My 10 Pillars

I know you don’t care but since I am an addicted list maker I have been tinkering with my blogging schedule here at RJsCorner.  In order to not fixate on the political scene I have committed to addressing more diversified topics.  That diversity is driven by my blogging schedule as shown at the top of this and every page.

Monday is the only day I allow myself to concentrate on the political scene inside the beltway and particularly inside the Oval Office topics. Any more than that could drive me to insanity. 🙂  I have just changed Tuesday to blogging about my 10 pillars of life as shown here. My 10 pillars help define what I am and why I am on this earth. So to that end, I will be spending Tuesdays concentrating on one of those ten topics. 

Today’s post will concentrate on explaining the second pillar on this list.

I realize that I am prone to depression when things don’t go as I think they should. During those pity-party periods, I tend to think that I am the only one who has my problem-of-the-day.  Of course, thinking that a problem is exclusively mine makes it harder to deal with. We must each realize that no matter what our problems are there are people out there who have been there before us and can help us with them.  They will show us ways to cope with our problems. Siri might be a good start in finding them but she is never a total solution. 😳

Over the years I have learned a lot by studying how others cope.  So, my #6 pillar helps in accepting dealing with my #2 pillar. Never stop learning. Never think you know all there is to know. People who are convinced of that almost certainly know less that anyone. 

Pillar #2 – You Are Not Alone

In future posts I will be giving you some personal stories about realizing that I was not alone with particular problems.

Compromise?

I think one of the biggest failures of the Obama administration was their naivete in thinking that they could compromise with the current Republican Party. Here are some words about that: 

American needs a loud, proud, uncompromising, demanding, and transformative opposition at this crucial juncture, my friends — one which accomplishes something in particular: a new social contract. What else is this wave asking for? Anything less is failing the moment, the opportunity, the challenge, and the test — of collapse. Trying to fight authoritarianism with gentle compromises and winsome diplomatic smiles is like offering your abuser tea and crumpets. America needs an opposition that can really defeat authoritarianism. But will it get one?…


You can’t compromise with extremists and fanatics. Why not? Because they are not interested in compromising with you — but in bullying, demeaning, and devaluing not just you, but everyone. They act in bad faith, reneging on promises. They undercut and subvert the basic functioning of a democracy. They start from an absurd position — and don’t give an inch. So what happens if you say, “hey guys — let’s be friends, and compromise?” You legitimize all the above — the bullying, the harassment, the intimidation, the little violence, the casual bigotry — don’t you? Then it becomes some kind of perfectly tolerable and acceptable “debate” or “discussion” — instead of something never to accept.

Source: Eudaimonia & Co

The above quote comes from my new friend over at Eudaimonia and Co. Click on the source to see the entire article. This guy is kind of out there as you say as they don’t hold back much. But their words are mostly right on point at one level or another.

When President Obama came into office in January 2013 he was hit head-on with a financial crisis generated by his Republican predecessor that was potentially as serious as the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Due to his naivete, he tried to reason with the Republican Congress but that proved to be a colossal waste of valuable time during his first 100 days in office. As a result, very little of what he hoped to accomplish was done.  He basically wasted his golden first two years trying to get along with those who considered him the enemy.

Now that the opposition party will control the House next month I hope they learn the lessons in the quote above. At this point in time, there is little to be gained from seeking compromise with the morphed Republican party.  Eventually, I hope that is possible but that is for the future. Right now we need a strong opposition party to prevent any more damage to our ever more fragile democracy. Even though I don’t particularly like her, I think that Speaker Pelosi is up to that task.

I hope that whoever comes into office in 2021 does not repeat the Obama mistakes of naivete. I doubly hope that he/she is a seasoned leader with the ability to turn us away from the approaching fascism.

Not Afraid To Call Them Out

My new blogging friend John  Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina is certainly not afraid to call out Evangelicals for their discrimination against others.  That is one of the primary things I admire him for and why read him daily. Here are some words from a recent post. I encourage you to click on the link to read the entire story.

[And please, my Evangelical friend,] don’t give me that hackneyed, tired nonsense, that you are loving LGBTQ people by doing the things you do to them, because that’s an insult to all of us.

