Not Quite Me

Discomfort and an occasional stab of pain interrupted last night’s sleep on a too-frequent basis. My undisciplined and unchecked craving for food and booze may be to blame. Or, the dip in the pool could be at fault. Whatever it was, is. I remain not quite me, so I am not sure I will join the family group that’s off to Tlaquepaque this morning. Our planned departure is still three hours away, so time will tell.

I’m not quite me in another sense, though they may be related. My interest in everything…the entire world around me…is low this morning. I don’t care to listen to the news. I have no interest in ambling around the neighborhood. I’m not even interested in catching up with friends. Nothing appeals to me. My only interest at the moment is sleep, but that’s not an option because I cannot get comfortable no matter how I twist and turn. Writing this isn’t even appealing; I suppose it’s an almost automatic reflex at this hour, though. But I don’t care whether I finish it nor whether I post it, even if I complete the piece.

I tried to snap out of this…I don’t know what…by imagining that I had suddenly come into a huge fortune, enabling me to begin a realistic search for my personal Shangri-La. I guess that would be fantasizing. My reaction to the effort: “What a pointless waste of time.” And then the natural follow-on became: “Everything is pointless in the long haul.” And that’s true. We can, and probably should, delude ourselves into thinking we, and the world around us, matter. But a hard, unbiased assessment probably reveals the truth.

Yet, if nothing matters, how have we stumbled along for several thousand years convincing ourselves otherwise? No, there must be something I’m missing. Oddly, though, I don’t particularly care whether that’s the case or not.

I think leadership, whether of tribes or nations or entire societies, steers us collectively toward progress or ruin. At present, that leadership is steering us into a bottomless chasm that will, if we allow it to happen, swallow us and leave little evidence we were here. Trump, Putin, Assad, Erdogan, Johnston, et al. These and many other world leaders are incompetent and self-absorbed, an ugly and untenable mix in a world society teetering on the edge of collapse. At a time when the world is desperate for visionary leadership, we instead have drunken pack mules hidden inside the bodies of would-be dictators. I should care.

I suppose I care. Just not enough. People who care enough do something to change the world, even when that something puts them at great risk. The rest of us whine and lavish praise on our armed forces, as if our armed forces are going to protect us from the likes of Trump and our own inability to confront and overcome our fears. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking the armed forces will save us from dictatorship; our structure of government was designed to prevent that very thing from happening. The armed forces are not the bad guys, they are just under the inviolable command of the bad guys.

Enough of this crap. I will sit and stew without recording every boil and bubble.



About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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