Hoping For Change


So, here we are, just ten months—give or take—away from the next Presidential election, and two days away from the start of 2012.


Yessir, it’s a leap year, which means a new (or same) President will be elected and another Summer Olympiad will be contested. I still get geared up for both of these events, if not quite as geeked up as I used to.




As an aside, should the two events be combined, or would that produce too much illegal brain doping? Discuss.




Four years ago, I quite enthusiastically supported the current head resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. To my eyes and ears, Barack Obama was articulate, gracious, intelligent, open-minded—all qualities that looked refreshing after eight years of George W.


Now, after three years of the Obama regime—one in which Hope and Change was promised—I find myself hoping for a change and asking if that change can come from within. I did not expect a miracle – let alone a “Messiah” – but did expect much more leadership, transparency, vision and backbone.


Of course, a President can only do so much, and working with a Congress that has an approval rating somewhere in between Osama Bin Laden’s and Gary Heidnik’s may put a crimp in one’s plans. Still, to quote myself, I expected much more leadership, transparency, vision and backbone.


Giving my President all benefit of the doubt, I’d grade him around a “C-.” And certainly, there’s no way I, or anyone, would reelect a C-minus. Right?


Then again, one look at the Republican field of contenders is enough to make one reconsider such lofty ideals.


The Republican Primary—and as a lifelong Democrat, I will not be able to cast a vote here—is shaping up as a stirring battle between superheroes who may generously be billed as:


A) The Bland Invertebrate

B) The Self-Styled Sleazy Genius

C) The Cranky, Aloof Professor

D) The Even Dumber Governor from Texas


And I didn’t even get to Michele Bachmann and the possibility of the Lying Media Whore Demagogue From Alaska jumping in.


I really don’t want to reward a C-minus (on a good day) with another four years, but it’s hard to imagine any of the GO-People even achieving these heights.


Do you remember the 2004 election, where ABB (anybody But Bush) was the house favorite to win? It turned out to be ABB-BNJK: Anybody But Bush But Not John Kerry.


So, my mind is open to an upgrade from Hope and Change, but it is also fully open to the possibility that many of the challengers may very well be a downgrade.


Is that cynicism? I try not to be cynical, as cynicism exacts a certain price on its holder, be it negativity or disengagement. Still, I don’t know if it’s the aging process or the times we live in, but it seems to be a much shorter trip from realism to cynicism these days.


There are still ten months to go before we are all charged with electing the next “Leader of the Free World.” Many would say that reelecting Barack Obama would be in keeping with Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


True, but Einstein also said, “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”


So, does this have anything to do with the 2012 Olympics? Perhaps, but only in the way that all of us take certain leaps of faith when it comes to politics, sports and other mostly vicarious endeavors. I’ll leave it here.


And, what about New Year’s, and the promise and hope for change that it heralds within our own lives?


In my January “Tip of the Goldberg” columns, I did—in a public kind of way—make resolutions for both 2008 and 2009. Many of those resolutions were not followed resolutely, and unfortunately many of those goals and ideals still remain unfulfilled.


Hopefully, my foot is still sufficiently far enough from the bucket so that I can still knock off some of those bucket list items. Alas, I don’t have a formal bucket list, and am not sure what a formal bucket really is. But, one would think that my mythical bucket list would be getting shorter by now.


To that end, I have always wanted to produce a “Fuck-it” List with my Fuck-it Bucket containing all of those things that I’ve either never wanted to do or have either lost interest in or given up hope in achieving. Pretty inspiring, huh?


So, what is there to hope for in 2012?


Actually, quite a lot. My bucket list may even get better defined as I see the possibility of achieving more and more.


My goals for 2012 are many, and for now, private.


I am reminded that somebody once said that the main idea of every speech and every written piece should be able to be summed up in 10 words or less.


Einstein also said “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” So, Mr. Einstein, my goals for 2012 are to be “Physically and spiritually strong enough to love and inspire more.”


Yes, that’s vague, and from there (privately, for now) I go about the process of still figuring out how to be a better father, husband, friend, citizen, writer, speaker and thinker. It’s about having more confidence to fuck up, but not being cynical enough to throw everything I may want to really experience in my Fuckit List.


I envision that 2012 will be about sharing and giving more, and even having the confidence to screw up and keep going. It will be about being both humble and confident enough to share my ideas with others, while being a trusted, insightful sounding board for others.


Heck, the devil’s in the details, and I’m just not feeling devilish enough to share too much just yet. Besides, I am approaching 1000 words.


With all that written, Happy Leap Year, everyone!


As always, thank you for reading. Please check out my  books, blogs and speaking information.






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