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When Nothing is Definitive and All of History is Up for Grabs

Today, nothing is ever settled and that is a cultural shame

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It’s a sad commentary on our current state of affairs: the Left and the Right agree on next to nothing and, in many respects, have 180 degree opposing views. Nothing seems to be settled, every other issue is under contention, and the rift seems to be worsening each day. No consensus, no agreement, no closure…

I’m not sure when all of this started, but 1963 was certainly a pivotal year. This might have been before you were born, so I’ll take you back to November of that year. President John F. Kennedy was shot. The case was solved 30 years later in 1993 and presented in Case Closed, by Gerald Posner.

Case Closed, Hardly Anyone Knows

In the book Case Closed, Gerald Posner walks the reader through every conceivable detail of the case. He shows conclusively why, acting alone, it was Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the gun. He explains how the “magic bullet” took the angles it was supposed to. Noted historian William Manchester, after reading Posner’s book, said that he couldn’t imagine anyone having any further doubt about the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, on his own, shot and killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

I read Case Closed cover-to-cover and concur. U.S. News & World Report concluded that Posner’s work was so thorough and so convincing that the magazine would never feature another “who shot JFK?” book review again. What’s more, modern day testing, using the latest technology, and presented on the Learning Channel, the History Channel, and PBS, has consistently supported everything that Posner concluded 21 years earlier. Yet, new mythology and conspiracy theories about who killed John F. Kennedy will be concocted and added to the glut of information you can’t use, information which serves no one.

Currently, the “who shot JFK?” industry currently earns multi-millions of dollars a year, constantly fed by more TV news “investigations,” authors, books, and tours.

Misinformation That Won’t Die

Do not regard the deception surrounding JFK’s death lightly. Society changed as nearly an entire generation suspected that a conspiracy, perhaps a government-led conspiracy, might have brought down the leader of the free world in broad daylight. Who knew what cynicism about the press, government, and truth itself ensued?

Finally, 30 years later, when Posner offered irrefutable evidence about the only single assassin responsible, hardly anyone knew, or worse, actually cared. Even now, a majority of the U.S. population still believed that President Kennedy’s assassination was the result of some type of conspiracy. The case has been long solved, but there is no sense of national closure.

The nature of your life been altered as a result of the cultural incompletion, misinformation, and unreality that has glutted society’s receptors. This situation is more than simply a mystery for the uninformed – it signals the start of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers unwittingly entering the era of incompletions, when nothing is ever settled.

How has that impacted our psyches? Aren’t we supposed to get to the root of such events, especially those that shook a generation, a nation, and the world? What unrecognized psychological scars has the incompletion of the JFK assassination stamped into the cerebrums of an otherwise free-thinking, optimistic generation? When major cases are never closed, everyone suffers, even if in small and undistinguishable ways.

Vital Inquiry to Media-Fueled Lies

Fast forward from 1963, to 15 years later in 1978 and to the death of Elvis Presley in Memphis. Unquestionably, he died as a result of a self-induced pharmaceutical drug overdose, which resulted in heart failure. The coroners’ reports reveal this as do reputable follow-up inquiries and analysis. Still, many people from that era, and many thereafter, think Elvis died as a result of a conspiracy.

Some people believe that Elvis didn’t die, that he’s alive and well (he’d be 86 today) and showing up in random locations captured by the ever-present photographers of the Enquirer, Globe, or Star.

Regardless of what you think about Elvis, his death, even amidst the jokes, and everything that’s been made about it since then, the pervasive message is that no case is ever really solved. Everything lingers on and on and on.

The turmoil in the 2000 presidential election, centered on Florida, with its endless motions filed, court appeals, and legal procedures, has spawned debates, arguments, and accusations that exist to this day and no doubt will linger on for years. No conclusions, no consensus, no closure. Just additional coverage. The 2016 election has Democrats still complaining. The 2020 election might never be “settled.” The media wins, the pundits win, one candidate or another wins, but everyone else loses.

History as Turf Wars

The turf wars fought in our age of incompletions, especially in the political arena, now retroactively extend to anything that has ever happened, whether you’re assessing U.S. history, the formation of our nation, world history, the origins of Islam, or the origins of Christianity.

At one time, it was widely held that dropping the atomic bomb on Japan hastened the end of WWII, saved a bare minimum of 60,000 U.S. troops who would have been needed to fight a ground war in Japan, and provided the world with the closure it so sorely needed after six years of global destruction.

Since then, the arguments about the U.S. being the over-aggressor, the only nation to ever drop an atomic bomb on another, and the inhumanity of it all, have risen to the forefront of many people’s consciousness. Some people drum up scraps of ‘evidence’ that the United States had no need to have dropped the bomb, as if the casualty rate of invading mainland Japan would have been minimal.

