For me, that line is what defines Bill Clinton, his presidency, and what has become a journalistic nightmare here in the US. It is not merely that he used linguistics coupled with his Slick Willy lawyering to create a precedent for questioning the very meaning of a word that is a building block to the language, nor does it matter that he later admitted to having “sexual relations” with Monica and others; the damage had been done: he undermined the fabric of the language and common sense.
Had he instead been honest, or simply pleaded the 5th, or said, “That is none of your business and does not concern the office of the presidency to which I was granted the privilege to serve,” I could respect him. But instead he lied, throwing those women under the bus, and mocking the common man’s understanding of truth. And rest assured, I am an equal opportunity politician basher…George W. should have gone over and bopped Saddam on the nose for trying to assassinate his daddy, but instead, he involved other people’s children and cost future generations the bill for his cowardice. Shameful.
But we all make mistakes, albeit, not as grave as those “great men”, but to err is human. So are we to be defined by our mistakes? Perish the thought! For if so, I should throw in the towel now. Instead, I tried to instill in my children the belief that, it is not what you do that defines you, but what you do after…
Be your own hero. Act courageously after you blow it; apologize after you’ve wronged someone; eat a salad after you’ve binged on junkfood…get back on that horse. If you do, your mistake will become a thread that is weaved into the fabric of your life and will somehow be made into an opportunity for growth and greatness.
Occasionally I feel compelled to comment on Bloomberg’s articles although given his propensity toward the very things that I am against, I am always amazed when my posts remain. Today was no exception. After reading an article about the poor Gen Y’s who at age 33 are having to downsize from their near million dollar salaries to a mere lower 6 figures while curtailing their spending which is making the chances that they’ll be able to afford children unlikely, I wrote the following:
“I am of the X Generation with siblings 10 and 15 years younger than I. Whereas I rode a bike to-and-from work until I had saved enough money to buy a ’72 VW Bug at age 18, my siblings were given cars by my dad who also paid for them to go to college…and he is still paying their phone bill, as far as I know…The entitlements of the “Me Generation” were fostered by people who’s own parents started the ball rolling with the 16th Amendment (Sorry, but income tax has made slaves of everyone regardless of color…), the Social Security Act, and the corporatism defining the current US economy and propelled by incessant war and a litigious society. There was a slight chance if Ron Paul had been elected…Not because he could really do anything besides pardon the non-violent criminals, end the wars, and reverse fascist executive orders, but rather it would be an indication of a nation willing to accept personal responsibility and live with gumption and verve instead of soft gooey centers that resemble the now defunct Hostess cakes upon which they grew up while watching TV and playing video games instead of doing now-illegal lemonade stands and playing kick-the-can.”
What hope do I have for my younger siblings and my own children? To begin with, the human spirit overcomes; they are healthy; and they are creative. Independence and self-reliance are ingrained to some extent even if it hasn’t been practiced. To quote a woman from the article: “As it is, all of my possessions still fit in the back of my truck,” she says. “I can pack it in a couple hours, pick up the trailer and horses and move anywhere the gas tank will take me at the drop of a hat. What can the system take away from you when you have that kind of freedom?” She nailed it! “What can the system take”…Once people have caught onto the fact that the system is designed to take, I imagine that these same people who are currently feeling the pain of their own handicapped upbringing will revolt against the very system the previous generations created, all in the name of altruism and a safety net, and a resurgence of strength, resilience and self-reliance will re-emerge.
Obesity is the greatest health risk in the US today. Spoons feed people. Therefore if we get rid of all of the spoons, there will cease to be an obesity problem. That is the logic that is used to rationalize the banning of guns. Maybe all you want to do is limit the size of guns…well then only get rid of tablespoons…more food can fit on them than teaspoons.
Murder is tragic and diabolical. Getting rid of a tool will not eliminate tragedy or evil. And in the case of the horrifying event at Sandy Hook Elementary, the use of a gun pointed at Adam Lanza by one of those teachers or school personnel would have saved lives. It is not the tool, but the user that was the problem. The only sure way to get rid of murder is to get rid of people…or get rid of evil.
With all that said, my heart grieves for the families and friends, as well as the survivors who will live with that experience the rest of their lives. My thoughts and prayers are also with the father and brother who was also the son to the murdered mother. God help us.
It is destructive to be looking over your shoulder yearning for something that distracts you from your vision. (Anyone remember what happened to Lot’s wife?) And if the “But Mom” is followed by “I just want”, whoa Nelly, stop the train!
The context of the “But Mom” scenario is always the same: one wants to do something contrary to what is in his or her best interest- a moment’s pleasure enticing one away from what is optimal. So when I would hear one of my cherubs say to me “But Mom”, I would counter with “Do I look like a Butt Mom to you?” which would send them into peals of laughter. Sometimes it was enough of a diversion to help them reboot, but other times, a tone tainted with a whine ensued with a justification for why the object of desire was paramount to their happiness. A logical discussion about the misdirection that the thing in question would cause was much more easily digested after a hearty chuckle.
So if you find yourself in a situation where your version of “But Mom” rises up, do not let yourself get derailed! Instead, step back and count the cost. Whether it is that cookie that will take you away from your dieting goal, the cigarette that seems good to smoke at the time, or the pretty little thing whose company for lunch seems like a good idea, none of those compare to the greater satisfaction you will experience by staying the course.