Saturday, July 18, 2009

Can a Person Make a Difference in Hawaii?

One often wonders during particularly difficult times in Hawaii (and the rest of the world), why don't the very successful people who grew up in Hawaii return there and lead that society out of its difficulties?

Why don't the successful entrepreneurs like Guy Kawasaki or Steve Case operate their successful empires out of Hawaii and provide employment for the local folks as they do elsewhere -- or for that matter, why doesn't President Obama, become the governor and treat Hawaii special and above even his other home state of Illinois?

The rather interesting insight I had running for public office in Hawaii, was in meeting many people face to face and finding out that not a few people thought that a proper candidate for their vote, was one who would shamelessly grovel and do any manner of humiliations to "win" their approval -- and so one quickly realizes, why should I ruin my life in that way? Sometimes the cost of winning, is no bargain, and that seems increasingly the price one pays for becoming a decent public officeholder. One chooses fools to be their bosses -- and any and the biggest fools at that.

So can one blame Sarah Palin for saying "Enough?" That is also the price of fame in entertainment, sports, and business -- that increasingly many are choosing to forgo, or not take up in the first place -- if they are clear in what they truly want, without assuming the baggage that usually comes with it. But for many, especially those who have never achieved or had anything, they think any sacrifice is a price they are gladly willing to pay -- because success is so far out of their reach, that they never have to reckon with the consequences and realities of that eventualities becoming real.

It is easy to fantasize about all those things -- if one never has to actually deal with the realities. But for such people, their fantasies and realities become much more fragmented, disjointed and unconnected -- until they have these life-changing epiphanies one frequently sensationally read and hear about -- before they disappear into oblivion.

That seems like a high price to pay and maybe the ultimate price to pay for turning one's back on public life -- especially in Hawaii. But those who live the happiest lives in Hawaii, are invariably those who have decided that is the perfect place to be "nobody" -- but that is not everything they find fulfilling in their lives. The worst life seems to be to remain "somebody" in Hawaii -- because one knows that would invariably be all bad until one is hopelessly lost and destroyed.

So if one wishes to expand those possibilities of life beyond the socially acceptable union jobs in their rigid status quo and hierarchy, one inevitably and invariably has to go elsewhere -- and let those remaining, who could not imagine living elsewhere, do the best they can to make that society as good as it can be.

But every great civilization has realized that if you want the best and the brightest to come there and call it home, you can't persecute and exploit them unmercifully as though they have no other options -- because such people have the most options, and will go where they are the most honored and valued -- and not remain where they are the most abused and taken for granted. They are not fools.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

"Atlas Shrugged"

Sarah Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska, is a very healthy trend -- indicative of a totally new breed of people who become involved in government -- that she can also walk away from it rather than it becoming her ego, identity and power trip. That's very healthy -- for people in any field actually.

One shouldn't become so obsessed with their self-projection that they no longer have balance in their perspectives.

Of course it is shocking to the old mentality personalities who measure everything by these self-delusions, even to the point of ruining their health and lives, trying to maintain unrealistic delusions of the importance of what they think they're doing. It's easy to get hung up in it -- in politics, in show business, in athletics, in art, hobbies, drugs, recreations -- even exercise.

A lot of people unnecessarily kill themselves because they think they can't slow down a bit but have to keep going at a constant unvarying pace -- and so they get wiped out when a truck makes a right turn into their path. Or they think the objective of their recreational activities is to get the greatest adrenalin rush -- to overcompensate for their dull years at a job without taking any risks.

This distortion in what these individuals perceive and what is evident to everyone else, is called cognitive dissonance. They're not dealing with the reality most people see. Nowhere is that more true than the world of reality created by the mass media -- as what we should believe as though we need some direction constantly in this way.

So they tell us who and what is important to think is "in," and who and what is important to ridicule and abuse -- as the new "socially" (politically) correct.

The two great literary thinkers of the 20th century, both described this major concern of the mass media and the danger of conformity and demand for approval from the properly designated agencies and institutions that become nameless and faceless propagators of the "conventional wisdom" everyone is well-advised to heed, even at one's peril.

Sometimes, the best thing one can do, is to quit -- and see if that makes a difference, and even solves the problem. That would especially be true for those who find themselves in identities and jobs which are destroying themselves and causing them great unhappiness in life -- which is obvious to others as the excessive weight gain or distortion of features so that one becomes a virtual monster in appearance -- that most people are too desensitized to notice anymore.

That would be the look of a person whose facial muscles and features look like they are being pulled in a hundred different directions all at once. It is painful to look at such faces. So it is always remarkable to see normal people passing through in political offices -- rather than those who have known nothing else, and have become merely caricatures and parodies of themselves.

So it is good and healthy when a person can catch themselves becoming something other than what the group consensus wants them to become. That is the only hope for a better tomorrow.