A cool little stop if I ever make it to Germany. Note: coordinate timing with the arrival of snow. 😊
But the January 6 siege of the US Capital showed us that tyranny can also come from common American citizens, determined to disrupt the own constitutional process, spurred on by distributing, nonsensical, violent theories. It’s a reminder that tyranny can happen here, and it may come from the most unexpected sources. 🤔
“We see ourselves as a city on the hill, a stronghold of democracy, looking out for threats that come from abroad. But… human nature is such that American democracy must be defended from Americans who would exploit its freedoms to bring about its end.”
With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to visit practical tips from book On Tyranny. This book is full of simple lessons from 20th century Europe that we can apply to our own lives to help maintain our freedom in this really weird modern American scenario.
Pick a charity or two and set up autopay. Then you will have made a free choice that supports civil society and helps others to do good.
Support a newspaper or a magazine. Real journalism is tough work and needs your support.
“Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Take responsibility for what you communicate with others.”
Support the multi-party system. It is critical to have viable liberal and conservative parties vying for power.
Support the multi-party system and defend the rules of democratic elections. Vote in local and state elections while you can. Consider running for office.
Be inclusive. Take responsibility for the face of the world.
“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”
I try my best. 🤷🏻♂️
Practice professional ethics. State election officials got tested this time around but stood strong, even dealing with violet threats. It’s a reminder that democracy doesn’t just happen automatically.
To abandon facts is to abandon freedom.
The renunciation of reality can feel natural and pleasant, but the result is your demise as an individual—and thus the collapse of any political system that depends upon individualism.
Be a patriot. Love your country and the best of what it stands for.
A patriot… wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves.
A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.
So there are some simple things anyone can do to help. It’s easy but also hard.
I don’t think I’ve heard anything quite like “Whale”, such an odd song. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and a little dark.
Yellow Ostrich is kind of blowing my mind here. 🤯
I think “the whale” is all about letting go and (literally) going deep to find your best self.
It gets off to a slow start.
Whale, swim with me whale
We will go far into the sea
Then it builds up and comes crashing down again around 2:00.
I’ve been swimming for a thousand years and I’ve
Seen more than you can realize
And finally all comes together in a soaring climax starting around 2:35.
You will take me
Onto your back
Never look back
Never look back
Never look back…
Beautiful inauguration today. 🙏 I especially liked the comments from Amanda Gorman. 🙌
“We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.”
“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.”
Cool quote from this TED talk about almost dying and then living.
Meaning is not found in the material realm; it’s not in dinner, jazz, cocktails or conversation. Meaning is what’s left when everything else is stripped away.
There are lots of way to interpret that quote, of course.
One way I look at it is this: life is about who you are. If everything in your life suddenly disappeared and you were dropped into an empty field in an unknown country, what person would be standing there?
I’m not talking about some crazy Naked and Afraid survival scenario. Suppose you have some money and some clothes. But not much else. Who is that person standing in the field? What does he know? What does he want? How does he move forward? How will he impact the world around him? That’s who you are.
I’m not actually sure if that’s what that quote meant ☝️, but there’s my take. 😆
This goes with Aristotle’s idea that the meaning of life is what you do — how you impact the real world. As humans, we are uniquely gifted with smart brains and “rational faculty”. We are happiest when we use these minds for some purpose in the world.
A poet should write, a teacher teach, and a doctor heal. Not only should each person do their thing, but they should do it well.
I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty inspirational. 😊