Life Stories, Relationships

The Human Factor

I wanted to keep “politics” out of this post but in truth, it is center stage in our nation right now. We are in the midst of the longest “election night” in my life time (and probably ever). Of course, 2020 has been a year for “firsts” and hopefully “lasts” on many items and in truth, I will never be so happy to see a New Year (I have asked to see the ‘terms and conditions’ first however)! A coworker of mine recently said, “I’ve never been so sick of hearing the word “unprecedented”. Right?

Our nation is at a cross roads right now. In truth, political agendas, policies and government officials cannot determine the road in which this nation will take, they can try to steer us but they cannot force the bend in our road. Instead, we as a people, that make up what is supposed to be the “greatest nation on earth” have never had a more important time. As a nation, we have faced many challenges and rose above them all, maybe battered, bruised and confused, but we have come together through every challenge.

Four years ago, I did not vote for our current president. Prior to him even running for president I had a deep dislike for him and I cannot even put a “it is because of this reason” to it. I just felt that he was “full of himself” and stood in latent disregard for anyone that he considered beneath him. Of course, that is MY view. My sister Roxy has an entirely different view of Donald Trump, and although it is one I can never understand (much Ike she doesn’t understand my view) we learned to steer (mostly) away from politics as a family.

Tuesday I again did not vote for Trump, which I know is in stark contrast to how my sister voted. Again, our reasons, resolutions and resolve as varied as they can be.

Today, we have no idea how this election will turn out. It has progressed much like they said it would. In a year of a pandemic, the number of mail-in and absentee ballots have been incredibly high. The arguments for and against have been clearly delineated but the need for decreasing mass events where large numbers of people are together in one place is not preferable at a time in our nation (and world) when COVID is once again surging. Also, it bears the idea that going forward people may vote absentee more frequently. I think of my husband Bruce who could never tolerate a long vote line, or the elderly in nursing homes, etc. I also imagine a nation of millennials and younger that will embrace the “easiest route” when given a choice. As with everything, voting will see changes.

But I digress, my point is that we do not know who our next sitting president will be. In truth, I am beyond looking at “polls”, “predictions”, “statistics” and “best guesses” and “until the fat lady sings” (I am sure that is not politically correct anymore if it ever was) I will not hang my hat on any outcome except the accurate one.

More importantly, I decided going into this election that as much as I do not understand “Trumpers” (some who are my family and friends) it is not my place to be less understanding, if that makes sense? Four years ago, we watched as what was a sure “Hilary victory” evaporated and Trump won the presidency. Some wound licking took place, a lot of “What the hell just happened” and some time to reflect. What does it mean when a nation elects a man to president that in truth, has NO political knowledge to sit as our commander in chief, which is our most esteemed seat in our country? It means that as a nation, there are some problems. That is not to slight Trump, but instead it is to say that possibly our government needs some work.

There should not be a line down the center saying that the “right” is right or the “left” is the answer. As a nation we are mix of every race, every sexual orientation, every ethnicity and every religion; in truth we are set up for failure. No other nation has our melting pot of potpourri humans.

If we do away with agendas, throw out conspiracy theories and set aside differences we can prevail as a nation. It is true, we do need a president that can guide us, involve us and build us up but even more true, we will never find a person that can be “everything to everyone” in this country. I think I have learned that first hand in my own occupation. As a charge nurse, I work so hard to make the unit run fluidly when I am there, I have ideas, I get excited and execute said ideas but often I do not follow a “set pattern of rules” and I end up in trouble. It is deflating. It is also deflating to try and feel as though as much as I try, it may never be good enough to some people.  The same can be said when I do things that end up being well received from my peers, and I am met with positive affirmations and feel good about said things that I did well.

Basically, it is hard to be a leader. And you will never make everyone happy. And at times what I want to say, actually scream at my peers is “band together, take care of each other, make this work and get ‘er done”! I am fairly certain ole Abe Lincoln wanted to say that as well as every other sitting president through our history to the present.

Let’s call this the ‘human factor’. Let’s be human to each other, yes that involves some mistakes, some “I told you so’s (positive and negative) but mostly it means “lets take care of one another”.

I think of this day often. As a nation, we came together! For the hundreds of people that needed help, people from ALL over the nation came together! We moved rubble, fought fatigue and worked endlessly hoping to find that one person that may be clinging to life, while all the time praying for miracles. As a nation, we watched, prayed and hoped along with them. We mourned for those we lost, for their families that suffered and for our nation that was gravely wounded.

