Navigating the Hurricane

Yes, we are in the eye of a hurricane. Having recently endured the storm’s blistering outer edge, many of us are wondering whether the structures we live in will survive the inner wind shear to come.

You may not think so from the headlines, which all run one way – on purpose. Not as part of a QAnon conspiracy, but in furtherance of a far more mundane deliverable – eyes on screens. Bad, and even badder, taglines attract viewers. It was that way when we read pieces of paper the ancients referred to as newspapers and magazines. And it is that way now in our unedited, non-curated algorithm driven communications freefall.

The result? For me – a nagging sense of dread and deep disappointment sometimes interferes with my sleep and how I relate to others. Logically, it shouldn’t. But emotion is often stronger than logic, and I suspect that many of us are becoming increasingly emotional.

How, then, can we navigate this storm? Different people will answer that question differently. My answer has two pieces. I have been looking to the first piece since 2016. The second piece was shared with me only yesterday. Neither is my own. Both were fashioned by men of history, not part-time internet columnists.

The first is from Winston Churchill. Like all of us, a flawed man who – unlike any of us – saved Western Civilization a mere 80 years ago. Churchill’s sword was his words, which he used to inspire, command, and lead. At one of the darkest moments of World War II, he unsheathed that sword before a group of young British students at the Harrow School, saying:

“[n]ever give in. Never give in, nevernevernevernever—in nothing, great or small, large, or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force: never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy [of freedom].”

At the end of a long life filled with struggles, victories and defeats, Churchill, in his last great speech to Parliament, returned to this theme. He looked the world in the eye, and told it to “never flinch, never weary, never despair.” He certainly didn’t and we are all the better for it.

The second piece comes courtesy of Aeschylus, a Greek playwright whose voice, if we seek it, carries across the mists of time. About 2,500 years ago he made a simple, foundational observation; “happiness is a choice.” It was true then. It is true now.

Since the days of Aeschylus, the world has been through innumerable, terrible cataracts. I was born 15 years after the ovens of Auschwitz stopped belching human ashes. What we currently face is hard. But it is not that.

So, remember – as bad as this feels, we have gotten through worse. Persevere, as so many of those who came before us did. Try to make yourself pause often enough and long enough to authentically experience the love of God, of family, and of country. While focusing (and acting) on the good that is within each of us, which always matters. And often makes all the difference.

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13 responses to “Navigating the Hurricane”

  1. If the Debate between the Protagonist and Antagonist of the 2020 Presidential Election both show up to debate on June 27, then the U.S.Voter Will absolutely see the Protagonist, who can, and still does manage to edit his own thoughts before speaking them, while the ‘stable genius’ antagonist takes his cerebral phlegm forged directly from his juvenile id and spews is out his mouth with no intellectual discernment or conscience.

    I assure you, Mr. Leven, that enough Americans of All ideological stripes will see that in this cliched, but absolutely true sentiment that, because this will (again) be the Most Important U.S.Election in our lifetime, a majority, or, more precisely, a plurality of our fellow voters will again save us from the antagonist who seeks to be a dictator.

  2. Donald J. Trump will win the election based on his past 4 years of work. Biden has nothing to show for his past 4 years other than filling his , and his own family’s, pockets with mounds of foreign enemies’ cash for influence peddling. The Biden Racketeering Crime family is what our Forefathers warned us against. We have come to this point in history where a criminal administration headed by a criminal family, headed by a demented, brain-addled capo di capo, has been thrust upon us.

    The American people see the Biden Racketeering Crime family for what it is–criminals, extortionists, election interferers, bribers, and murderers. Every demographic in the nation will vote to end the current criminal enterprise in the White House, and bring this country back to normal and sane.

  3. I wonder, Tom Jeff, what exactly has your Trumpster done in the last 4 years except to attend his various trials. Perhaps with the help of God above, this moron will never again rain his moronic opinions and lies on this great nation.

  4. Hey Andy, I still see you’re taking lessons on propaganda from Dr. Josef Goebbels. They named people like you in the camps in the 1930s and 1940s. They were called “kapos”.

  5. What will you do, Tommy, when Biden is re-elected? Perhaps you can go to Russia and work for Putin, since your idol, Donald Trump takes Putin’s word over our own Intelligence Officials.

  6. “TJ” you’re disgusting. You have no shame because you hide behind the anonymity of a pseudonym. Use your real name coward.

  7. I see the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd is out in full force. A major study in Current Psychology, published in March 2023 explains Democrats/ Socialists/ Left-Wingers/Communists as having narcissistic traits, dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment.

    The results of the major study, “Understanding left-wing authoritarianism: Relations to the dark personality traits, altruism, and social justice commitment”, show us that those with Trump Derangement Syndrome, and supporting the Biden anti-American agenda, have multiple regression ideological views that lead to violent revolution against existing societal structures.

    Democrats/Socialists/Communists/Left-Wingers are shown to have anti-hierarchical aggression, associated with antagonistic narcissism and psychopathy, that leads to political activism endorsing or exercising violence against others to satisfy their own ego-focused needs.

    So, there you have it. The psychological and psychiatric community has quantified Trump Derangement Syndrome as antagonistic narcissism and psychopathy.

  8. That ‘Major Study’ from ‘Current Psychology’ that purports to be ‘peer reviewed’ is nothing more than psycho-babble drivel that was quoted by the often- dubious right wing facts-be-damned tabloid, the New York Post. As a right-wing fascist who idolizes and supports the narcissist Trump, neither you nor him are even capable of correctly conceptualizing what altruism, or, what a commitment to social justice is. When you support Trump, you support a demagogue who tried to incite his blind followers to unjustly prevent a democratically elected President from taking office. While you and your ilk choose to view your erroneous perceptions as reality, sensible Americans from the Left, Center, and Right, will shut you and your ilk down at the ballot box in November in a second, consecutive fair election.

  9. To WNY Voter: As I said: “The Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd is out in full force.” You just verified it for me. I rest my case.

  10. Tommy boy, don’t forget to lump the NY Post Editorial Board with ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome,” when, for its November 16, 2022 page one, it buried your idol and fellow narcissist Trump’s announcement that he was running for President for a third time with a small line at the bottom of page one: “Florida Man Makes Announcement, page 26.”

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