Where Politics and Positive Thinking Collide

For some, curiosity brought them to the beach. Some joked about how strange it was. Some were perplexed because they had come to take a boat on a pleasure trip, only to find that many of the vessels were beached. But it wasn’t until the water returned (slowly at first, and then suddenly more forcefully), that the people began to look for safety.

Dscf1590

A few weeks ago I stumbled onto an intriguing documentary on the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, which claimed the lives of 200,000+ people. It showed tourists and locals mesmerized by the unexpected low tide, and unaware that a tsunami would soon follow.

Curiosity brought some to the shoreline. Some joked about how strange it was. Some came to take a boat on a pleasure trip, only to find the boats had been beached.

But it wasn’t until the water returned (slowly at first, and then suddenly more forcefully), that the people began to look for safety.

Unfortunately, some didn’t find higher ground soon enough.

Watch below, particularly beginning at the 4:20 mark:

Days later I was caught up in the Washington D.C. drama with the Affordable Care Act, the Debt Ceiling, and the government shut-down. I noticed Facebook friends taking sides, and others who determined to stay above the fray by keeping their minds on more positive topics.

As one who loves America and the opportunity it has provided for the common man to achieve almost anything, I’ve been concerned about the policies and popular opinions that have whittled away at the very thing that makes this country unique. Many people don’t know, but our constitution is the longest standing document in modern history to continually govern its nation.

To compare, the American constitution has stood for more than 220 years, while Italy has had 61 governments, JUST since 1945!

As outlined in John McCormick’s book, Comparative Politics in Transition, 7th ed.:

  • France has had 23 constitutions since the 1776
  • China has had 4 constitutions since 1949
  • The Soviet Union has had 4 constitutions in just 59 years
  • The Dominican Republic has had 25 constitutions
  • Haiti has had more than 20
  • El Salvador has had 16
  • Honduras has had 12

The list goes on.

What made America’s constitution different were the provisions for blocking the power-hungry. Checks and balances were designed for the express purpose of making sure the government could NOT become a creature more powerful than the governed. The founders had experienced oppressive government, and intended to protect the common person from future despots. 

Most people are aware of the checks and balances between the House and the Senate, the Left and the Right, the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative branches. But not so many are aware of the checks and balances between the Federal and State governments.

For example, there was never supposed to be a Federal income tax, a Federal education program, nor Federal welfare programs. As virtuous as these programs may be, they were supposed to be handled at the State level, to maintain a wall of separation between local communities and the Federal government, in order to keep its powers continually in check.

John Locke, whose ideas were influential in the shaping the constitution, asserted that the purpose of government was to protect life, liberty, and the ‘estate’ of its people. The government is supposed to protect what they have, not provide for what they don’t have.

But when the purpose of government in the minds of its people shifts from the protection against tyranny, to the provider of comforts and privileges, the unraveling begins.

There will always be strings attached when a government provides comforts and privileges. Eventually the strings become cords that bind, and to accept them is to take a gamble of epic proportions. You’re at the mercy of the those in authority, and you must hope they will always be kind and honorable.

So, the recent gridlock in Washington was, in some respects, anticipated more than 220 years ago! By design, allowing opposing views to have a voice within our government was part of the protective system of checks and balances. Then, rather than getting angry at one side or the other for “getting in the way” of progress, we need to stop and at least appreciate that we still have a government that is required to answer to an opposing side within itself.

I would rue the day when opposing views are no longer permitted in Washington.

And although our constitution has been amended with good and necessary amendments, there are also amendments that effectively nullified some of the most carefully crafted provisions of protection.

Some feel the constitution has become irrelevant, or outdated. While it is not perfect, it has – for the most part – continued to protect our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Many good people have voted for legislation and amendments that seemed honorable at the time without realizing how they inadvertently removed another layer of protection against potential tyranny.

Good people throughout history have been so blinded by the promised ‘ends’ that they were either unconscious to, or willing to forgive the ‘means’.

Related: A Vote for Broccoli

Naturally, the constitution as it was originally intended will be an annoyance, an inconvenience, an obstacle for those who want the government to provide more comforts and privileges. After all, it was expressly designed to keep the Federal government out of our personal lives.

But when those compassionate goals are achieved anyway, and people become dependent on the system, they eventually forget how to think and produce and solve problems and contribute and strive and achieve and conquer and thrive.

And frankly, that’s more convenient for potential tyrants, whether they be Republican, Democrat, or otherwise. Dependent people just don’t push back as much as those who would sacrifice their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the cause of freedom from tyranny.

Related: Control vs. Freedom

So… EVEN IF WE DO NOT have a dictator now, with the original purpose of our constitution so disregarded, what’s left of it to stop one from taking power? Without protective restorative amendments adopted, both Democrats and Republicans (and everyone else) are dangerously vulnerable.

