Getting real; staying clear

Isaac and IRAC

There’s a powerful hurricane named Issac doing it’s thing in the southern United States. Seven years ago today, Hurricane Katrina did it’s damage there too. I have friends in New Orléans, and have prayed for their safety. They know what to do now; they’ve survived storms before, and have taken precautions. They know what they are up against. Hard not to follow it though; it’s eery but not as creepy and scary as the political Conventions happening this week in other parts of the country. Who would have thought that those two things would happen simultaneously, and I would finally choose to follow the storm and not the political show.

Here’s why. I want to know the truth, and be treated like I can handle it. Be respected enough to make my own decisions, and accept responsibility for my actions too. Some things bring destruction and renewal, while other things feed on the fear of destruction. Until one has lived through destruction of something integral, they are prey to fear mongers promising safety. Safety is an illusion; at least while we inhabit a body. I’ve found something real that nobody can take away, or destroy. I can forget it though, and that’s why I just can’t follow politics anymore. Over 1 billion dollars spent already in this presidential election cycle, and I feel a greater division in our country than ever. We are fighting about who is right, and damning the others who aren’t. It’s more than embarrassing; it’s immoral. At least with storm warnings the goal is to make us ready to act, or to save others more vulnerable. The shift in political campaigning is greater than the continental divide, and more destructive. It wasn’t supposed work like this. Not when our country was created. Not when God created us either. We were meant to think, and create, for ourselves but in cooperation with others.

In Law School, we spent three years learning how to think. First, by identifying the problem correctly, and then proceeding to an analysis and conclusion that would resolve it. I wasn’t ready to think this way, and I wrote a horrible exam in Contracts I, but passed with a Ct. I felt like a failure and thought about leaving the study. But, I became teachable instead, and learned how to think after that first semester. I made the Dean’s list almost every semester then.

This is how it breaks down:

I= Issue The question or problem that needs an answer;

R= The Rule of Law that applies;

A + Application of the proper rule of law to the specific facts;

C= Conclusion.

Get the problem wrong, and you get the wrong answer. In my first exam, I only talked about the rules; I didn’t spot the problem correctly, and didn’t analyse it either. I thought knowing the rules was enough. Ct was probably a gift, but I ranked 12 out of 70 other students who did the same thing, and didn’t write as well as I did. I really don’t know.

I don’t practice law now, but I am so grateful that I learned how to think. It’s just that most of the holders of information treat us like we can’t, and withhold the story. A whole cottage industry of talk show hosts and fact checkers have sprung up telling us how to think about what wasn’t said. It feels insane. And I believe it makes people feel powerless, which is precisely the danger. Especially for an alcoholic like me. I gotta know the truth, no matter how scary it is, if I am to stay free of damaging dependencies. It’s really naïve, but I still wish for this. Let the candidates have the same amount of money. Let them spend a year traveling to the same places, and meeting people who want to meet them. Let us ask them questions too, at least with the same amount of time allotted for their speeches.

Then, let them take some time off before the vote, so they can rest up and think about something that they might like to say in closing before the election. They each get one more shot.

Then, we decide.

This hurricane will pass, as most storms do. A storm threatened on the night that I surrendered to God to recover from alcoholism and depression; I could feel it moving inside of me too, and I couldn’t stop the force of it. I am so glad I rode it out, because I know what to do when things get scary and overwhelming. I go within, to the source, with my concerns. And I always return to peace, and with an answer to every problem.

Here’s Natalie Merchant with “Build A Levee”. She’s just beautiful, and tells us what to do.


2 responses

  1. Such wise words. Perhaps the politicians and the media caused the storm.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:08 am

  2. Thank you. Yes, perhaps. It saddens me, really.

    August 31, 2012 at 4:18 am

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