Some people say that Japan was near gone (yet even after one atom bomb was dropped, it still did not surrender!), U.S. intentions were racially motivated (although the bomb was originally designed to use on the now-surrendered Germans), the hawks had their way, and so forth.

What had been regarded by many people as closure to the most terrible event that the earth had ever encountered in which 44,500,000 perished, is now the subject of endless debate in some circles. Not that debate isn’t healthy, quite the contrary, especially for an action of such magnitude.

Every Inch Contested

When every inch of political terrain is contested everywhere around the clock, and when all public discourse is subject to interpretation, reinterpretation and revision, and essentially nothing is final, it begins to wear on humanity and notably trickles down to the level of the individual. You, an otherwise confident professional, have reached adulthood in an era and in a culture where incompletion more often than not, is the norm. Nothing is ever settled and that is a cultural shame.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

The Elusive Nature of Integrity

Integrity is the summation of the decisions we’ve made and actually yields an easier, joyful, and more powerful life

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In the operating room of a great hospital a young nurse had her first day of full responsibility. “You’ve removed eleven sponges, Doctor,” she said to the surgeon. “We used twelve.”

“I’ve removed them all,” the doctor declared. “We’ll close the incision now.”

“No,” the nurse objected. “We used twelve.”

“I’ll take the responsibility,” the surgeon said grimly. “Suture!”

“You can’t do that!” blazed the nurse. “Think of the patient!”

The doctor smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the twelfth sponge. “You’ll do,” he said. He had been testing her for integrity – and she had it.

This story, related decades ago by noted editor and author Arthur Gordon, illustrates a key component of integrity: having the courage of your convictions – sticking to your guns, doing what you believe is right, and not fearing to speak out. Such actions are needed in the world today where looking good, showing up well, and garnering favorable press predominate. At the root of our existence is the need for the re-emergence of integrity as a common element in the collective character of humankind.

No Paragons

No one lives a life of absolute integrity. Rather, it is an ideal for which to strive. Even those who consistently display integrity can be overwhelmed by what is left over – what wasn’t acted upon and what wasn’t met with integrity.

Integrity is difficult to define. Eleven dictionaries carry eleven different definitions. We know integrity when we see it, but we have trouble explaining it. There is an illusive nature to integrity. It cannot be self-proclaimed, only observed in others. Yet most acts of integrity are performed in private and not subject to public review.

Those who have integrity in large measure have discovered something that the rest of the world must know – that integrity, which many look upon as being comprised of sacrifice, struggle and non-advantageous decision making, actually makes life easier, joyful and powerful.

After the fall youth soccer season, the head coach of  the second grade team resigned. To ensure continuity, the assistant coach was asked to take over as head coach for the spring season. He accepted the position.
Less than a month before the season started, the new  coach changed jobs. His new job was a high-pressure executive position requiring longer hours and more travel. There would be conflicts between the demands of the new job and the needs of the soccer team. But the new coach stuck to his commitment to the players and their parents.
He was rewarded for toughing it out. The soccer team, playing in a more difficult division, had a good season. But the best part of the story is what happened on the job: he earned a bonus for outstanding performance!

Historian Arnold Toynbee observed that of 21 notable civilizations, 19 perished “not from external conquest but from the evaporation of belief within.”  In his address to the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, Charles H. Brower remarked that “today our country still has a choice. I believe it has always begun to make that choice. I believe it is going back to its old beliefs – such things as ideas, pride, patriotism, loyalty, devotion and even hard work.” Though those words were spoken over three decades ago, their ring of truth is now being heard.

Curiously, we discount acts of integrity practiced by others, not believing that they can have done what they’ve done simply because they thought it to be right. Paradoxically, we’re quick to condemn others who vividly display a lack of integrity, all the while overlooking or forgetting our own lapses.

Emily Carruthers was a teacher in an elementary school in Spokane. A dispute between the school administration and the teacher’s union surfaced. At a union meeting the teachers discussed striking. After the vote to strike, Carruthers got up and voiced her opinion. She knew her opinion would be unpopular and she knew that she would alienate people because of it. Nevertheless she told the teachers that she would cross the picket line as she deplores strikes.

What is Integrity?

Many things, really. Perhaps it is the pivotal concept of what it means to be human and involves fully accepting one’s humanity. Integrity has many synonyms however no single synonym is sufficient;  trustworthiness, loyalty, virtue, sincerity, candor, uprightness, honesty. Integrity is also the avoidance of deception and the avoidance of expediency. It is being complete and undivided.