 If you’re going to tell me with a straight face, that ridiculing them in the streets and excluding them from your churches and passing legislation to take away their civil rights and prohibiting them from being fully authentic—is loving them—I’m respectfully calling bullshit. The day you convinced yourself that this was love, you lost the plot completely.

Source: Stuff That Needs To Be Said

I hope at least a few Evangelicals will read his post and realize that they are poisoning Christianity by their hateful words and actions. There is far too much judging among Evangelicals if you ask me but I readily admit that I judge others more than I should. The difference between them and me is that I recognize it as a personal fault and is contrary to my Live and Let Live pillar of life, and for some weird reason they see their prejudices as following Jesus.

As the title of John’s blog says “Stuff That Needs To Be Said”, maybe he can get through to that guy who works in an oval office. But I kinda doubt ANYONE can get through to him except maybe Meuller. 🥺 But, maybe he could convince a few of his loyal base that they have attached their dreams to a con artist. That’s stuff that really needs to be said…

Nature’s Beauty

For this Artsy Saturday, I bring you raw beauty. I am constantly in awe of the beauty I find in nature. This one was taken in the mountains of Colorado in 2012. Very simple, but very beautiful.

American Myths – American Exceptionalism

For this Question Everything Friday I want to bring you another dangerous myth that is ingrained into our country. That is that we are so exceptional that you can’t be compared to any other country.  Here is my quote for the day about that.

We can’t compare America to any other country! Especially not strange, dangerous countries like Scandinavia or France! We can’t? Why not? How else do you suppose that nations make progress — if not by learning from one another? Americans have been told that other places are “homogeneous”, so America can’t be compared to them — but “homogeneity” is not the reason they are successful societies. There are many more “homogeneous” societies which are failures than successes, just look at Asia and Africa — so homogeneity can’t be why some societies succeed, self-evidently. This myth is exceptionalism, only in a negative form — no comparison is possible. But it is a comparative analysis which teaches us the most when it comes to political economy. Have you ever wondered why you don’t know (probably) how exactly the French retirement system works? How the British healthcare system works? How the Swiss government works? Americans still haven’t learned this stuff because no one teaches it to them — and no one teaches it to them because the myth of exceptionalism says there’s no reason to learn it. 
via Eight Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America

The way I personally learn almost everything is to see how others are doing it better them me and to try at one level or another to emulate them. If you have been around for a while you have probably noticed that the general format and look of RJsCorner seems to frequently change. I do that because I am constantly looking for ways to make the site more pleasant to visit and to give you my view of the world in more concise stories. If I didn’t have something to compare this site to improvements would be far less frequent.

In that same vein, we as a country need to constantly look at others who do things better than we do. Our reluctance to do that greatly hampers us from creating better and better processes. It has allowed other countries to leapfrog around us when it comes to healthcare, retirement systems and such. It was almost an epiphany to understand we are never taught to look outside our country for ways to do things better.  That is a lesson we MUST learn…

Seeking Wisdom – James Madison

Another of the major sources of wisdom I frequently visit is the fourth president of the U.S. James Madison. There are a number of reasons for that admiration, not the least of which are the similarity between Madison and myself. He was 5′ 7″ and small stature while most of the other famous people during that period were broad-shouldered and well over 6′.  Since he was a little guy he had to work harder than many to get the attention he deserved. I am currently 5′ 7″ myself (although I was over 5′ 9″ before old age and compression fractures took me down a few inches). Two of my best friends growing up were over 6′ tall so I was also the little guy in the group.

Madison was an intellectual with an amazing ability for logic and organization. That is what made him so valuable during the Constitutional Convention and got him the moniker of the “Father of the Constitution”. Although I can’t begin to mirror his mighty accomplishments I too am somewhat of an intellectual (IQ in the 130s) and have always had a pendent for organization and writing. So I feel a closeness to Madison that I don’t feel for many other famous people.

When I visited his home  Montpelier in Virginia, it was a rare treat for me. His house was not the mansions of Mount Vernon or the Hermitage that I would visit a few days later. 

It was a wonderful time visiting Montpelier and getting a little closer to my hero James Madison.

When I seeking wisdom, I frequently look at Madison’s words.