The reality is that the acceptance and implementation of Federal programs has set a perilous precedent, opening the door to an easy pass for less honorable mandates that may be introduced in the future.

Maybe you wondered why anyone would be so against such programs. Maybe you thought the opponents were callous, heartless, wealthy capitalists. Maybe you couldn’t understand why they would choose to be so unpopular, fighting to preserve one of your last remaining protections from potential tyranny.

The revolutionaries who first secured our freedoms were a noisy, annoying bunch of rebels. The British government didn’t like them very much. In fact, they were as much of a bother as the ‘right-wing nuts’ in Washington are, who have been trying to block yet another law that promises to provide comfort and privilege at the expense of one of our last remaining provisions of protection.

So here’s where the tsunami video stopped me short:

I was fascinated as I watched the political debates rage on in my Facebook news feed. People complained about the idiocy of the government barricading open-air scenic views. They cracked jokes like, “If we declare the southern border to be Federally owned, would they finally come block it off?” or “The Washington Redskins have dropped the name ‘Washington’ because it was embarrassing…”

And I realized America has lost something very precious. The constitution that was designed to keep the Federal government at bay has been so carelessly amended – its original purposes so disregarded – that the Federal government now oversteps its bounds so often that the people have accepted it as the norm.

For those who see it for what it is, we’ve been watching the tide go out further than ever before, and we joke about it. We find it curious. We gawk, we gather. We call others to ‘come and see’ as we share clips and snippets of news and satire with our friends.

Some didn’t notice the tide going out unusually far until it affected them personally. They thought they would enjoy the day on a pleasure boat but discovered the Affordable Healthcare Act was beached instead. Premiums were much higher than expected, the enrollment website wouldn’t work…

How curious! No matter. We’re happy to do our part, they say. This is so wonderful, they say. The government is so NICE, they say. (Cue: “Ice creaaam… Lollipops…!”)

And yet, still, there is no alarm for the meaning of such signs. It’s still just a conversation piece. They don’t see a potential tsunami of tyranny coming.

I’ve engaged in the political discussion myself, at the risk of my reputation (I might even lose some subscribers!), and will continue as my conscience leads. At the same time, my husband and I are moving to ‘higher ground’. The returning tide is up to our knees already and the force has begun to squeeze our ankles. It’s time to move, and fast.

Moving to ‘higher ground’ means de-cluttering life of the things that really don’t matter. It means listening to my conscience and strengthening my relationship with God so I can be inspired to know what I must do to prepare for whatever the future holds. It means following the four steps required to qualify for Heaven’s intervention.

You may be wondering why, as one who teaches positive thinking, that I would dwell so much on something so depressing?

As I shared in an earlier post:

…after having enjoyed our new success for several years, we made some careless investment decisions. When we finally became completely conscious of the problem, we believed that we could “make” those bad decisions into good ones somehow just by “thinking right”.

in every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit, [but] that doesn’t mean the adversity will go away with right thinking. It only promises that something good can be born from it.

The positive thinking skill also helps you cope when things don’t change. So when it appears that the country is falling apart, optimism is more important than ever. We need to be optimistic, hopeful, and most importantly, inspired, so we’ll know what to do.

So, as much as you may want to stick your fingers in your ears and say “lalalalala”, these issues will affect you. They will affect your children. You can face them once they can no longer be ignored, or you can look to higher ground now. Picture life the way you want it to look – your freedom, your happiness, your prosperity – and you will be guided and inspired on the steps you can take to help it happen.

And if the steps look something like getting politically involved – gasp!, don’t be shocked. It’s been happening to quite a few of us.

Related: Americans Take Heart

And actually, the steps may end up looking like something else, and that’s okay. If enough people hold the vision, and do the part they feel inspired to do, this nation will endure. I believe God is orchestrating its preservation and I hope we wake up and do our part soon enough, so it doesn’t require more serious conflict to restore it.

Unfortunately, too many of the protecting provisions are already gone, and the delicate balance of power has already been destroyed. So in order to pass on the promise of freedom that our fathers enjoyed, restorative amendments will be necessary. It takes more than a vote, we must learn, inform others, and stay involved with the representatives who get it. It may take a miracle, but I happen to believe in miracles. 

*wink*

Yes, you can still achieve goals, expect miracles, and succeed according to the principles, even if the government makes it difficult. But if you don’t move to higher ground while you still can, the difficulty may overwhelm you so much that you don’t even get the chance.

Stay tuned – together we can use what we know about overcoming obstacles to experience miracles in our personal lives, and who knows, maybe we can even make a positive difference in the condition of our country.