During a bitter cold snap, quick action by concerned neighbors stopped flooding from a burst pipe in an unoccupied house. Early one morning, water was spotted gushing from under the back door of the house. Two neighbors, who had no key, got inside by dismantling a window frame.
They found the entire lower level of the house flooded with two feet of frigid water. The two men ignored the icy geyser spraying from the ruptured pipe and shut off the water line. Using push brooms, they swept the water out the back door. They moved furnishings upstairs to dry out. Then they reassembled the window frame.
Another challenge was notifying the homeowners of the situation. Neighbors knew only that they were visiting relatives in the Miami area. Long distance directory assistance provided a list of a half dozen people with the same Iranian surname. On the second call, the residents were located. Because of the early notification, they were able to expedite the insurance claim. Neighborly resourcefulness and persistence had averted a major household disaster.

All that We Are

Integrity is an achievement, not a gift. It is not the characteristic that determines decisions. It is the summation of the decisions we’ve made. Integrity communicates to others immediately. It is being the same person to everyone. It’s not noble; it’s not altruistic; it is a practical vehicle for living effectively, for having life work. It is maintaining values steadfastly and focusing on what you believe is right.

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Elections

Will You Take Action to Assure GOP Victory on November 5?

Every single person voting Republican needs to decide now, how they will lend support to the cause

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In less than 17 weeks, the GOP will take back the White House, and hopefully the Senate and House, and begin to restore America. Or, we’ll face a gargantuan nightmare that will all but seal the fate of this nation. Do not be fooled by Joe Biden’s defiance of those calling for him to withdraw. Any Democrat challenger will be a danger to us because the DEMOCRATS WILL CHEAT IN UNPRECEDENTED WAYS.

Time is of the essence. While being informed is wonderful, taking action is paramount. What exactly will you do to ensure that we achieve victory? It is no longer sufficient to be a concerned bystander.

No End to the Left’s Destruction

Every day when you log on to news sites, you are flabbergasted by the degree to which the radical Left continues to impose its civilization destroying policies, programs, and activities on the rest of us. There is no end game for the Left, no bottom, and no limits to their mass insanity.

Most recently, we have learned of a professional couple who was greeted at 6 a.m. by armed FBI agents banging on their door to arrest them for having the temerity of stepping into the Capitol on January 6, for 12 minutes, ushered in by Capitol guards. We have witnessed the unending persecution and prosecution of Donald Trump over non-crimes that have been concocted in unison and are part of an overall strategy emanating from the White House.

We have witnessed corrupt district attorneys, corrupt prosecutors, and a corrupt press. Donald Trump is merely the bellwether. All other Republican politicians will be fair game from here on out, and if we lose the election in November, with little or no recourse. One by one, the maniacal Left will quash dissent in ways that perhaps we currently cannot imagine.

The Left is Maniacal

The logical outcome to having the Left predominate in all areas of society is a totalitarian regime. Don’t discount this scenario. As Leftists ultimately do everywhere, they demand compliance. Thought control is their desired form of servitude. For those who do not comply, execution is not out of the question. Like radical Islam, we’re dealing with a malevolent genie that has escaped bottle, has no intention of ever subsiding, and wants everyone to either totally capitulate, or be imprisoned, deported, or terminated.

There will be no effective way to dismantle the maniacal leftist machine if Joe Biden is re-elected, he continues to be the puppet of Obama and far Leftists, and the border continues to be flooded with illegals — until Democrats have congressional representation that steadfastly insures a permanent majority. At that juncture, they will pack the Supreme Court. They will end the Electoral College. They will ramp up gender dysphoria opportunities wherever they might lie.

They will continue to show poor judgment and ridiculous weakness on the world stage. They will kowtow to China on a wide spectrum of issues. They will embolden our enemies to the point where such enemies are ready to pick apart America. This is not hyperbole and is all too likely.

Nothing here is beyond the bounds of possibility and with each passing week becomes more likely for the distant if not foreseeable future. In a sentence, we simply must win in November. No alternative will suffice.

All of Us

All of which leads to the point that every single person voting Republican needs to decide now, how they will lend support to the cause. In what ways will you participate? How will you volunteer, where, when and for what duration? Will you donate money? Who will you influence to vote GOP?

How will you support your candidates locally, regionally, and nationally? How are you going to impact others? It would not be sufficient to say, “I was busy,” or “I felt we had an overwhelming majority.” This approach is gambling with the future of our nation, the future of our communities, and the future of our families.

If we are to win by an overwhelming majority, let us each assure one another that we did everything we could to make sure that that is the result. To do less is to simply take a child-like approach to what is perhaps the most eventful year since 1776, 1812, 1861, 1941, 1968, and 2001. There will be no palatable tomorrow if we lose in November.

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