On the morning of August 17, 2017 I was getting my political news from talk show host, Stephen Colbert on YouTube. That probably says a whole lot about my attitude towards politics and news in general, yet it’s a belief of mine that there is truth in humor. Plus, I like the events the Trump presidency gives to all these comedians. I sometimes watch Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah and John Oliver as well. They all have good writers and there is just so much material to use. Yet, frankly, I am getting tired of it. That is to say how much Trump bashing can a person take?
However on that morning, I was listening to Stephen Colbert interview John Dickerson on a segment of The Late Show from last night. Dickerson really got my attention when he referred to Trump as an improvisational president.
Isn’t that a creative way to describe Trump and his reactions to situations and events? Doesn’t it create much wider picture than just focusing on material where you can make Trump look laughable or idiotic? The truth is that I am learning a lot through the Trump presidency. Yes, the man is not articulate and cannot express himself well and he sees things differently and speaks without filters and the press just goes after him without mercy. I think that is why we see so many angry outbursts from Trump at the press. Yet, when I think back to the way Obama spoke in carefully measured pauses of slick articulation, I have to feel a certain amount of compassion for Trump.
When you compare presentation skills of Trump and Obama, Trump comes across as being really limited, yet I am beginning to suspect he is smarter than he sounds. He hates talking to the press and blames them for making him look bad, without being to able to see how he contributes to this image. Most of us don’t look beyond our image presentation anyway.
Now, I feel Trump has a “translator” of sorts in Dickerson and to be honest, it lifts my heart. Look, we all know that government still represents a class hierarchy in America, no matter who gets elected. The position of the President reeks celebrity as well as power, whether we like it or not. And, we want our celebrities to be beautiful and articulate, kind and compassionate and live in the fairy tale we believe really exits. Yes, there are specific viewpoints from both the conservative and liberal camps and we stand in line behind one or the other belief system, while just under the surface we can still feel similarities even if we cannot admit them to ourselves or anyone else.
The major theme of P.D. Ouespensky’s book, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MAN’S POSSIBLE EVOLUTION is that we are all asleep. When I first found this thin paperback in a used book store in Long Beach, California – some fifty years ago, I brought it home because I loved the title. When I read that we were all sleep walkers, I was unable to wrap my head around that concept and stopped reading. Some thirty years later, I found a copy of this exact same book behind the Xerox machine at work. It was ragged and wrap in dust bunnies and I felt like it was synchronicity. It showed up in my life again, when I was ready.
After asking around the department if anyone lost the book, I took it home and I read it. This time I understood what Ouespensky meant by being asleep. And, I understood that I was still asleep on so many levels of operating in my life. I often felt like a conditioned industrialized human version of a worker bee. The one that literally works themselves to death because they are coded for that behavior. It wasn’t until I retired that I was genuinely able to see how that affected me. I don’t mean to be simplistic here, yet without that conditioning to be a good worker I probably would not have had as much success in the corporate world, collecting a paycheck, paying the bills and raising my son as in a single mother. Although I had these ideas, I often was unable to articulate them directly and often found myself over-thinking, over-analyzing and then over-talking.
“I cannot guarantee that you will hear new ideas, that is, ideas you never heard before, from the start; but if you are patient you will very soon begin to notice them. And then I wish you not to miss them, and to try not to interpret them in the old way.” – P.D. Ouespensky
It occurred to me that being awake, at least partially, means being able to see a larger picture of events. Can I take Trump’s unfiltered, inarticulate and limited image to another level? Perhaps, a level where I can notice that those differences do not make him crazy. He might, after all, just be a sleeping god.
It also means, to me, to take responsibility for how I view my world, myself and how I react to it. This is where the informational opportunities for self-discovery and self-development wait to be surfaced, acknowledged and adored.