THAT is WHO we are as a nation!!

When this election ends we may have Donald Trump as our president, and as much as I will never understand that, I WILL always be good to my neighbor (while trying to help them see reason, JOKING :). If Joe Biden becomes president, that does NOT change for me, I WILL be good to my neighbor!

If DT wins, I will continue to show my boys that compassion, kindness and good morals are the greatest gifts one can pass through the generations. If JB wins, I will continue to show my boys that compassion, kindness and good morals are the greatest gifts one can pass through the generations.

The legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren is our greatest gift, and our biggest challenge. How we accept loss, joy, adversity and growth is our defining moment as parents and grandparents. How we come together as a nation to address our most pressing issues which is our current pandemic, global concerns, and racism is of the utmost importance. It is not unlike 9/11. We are in desperate times! All of the above combined with our political turmoil leave us open to another 9/11, and what then? Well, I have NO doubt that we would come together as a nation once again and help our fellow citizens, pull them from their desperation, all the while praying for miracles. So then let’s do that now.

Regardless of DT or JB as CIC, we need to come together as a nation. Make our neighbors accountable to be good neighbors. Stand behind what makes us all AMERICANS, which is what our founding fathers wanted when they wrote our constitution. And by the way, they rarely agreed (Just like Steve and Tony, aka Capt America and Iron Man Who definitely had their differences) either BUT they agreed to disagree and steer the nation regardless….

By definition, the Founding Fathers played key roles in the founding of the country, but some played particularly critical parts. As with any group, their strength was often gained from their differences. Without the fiery tempers of Bostonians John Adams and Samuel Adams, the colonies may have decided to appease Parliament and back down from demanding their rights. Instead, the persuasive voices of patriots like journalist Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry gave credence to their cause and contributed to a sense of patriotism that swept the colonies. John Hancock, best remembered for his large looping signature as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, also served as the president of the Continental Congress.

The Founding Fathers served one another well during these challenging and unstable times. During the American Revolution, George Washington led the Continental Army to victory over a much larger and better equipped British army. As president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was instrumental in ensuring that all opinions were heard and in keeping discussions on track. As Washington presided, fellow Virginian James Madison took copious notes on the proceedings. Not just any Founding Father, Madison is often called the Father of the Constitution. 

At 81 years of age, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was hampered by ill health, yet missed just a few sessions—even when he was so weak he had to be carried in the sessions. By then, Franklin had already earned a name in the history books for his role in drafting the Declaration of Independence and negotiating the 1783 Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War.

The Founding Fathers did not just craft the new government, they also ensured its success. After the Constitutional Convention, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays under the pseudonym “Publius” to urge states to ratify the historic document. In what were later published as the “Federalist Papers,” these three Founding Fathers painstakingly set about describing the features of the government and explaining its advantages. To address concerns that a strong national government might encroach on the rights of citizens, Madison also wrote a series of amendments outlining the rights of the people, which were added to the Constitution as the Bill of Rights in 1791.

My point: every person in this nation was meant to have rights. That is what our founding fathers anticipated when writing our constitution (they would have been great bloggers!). Sure, there was a “right” side and a “left” side and then a “middle” component but they agreed that each entity was important to the overall structure of this nation.

As humans, we were made to be imperfect and lack the ability to understand every situation, every person, every time, I mean not even Dali Lama could achieve that. But we also were given the ability to reach beyond our limited self and view the greater good, and the bigger picture.

Our history has proven that as a nation we have made many mistakes, but also as a nation we have taken care of each other. Our history has also proven that as humans we have been unkind to one another but also as humans we have come together, to pull each other from the rubble, to new beginnings.

That is the human factor.

So, this is OUR moment. MAYBE that is why 2020 has been like any other? Maybe there is a deep and profound lesson in this year and we can either embrace that lesson, or ignore it to what consequence?

What will we do?

Will we draw a line down the middle of the country and hate on the other “side”. Or will we come together, not in complete understanding but with compassion and love for our fellow human beings, the very ones who would take your hand and pull you from the rubble, grateful and thankful that their miracle was answered?

Our human legacy is up to bat with runners on 2nd and 3rd, will we bring them home or leave them to the outfield?

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