FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Sick and Tired.

by Dave Markwell

My household is sick, most of it anyway. My son and dogs seems to have avoided the bug. Ironically, these creatures take the least care about whom they interact with and/or what they put into their mouths. My wife, the chiropractor, would assert that we are not “sick”, but we are simply expressing health. This maybe true and it is nice to think of it this way. But, the sweating, snotting, and sleeping still seem pretty sick to me. And some of the “expressions” don’t feel too healthy. We are running low on tissues and toilet paper. I guess we must be getting better with so much health being expressed. And, we are. Slowly, but surely.

Being cooped up this week, I had the opportunity to watch a lot of TV, perhaps too much. This being election week, I have been able to catch lots of coverage, again perhaps too much.

I am often awed by some of my Facebook friends’ (who, in most cases are ACTUAL friends, too) posts about the election and what it will mean for the future of our country, etc. I am not indifferent to this future as it is MY future, but I don’t really understand the outrage on any side of the issues. I would classify myself as a moderate…everything. I like many of the Democratic Party ideas and ideals and I like just as many of the GOP ideas and ideals.

At this point in our history, it seems like the Donkey’s ideas are more suitable and pragmatic. While I love the concept of “trickle-down” economics, I think this concept relies on a certain amount of integrity on behalf of the “tricklers”, but with bail outs and record profits being recorded and still pretty flat job growth, I don’t see integrity existing in the culture of our big businesses.

A key talking point by the Elephants is entitlements. Huge payouts to executives and the expectation of tax breaks and incentives and subsidies seem to be pretty significant “entitlements”, just as the welfare, unemployment benefits and other social programs designed to help those actually needing help are characterized by the complainers. During this time of such need, I lean towards supporting programs which fund programs that help regular folks and I don’t believe that everyone needing help is trying to escape actually having to work for what they get. I believe that most people, if given a choice, would rather have a decent job than government assistance. I believe this as strongly as I believe there are good corporations trying to do right.

I believe that I and indeed, we, can only control our own lives. Trying to control others is effort wasted. I believe that we have a responsibility to be informed and engaged in the system, such as it is. But, I also believe that outrage makes good TV and doesn’t represent, in most cases, the true sentiments felt by either the politicians or their constituents. I believe that Americans love this country. I believe that accepting this as true would make coming together a little easier. Allowing that a contrary opinion is being offered by a kindred soul softens the debate. And I think this is good. We are not red and blue states. We are red, white and blue. Period.

While watching too many pundits over the past couple of days, I have struggled with the notion that maybe I am the crazy one. Seeing such passionate vitriol, I wonder if I am missing something or if I am too naïve or dense to understand all the anger and fear. I have come to the conclusion that if I am crazy, I will take it. I would rather be crazy than bitter and angry and afraid of circumstances either beyond my immediate control or whose impacts are pretty nominal upon my daily life. Perhaps this perspective is inadequate and immature and lacks a certain broader responsibility, if so, I don’t really care.

I have a sick little girl who needs me. This is what I care about. This is what I am focused on today. Tomorrow will present its own new challenges that will be mine to deal with. I don’t have time to be pissed off or scared about what may, or most likely, may not happen with the rest of the world. I will not be swayed by phony outrage. I will not be convinced that the left is right and the right is wrong. I don’t have the time to be convinced, so I will just trust myself how I feel about these things, and, then go get my daughter some more ginger ale.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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