- Politics and Social Issues
What The World Needs Now Are Visionaries: A Moment With Bill Reflection
Yes There Are Problems
“One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”
~ Arnold Glasow
I love to play pinball. I’m horrible at it but I love to play it. I love the sounds from the machine and I love watching the ball bounce around and yes, I love hitting the crap out of the ball with my flippers.
But what about the ball? What kind of life is that to live, constantly being flipped here, flipped there, tossed to and fro and for what? The best a pinball ball can hope for is to drop down the damn hole and then be catapulted into the crazy game again.
Have you ever felt like that ball?
The mortgage is due and the car just broke down. The kids need braces and the washing machine won’t cycle. The boss just cut back your hours and the wife suddenly has vertigo and of course, there are no health benefits to be found.
I was a pinball for a number of decades, bouncing to the whims of stimuli, never really feeling like I had control of my life….and with good reason….because I didn’t.
I had a mentor a number of years ago who tried to teach me chess. At the time it was a lesson in futility because I simply could not grasp the intricacies of the game, but one thing I remember him always telling me was that I had to see the whole board. I had to quit concentrating on one particular move and I needed to open my mind up so that I could see the tapestry of all plays current and in the future. I had a tendency back then to watch a move by an opponent and then react to their move, so that the entire game was one of my reacting to stimuli and never really controlling any aspect of the game.
Oh how times have changed, and today I can say with some confidence that I see the whole board. Instead of reacting to life I am dictating to life, and if you cannot see the distinction between those two philosophies then allow me to expound a bit more about it.
Our good friend Webster tells us that a visionary is:
“ having or showing clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future”
A fascinating book about visionaries
Changing from a Pinball to a Flipper
Oh what a lovely life the flipper has, sitting in wait, eager in anticipation, knowing that the pinball will be coming by soon and unleashing a powerful force when that moment comes and sending the ball on its way.
Which would you rather be, the ball or the flipper?
I see so many people today who are like the ball. I see so many people today who are like a falling leaf, waiting for the next gust of wind to send them to unknown destinations, seemingly helpless and defenseless.
What a sucky way to live!
Take control of your life! Become like the flipper! See the whole board!
It should come as no surprise then, that in a society made up of so many human pinballs, we are led by pinballs as well. How else do you explain why our leaders continue to make the same mistakes year in, year out, ad infinitum?
Take a closer look at the quote by Glasow at the beginning of this article…..to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. My goodness, wouldn’t it be wonderful if our leaders had that ability?
We so desperately need visionaries today, but instead we are surrounded by reactionaries, constantly shifting policy to meet the latest emergency rather than envisioning a future emergency and acting before it happens.
My one attempt at poetry
How Do You like Our Economy?
How’s it working for you? Unless you are in the top 10% I’m guessing you have seen better days financially. The real estate market is trying to dig out of a mammoth hole. Full-time, long-term, good-paying jobs have been replaced by part-time, short-term, low-paying jobs. Our national debt has so many zeroes in it that the average citizen cannot grasp what it all means. All they know is that gas is higher, daily expenses are higher and there is no relief in sight.
And what is the government’s reaction to it all? Same old same old. The donkees and the elephants continue to squabble over lower taxes or higher taxes. They debate tariffs and free trade and government regulations ad nauseum, old solutions that have never solved a damn thing in the past and sure as hell won’t solve anything in the future….but not once do we hear of new solutions. Not once do we hear of seeing the whole board and developing a vision that is based on a changing world that needs changing ideas.
Show me a visionary with a true vision of the future and I’ll show you a politician I’ll vote for.
Internal Problems They Are Many
Homelessness…..unemployment…..the war on drugs….deteriorating educational system…..violent crimes…..shall I go on?
And what solutions do our leaders suggest? Tent cities….more social services…..mandatory minimums….more emphasis on school testing…..gun control….no gun control……easier debt relief…..can you say madness?
“Some men see things as they are and ask why? I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”
If the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results, then our government is truly insane.
They Love Us Abroad, Don’t They?
Syria….five little letters that say so much, and what they say is we don’t seem to understand that poking our national nose into the affairs of foreign countries is just not working….but it’s not just Syria, is it? Take a look around the globe and you can count on one hand the number of countries that truly love the United States. Why do you suppose that is?
And if we are so hated around the globe, what do you suppose we should do to change that perception of us? Keep doing the same foreign policy mistakes, or possibly seeing the way the winds of the future are blowing and preparing in advance for them?
September 11, 2001, a day that will certainly serve as a constant reminder of all that is ugly in this world. What was our government’s reaction to that day, other than a massive manhunt and useless war? Homeland Security and the stripping of your rights! Not once did the leaders consider a shift in foreign policy. Rather it was the same old crap just a different day with full-cavity searches to boot.
More thoughts on change
- Changing the World? What's the Point? A Moment With Bill Reflection
Is it worth the time it takes to write about the problems in the world? Is there any point to it at all?
Do you know of any visionaries?
One of the True Tests of Leadership
I will take that quote one step further and say that one of the true tests of a free-thinking individual is to recognize problems before they arise, and to plan for a future before it has shaped itself.
What is it going to take for us to learn?
We do not need psychics telling us what the future holds in store for us. We need awareness of the past. We need awareness of the present. We need a vision of the future, a future we want rather than a future that will be forced upon us.
We need like-minded citizens who are willing to compromise for the common good. We need free-thinking mavericks who are so fed up with old thinking that they could upchuck, and we need hundreds of thousands of people willing to topple windmills and damn the consequences.
What we need are some visionaries!
In the meantime, I’m going to continue enjoying my life as a flipper. I’ll be waiting for you the next time you roll into my area.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”