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Thoughts from Dr. Joe: Whining is counterproductive

I’ve had it with whiners. I’m tired of listening to New Age babblers gurgling about how horrible life in America is. What happened to the proposed mass exit after Trump won the election?

Yeah, I get it. Most Californians hate Trump. But for crying out loud, he’s the president of the United States. He’s only had a two-month tenure. If he doesn’t deliver, vote him out of office.

I’m all for protest, and I’ll be the first one to grab a rifle to protect the right to do so, but this mass hysteria that has overwhelmed the sensibilities of the populace is debilitating and humiliating. Yes, protesting and the loyal opposition make the battle. Edward R. Murrow said, “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.” But protesting and being the loyal opposition is not whining.

To spend one’s energy being angry, but doing nothing to change it, is ridiculous. You could constantly be mad at the events of the day, but if you’re not going to do a doggone thing about it, what difference does it make?

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.” However, for me, the barometer of success or failure is a factor of duration seen in a greater context.

It seems that many in society are self-absorbed victims, and that self-respect and strength of character have become symptoms of emotional insufficiency. People seem to think, “Oh, the world’s picking on me.” Racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia have overwhelmed our sensibilities. I’m sure I left out a few isms and phobias. If people suffer the tiniest slight, they call for a support group and a safe place. Thus, we’ve created a generation called “snowflakes.” Maybe we shouldn’t have told them how special they are.

Of course there is bigotry in America, but bigotry is not germane to the United States. In the 1960s, America became stigmatized as racist and sexist; subsequently, we searched for our moral authority. Therefore, our ethical legitimacy is a consequence of political correctness, identity politics, environmental convention and diversity.

Humanity’s perfection lies in its imperfection. People are both good and evil, yet they are born with a determining spirit which implies selfishness. But the fail safe is that society legislates morality. Are we a moral society? Or, should I ask, are you moral?

In 1909 Rudyard Kipling wrote “If.” The poem is both motivational and inspirational. It set the rules for grown-up living. Kipling’s “If,” contains mottos and maxims for life and is also a blueprint for personal integrity and self-development. You must have had at least a cursory experience with the poem, and if you haven’t, I suggest you Google it.

Pay attention to the first two lines of the poem. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you...” It’s my contention that his poem is more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it.

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JOE PUGLIA is a practicing counselor, a retired professor of education and a former officer in the Marines. Reach him at doctorjoe@ymail.com. Visit his website at doctorjoe.us.

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