Future topics coming soon:

  • How (and why) to have a civil political discussion
  • Law of Polarity – what good can come from political conflict
  • A heated political debate where I was proved wrong (and I didn’t see it coming)
  • How to NOT lose credibility with the fence-sitters (both sides blow it all the time!)
  • Why I gave up a 6-figure income

 

Share

Honeymoon is over

Nicholeen Peck told me there’s a honeymoon stage when you’re teaching your children (and yourself) self-governing. All of my previous posts about my Parenting Transformation Journey would fit into the honeymoon stage, I guess.

Lamenting sigh.

Then I had a business obligation that I had to see through, and it threw me off my schedule. Getting back on track after the event took me a few days. On the Monday after, I was close to being all caught up, but still had a number of things that had to be wrapped up on the computer, and the constant interruptions through the day were really wearing on me.

Eventually the interruptions stopped, and I finally got to where I could focus.

Whew!

At the end of the day I finally left my room to see what everyone was doing, and to make sure they had all eaten, and then to get them to bed. That’s when I noticed this sign posted outside of my door:

photo(1)“No one bother Mom!!! If you do you will Die”

Yep. There’s the evidence. Honeymoon’s over.

That’s why I haven’t been posting or tracking for a long time… there’s been a lot of work that needed to be done to get back on track, and I just didn’t feel like I could work it AND write about it all at the same time.

But I had a wonderful opportunity to sit in on another class with Nicholeen Peck last Saturday, and I was reminded about the Power of Calm. Already, I’ve been able to divert potential conflict twice in the last 24 hours, just by practicing this one piece:

“It seems to me that you have something you want to tell me, and I really want to know what that is. But I need you to be calm first, so that we can talk about it…”

Baby steps to self-governing, baby steps to self-governing.

 

 

Share

Control, or Freedom

Control is the objective of a government which sees its people with low potential. Freedom is the objective of a government which sees its people with high potential.

 

There are basically two world views.

One believes (on a fundamental level) in ‘control’ as the solution to all problems; the other believes in ‘freedom’ as the solution to all problems. While there are countless positions along the spectrum in both directions, those are the two poles.

Government is necessary to maintain order, but how it should achieve this is the never-ending debate.

Control, or freedom?

How much control? How much freedom?

When appropriations run dry for running federal parks, we quickly see which view is currently in play. Understandably, the authorities want to make sure the people feel the pain so all will be motivated to come to a resolution more quickly.

However, here’s where the world view bubbles up:

One side intentionally creates that pain by barricading open air scenic views and monuments, since there will be no one available to clean up the trash or sweep the streets. The pain is intentionally inflicted, and, in fact, the authorities must go out of their way to inflict it.

That’s control.

The other side would leave the scenic views and monuments as they were, and allow the trash to pile up and the streets to get dirty. The pain is natural and consequential.

That’s freedom.

There will be pain either way; but in the first case it comes actively, and in the second case it comes passively.

In the first case, there is NOTHING the citizens can do to remedy the pain without the government allowing it (by passing a budget, or removing a barricade).

Control.

In the second case, the citizens are free to pitch in and voluntarily help, IF they choose.

Freedom.

It’s true that the trash may in fact stay there until the government workers return. That’s always a possibility, but in a national crisis, I think it’s an unlikely one.

The fact is, there’s an army of citizens in this country who take enough pride in their country that they would show up. Any local scout troop or church group would be honored to do just that.

They don’t need a paycheck from the government to pitch in, because they receive spiritual and psychological income – and they know it’s worth it. There are enough people in America who still know what that feels like, and they show up where there’s a need.

That is, unless they can’t GET to it because it’s been blocked by a barricade.

There you have it: control vs. freedom, in a nutshell.

10/9/13 Update: S.C. citizen mows the lawn and rakes leaves at the Lincoln Memorial

10/10/13 Update: FreedomWorks organizes a volunteer crew to clean up DC on Saturday

Note from author: I believe that ALL people have unlimited potential. Feeling discouraged? This FREE ebook will give you new HOPE.

Share

Mission Impossible

Even though I’ve been on a sort of sabbatical for about 2 years to focus on my family, I felt compelled to do an interview on the topic of finding and fulfilling your mission yesterday.

The 1-hour interview took place on Marnie Swedberg’s Christian radio show where we discussed:

  • Two things that will always try to stop you from finding and fulfilling your mission (and what to do about them).
  • How to adapt to change and unexpected obstacles.
  • One simple truth you can depend on to always bolster your courage.
  • How even mistakes and bad decisions can lead to the fulfillment of your mission.
  • One trick that always turns ‘impossible’ into ‘possible.’
  • How to get clear answers from God.

So if you want to know what to do when your life’s mission (or current objective) seems impossible, Insider’s Club members listen free on week 54, or you can purchase the audio download now for just a few dollars!

(Free access to the audio from this post expired 10/14/13)

Share