I originally wrote this in 2005, as I was starting to become involved in politics. Many of us saw the economic crisis coming, and have been working for some time now to create the changes that began this year with Obama’s election. We all know we have a lot of work left to do, that next year will be a busy one of restructuring so much of what has gone wrong in the last eight years. In looking back through my posts, wondering how we will accomplish all that we need to now, I found this post, which reminded me that we do have the resources we need to create change within us already.
Use a mirror in difficult times:
You will see both cause and resolution.
When faced with adversity, you must ask whether you have done anything to bring misfortune upon yourself. If the present difficulties are the unforeseen outcome of events that you yourself set in motion, then it is necessary both to learn from your mistakes and to search for any possible way to correct them. If the difficulties are due to character flaws, then the situation should be resolved, and the basic fault must afterwards be eradicated.
The wonderful part of all this is that the resources for resolving our problems are also within us. When we watch athletes in competition and they outperform even their own high standards, we often say that they reached down deep and were able to give something extraordinary. When we are in the midst of our own confrontations, we must be the same way. We need to reach deep within and use the utmost of our abilities to overcome our obstacles. This is one manifestation of our continuing efforts at self-development.
When confronted with problems, we have all the more power to respond. When we triumph, we have even more confidence and facility to handle future problems. Therefore, meet life head on. Maintain your self-cultivation, move forth to confront difficulties, and accumulate the momentum that success with give you.
Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao
My biggest problem today is that I’m extremely tired. What I did to bring this misfortune on myself was stay up late last night playing with my new Powerbook… but it was fun!
Ah, so much new stuff to learn – makes me happy! So far, I am able to play music I’ve downloaded and imported… well, I’ll learn to do more stuff, really…
I love the way it is ready to go out of the box, the wireless worked flawlessly, nothing has crashed, yeah!
I think we are all faced with adversity right now, or will be soon. A lot of it is of our own doing, not working hard enough to make other people see what seems so obvious to us about what has been going wrong in this country. But a lot of us have been speaking out, have been doing our bit, and we wonder if our efforts will ever pay off.
Well, looking back to my own personal history, I spent many, many years being selfish and not recognizing what other people needed in their lives. I spent a lot of time beating myself up for my mistakes, and mostly for not being able to rescue people from what I saw as their mistakes. My own meltdown and recovery pretty much taught me that you can’t rescue others, you can only work on yourself. And perhaps to some, I still seem selfish for doing that. But the difference is, I’m no longer trying to run anyone else’s life, just my own. If people want to hang out with me while I do that, great, and if not, that’s ok too. I don’t insist anymore that I “need” other people in my life. I am self-sustaining. Not that I totally support myself, but that I accept total responsibility for myself and what happens in my life. And expect others to do the same. I’m no longer dependent, codependent, or independent. I’ve become inter-dependent.
I’ve tapped into my own resources, in other words. And, to solve problems you’ve brought on yourself, that is what you need to do. It is a lesson this country is going to have to learn, soon enough. We’ll start to figure out that the Saudis can’t always provide us energy, the Chinese won’t always want to float us loans, and the rest of the world is getting tired of producing stuff for us to consume. We can’t be the kids consuming all the resources much longer. It’s time for the U.S. to grow up.
We more than pulled our own weight in the past, that’s for sure. But this generation, my generation, is a bunch of spoiled brats. The rich ones keep demanding more and more, the poor ones are resentful that their dumb luck has kept them down. The adult ones, the lucky few of us who have managed to grow up in the midst of an environment that either spoils or deprives, depending on wealth or the lack of it, are now looking for some way to restore sanity to this country.
And the answer is to use our own resources. We have plenty of them at our disposal, we’ve created many of them. The Internet is the best tool we’ve ever created, the prime accomplishment of my generation, in my opinion. We’ve made this tool to bring people together, and that is what we need to do right now. And if all bring the best of our own resources to the table, we can sort this out, undo the destructive threads that run through this country and start to reweave a new fabric for our culture, one that is more progressive, tolerant, and looks to the future instead of clinging to the old, wasteful, selfish ways of the past.
I know this is possible. I’ve done it in my own life. It’s up to us, the engineers, the techies, the people who read blogs, to work with the smart kids we’ve raised and create the new solutions we need. Many of my blog links are to the people trying to build these solutions. ALL of my blog links are to people with great ideas, great writing, and wonderful, positive messages. Well, a few are snarky just to keep me entertained. But none of them are the mean-spirited, destructive negativity of the right-wing. And they used to accuse the liberals of being negative. Hell, they’re in power, and they’re STILL yelling about everything.
It takes more than words, of course. That’s why I’ve started my MoveOn group and am getting more involved politically. I certainly don’t have much experience at this, but I’m learning. And I see other friends doing the same. So we learn, and grow, and learn more, and do more. And that is what it takes. Use the mirror, see how strong you are instead of what was wrong, and go forward.