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A Lame Duck Citizen

Tagline: an old @#*?!* wrestles with the Law of Unintended Consequences.


I'm old. There, I said it. I won't say how old. (I'm old, not crazy or stupid enough to dish!)


Being old makes me humble. I can feel in the very heart, soul and root of my being the things that I long to be valued by this world. But I sense, with sadness, that the relevance, efficacy, and logic of those values is passing, or has already passed.


Think of things such as family farms, 40-year careers for 1 employer, multi-generational presences in small towns. These are the values with which I grew up. They are special to me. They are powerful forces for good. (They can also be the opposite, but that is outside the scope of this post.)


The slow, relentless disappearance of these has forced me to dig deeper. What did I value? Was it truly the surface aspects of these things? Or was it the underlying character traits and shared cultural themes that I valued.


Think of character traits such as loyalty and mutual respect. Think of shared cultural themes such as hard work and tolerance for family members who are "a bit different" and a communal care for local resources.


These HAVEN'T died along with family farms and long, single-employer careers, and immobile families.


Now, I return to the title this post. I am a lame duck citizen. The decisions I make, the policies I support, and the politicians for which I vote will not have a huge effect on me. It can take generations to know the Unintended Consequences of our hubristic public policies in this Constitutional Republic in which we find ourselves. (And, that republic is a cherished value that I continue to hold, more on that another time)


As a lame duck citizen, I am more concerned about legacy than reelection. I want to leave the next generation of citizens with the tools they will need to build a more perfect Union. Next generation: I'm listening.

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Zina
Mar 25, 2019

Cool. There's an audible book. On it!

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tlmcfarland
Mar 25, 2019

The majority of my thoughts on the topic have been inspired by various philosophers and the works of Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama.


I really like his take on happiness in https://www.amazon.com/dp/0340750154/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_O3dMCbDZEFY2F

and I think there is a great conversation to be had surrounding https://www.amazon.com/dp/0385525060/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_c5dMCbPWGV344

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Zina
Mar 24, 2019

I can't and don't claim to speak for my generation - corporately. I only claim to be listening to the next one - on my own, as an individual project.


I would love to hear your thoughts on secular values and ethics - maybe a guest blog post? :)


The two thought leaders with which I'm familiar are this one: https://theethicsguy.com/values/ and this one: http://thefourwaytest.com/history-of-the-four-way-test/


Can you provide some other reading materials for me?

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tlmcfarland
Mar 24, 2019

The biggest barrier in your goal to pass down the values and tools is the absence of meaningful relationships.


In my experience the older generations have a strong dislike and are fairly aggressive critics of the younger generation.


Things have changed quickly. The world looks different. In my opinion, the focus needs to be on teaching and modeling secular values and ethics that apply to any possible future.

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