Back in my Army days, my friends and I used to remark how great a feeling it was to see certain places appear in the rearview mirror. For me, Washington, DC comes to mind. That feeling generally held until we arrived at the next place. Then we reminisced about how good we had it at the place we just left. Putting that together we realized that the best place in the Army was either the place we just left or the place we were headed. It is one of those circles of life that exists inside the bigger circle. Although a unique one. For us, it broadened our horizons so to speak. We moved to new places, saw new things, met new people. Not just new neighbors moving in, but the widest range of people from all ethnicities, education levels, and social-economic statuses. Amazingly, it’s where all of that diversity levels out and focuses on a common purpose – being the world’s best military. It’s the best place. The place where the ruck sack weighs the same for the PhD as it does for the GED and what pushes them along toward mission completion and winning is that common purpose.
It does not seem that long ago the world was in a tizzy over Y2K certain that everything except sundials would cease to function or that anything created or born post 1900 would vaporize. I think I recall the government spending a bazillion dollars to defeat the crisis. Another world catastrophe averted so we could focus our energy on defeating the catastrophic dangers of global warming. The temperature outside the bunker firing port this morning is 6 degrees. Around here, that is more than 20 degrees below our normal low temperature. Up in Erie, PA, were I once lived, the legendary phrase is that Erie has only two seasons, winter and the fourth of July. It snows a lot in Erie and the hairs in your nose like to freeze up with your first morning breathe of winter air. Beginning late September into October the snow banks grow quite tall before the start of the spring thaw, which often arrives late. It’s also when missing pets reappear. On Christmas eve and Christmas day Erie got five feet of lake effect snow. That is a record even for Erie and is even more than the epic blizzard of 77 that greeted my family and me on our arrival there. Such occurrences are why we now strive to solve global climate change. Some believe it’s phony, some believe it’s real. It certainly is not our most pressing problem and not one deserving our undivided attention or to be our common purpose.
In January, a new and unexpectedly elected President took office. There was a lot of crying, gnashing of teeth and wondering “What Happened” by the losing side. Since then, there’s been hatred streaming in from all corners. It has shown us that what we do not need in our country is liberal or conservative media. What we need it honest and objective media from all directions otherwise Americans are steered by the propagandists with the largest megaphones. We need a media with a true common purpose – the fact driven objective truth.
Love him or hate him, our President does not appear to view the world through an ideological liberal or conservative window. As rough around the edges as he presents, he’s a successful businessman with a lifetime of effective problem-solving experience. With some luck, we may be seeing the death of politics American style or at least a mortal wounding of it. Also, with luck, we may actually see political partisans solving problems together with the welfare of America and Americans as their guiding principle rather than being guided by fact resistant ideologies.
Common purpose moves mountains. It unites us rather than dividing us. It makes remarkable success possible. In 2018, may the rest of our great nation learn from the tiny percentage of Americans who successfully protect and defend us because they share an unwavering common purpose.
Wishing you a blessed 2018!
© 2018 J. D. Pendry