Progression of Excellence

PART ONE

ALEXANDRIA-OCASIO-CORTEZ (AOC) 

To a post on Facebook about this newly elected member of the House of Representatives, I urged that that she do more than enter tweet-sized statements, offer more than a headline, or give words behind a sound bite. Write and explain. Put forth policies that reveal reasoning and present the mind, not the mouth, to the public. 

An admirer, a devotee or perhaps a disciple of AOC replied, “Why apply that to her before any of the other people stealing from us.”

AOC is a politician in the business of making views, not sentences, known. She is new to the political arena; she is will be in the House of Representatives. She is voluble and engaging. She is 28 years old, too young to challenge the establishment in New York state: Senators Schummer and Gillabrandt, plus Governor Cuomo. 

Should AOC go beyond offering easy to read popular quotes, provocative tweets, enlivening sound bites, attractive slogans or alluring headlines? She can distinguish herself by employing methods that her peers eschew. Write out and think through policies, not delights for the masses or the church choir, but something that Americans can understand, adopt and support. 

She does not want be on the fringe, agitating to the true believers who put her on a pedestal and bow as in a personality cult: The leader demands that nothing is questioned; nothing is discussed.  Edicts are issued and the Big Person carries all authority. It’s a rush but forfeits responsibility because the leader is not accountable. The followers end up counting angels on the head of a pin.

Americans have tried a person of this ilk, the OT (not an abbreviation for Overtime). He spouts off the latest dribbles from a drooling mouth, always trying to please homies from the ‘hood. 

PART TWO

LOST LIFE

How does an enthusiastic youth turn against aspirations and stop doubting and questioning?

   “There are wonderful, helpful people, and there are others who more concerned with how things affect them and/or the institution that they represent. This realization was a little disappointing because with my youthful, idealistic, student experience I had a higher expectation for how the University should be run and treat its children.  

   However, we have to realize that it is a government bureaucracy in which the people who work there are very human, and want to protect themselves and the institution.  After a lot of years in the private sector… I… worked [at the University] for a while, and I saw it firsthand.  It was both good and bad, just like business and life.

 

  For me, I had to take off my rose colored glasses and accept the reality that the University is not heaven and not everyone is an angel.

This quote from recent correspondence reveals the absolute decline of a human being and his facilities, a man who is easily complacent and self-satisfied. The subject being discussed was history, and this response reminds me of a proverb popular in the Soviet Union: “The future is certain. It is the past that is uncertain.” In other words the bureaucracy will determine what the past is, and thereby the future is assured.

This is not the only discussion I’ve had with Boomers on this point. After some talk, I asked a successful businesswoman whether there was in her life anything she would change. She looked ahead, out the window with some glow in her eyes and said, “No, I don’t think so.” She wouldn’t change a word; she would not change an act; she would not change a relationship; she would not change a thought, a reflection or a wish.

If presented with the argument of this writing, both persons would insist, I didn’t mean that. I’m being misquoted. Yet these persons are approaching a brain-dead status because they are accepted what-is and failed to rail against what-could-be. They are sell- outs.

Each relies on age, experience and wisdom. I have the judgment based upon experience. Right away, these persons are wrong. Is each satisfied with the world as it is, whether it depends upon what is happening is the South China Sea, Washington DC or across the street? Mark Twain had advice for listening to such people: “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down the their level and then beat you with experience.”

It obvious each boomer lacks human qualities – inquisitiveness, curiosity, imagination, foresight and ideas. What sort of world do these individuals want their children and grandchildren to grow up into and struggle through: A bureaucracy that can’t be changed because a predecessor-in-interest was too lazy, incompetent or complacent to work to change the way the society or bureaucracy worked twenty-five or fifty years ago?

Wisdom is not fed only by experience. That’s a cop-out. It was Mark Twain who observed,

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” What is true for cats (sitting on a cold stove lid on a hot summer day is soothing) is also true for human beings. Persons relying solely on experience frequently fall into cliches – events are inevitable, or history repeats itself. Again Mark Twain clarified, “History does not repeat itself but it rhymes.” Experience likes rhymes. That is why people cling and linger on experiences When old or old thinking, they rely on experience – today is like it was when I was young. How so? What did you think then? Be honest. Why did you change? Be honest. Was that change good? Be honest.

As the quote form the correspondence indicates, experience plus age lets a human being pass, let it go, let people do their own thing, accept any malarky a bureaucracy, a society, a group or an individual proposes. It is too difficult to change the way people think, do or feel. We know that. Tell every person in the Civil Rights Movement how difficult it is to change the attitudes and ways of their fellow Americans. It was easier to pass Constitutional Amendments, 13, 14 and 15.

Yet hiring or having a person with experience who is supposed to be motivated, have imagination and knowledge plus propose new ways to address problems is never assured. That experienced person may have given up. The work, the bureaucracy, is too difficult. That person expended energy and imagination when using drugs and unthinking enthusiasm earlier in life: Now that person is settled: I grew up. I’ve given up. I am a tired, useless, old human being who likes to watch life pass by. Hiring a person like that only adds another layer to the bureaucracy.

PART THREE  

RESOLUTIONS

What does AOC have to do with the boomers in Part Two? Nothing, and perhaps everything. It is easy to go along with the bureaucracy. It’s not just business and political entities

but also a social organization. AOC can lose everything and disappear into the Federal Government. She will part of the group, the power elite, a giddy promotion for a fresh face. She will become rich, successful and powerful. She will be popular, on TV and famous. Who does not want all that?

What’s happening in her mind? AOC is young and for the reminder of life she should read, ponder, write, and thereafter act and express herself about thoughts and beliefs. It is clear few of her peers, Left or Right, can or are doing that.

For the boomers? Can old people change their ways? It takes energy to be curious and inventive and stick to it. It takes energy to read and think about ideas and issues comprehended and how they might be applied today to better the future. It is not enough to travel. An acquaintance said in my presence: “I went to the Galapagos Islands.” Before I could ask about differences of species on each island (which Darwin noted), she said, “And then I saw Machu Picchu.” I did not ask about the recently discovered Inca city west of Machu. I figured she was happy seeing the highlights of South America. Some people are truly the living dead, so deep in a rut that they are buried.

I got into a tiff with a woman on Facebook. I made a joke about marijuana usage, and she told me if I weren’t using pot, I would never be part of the Twenty-First Century. Sorry I can’t join Elom Musk. I did not respond to that view – you’re lucky you got out of the Nineteenth Century. Pot and its derivatives are not the drugs to make the Twenty-First Century better. Going forward, all human beings, as hard as it may be, should keep as many of their wits within them. The tale of the Twenty-First Century will be, the person with the most wits wins.  

Advertisements