a few people pursuing their passion for well made seating, primarily sturdy stools that could be easily moved from place to place and comfortably applied to stable seating on a variety of surfaces.
Their three legged stools, simple, but well made and precisely crafted, were, at first, not much noticed by their owners, but well used and long lived. Over time, these qualities raised the humble stools to visibility and even acclaim.
A number of years ago as part of my professional development I went off to a Covey seminar on Core Values. I found the class interesting, but in the end, felt that it left something important unsaid about how I navigated through my life. Being explicit about one’s values is helpful, even necessary, but values are not sufficient except for the most fundamentalist approach to living.
My Life, as I’ve experienced it, only infrequently runs aground for a lack of values awareness and implementation. Generally when my values are under duress, the choices are very clear even if implementation comes at a significant cost. My deepest, thorniest challenges come in situations that involve tradeoffs where there isn’t a clear either/or value to fall back on for direction.
I wasn’t born there, but I did live in the South for 12 years, deep in the Mississippi Pine Forests. From my first days of High School until just after Grad School, I luxuriated in all the best the South has to offer. Those years helped define the well lived life for me and serve as a useful counterpoint to the fizzy, ephemeral, interneted age in which I find myself.