a unique perspective on this crazy world

Posts tagged ‘jimmy carter’

the danger of modern mythology

I wonder if we should have quit breaking his cigarettes… my sister and I grew up in the era when medical research had proven that smoking was BAD for you… toxic… a carcinogenic addiction with no potential health benefits like red wine or dark chocolate.

Our teachers had told us smoking could kill you so we broke a package of cigarettes to save his life.  It did not go down well 🙂 and we stopped…

He didn’t officially die from smoking but 66 is really young to die in the 21st century and – whether he accepted it or not – smoking chipped away at his mortality… as did his opposition to entering a kitchen to do anything but eat and his aversion to vegetables.

With better habits, today he would likely have turned 75… and I would have done something cool to celebrate.  It’s a tragedy that we can’t.

In many ways, it is surprising that my father was a smoker.  He was the first intellectual to grace my life.  He may have quit school at 15 to make some money but he had a natural intelligence that he fed constantly so that by the time I could have an intelligent conversation with him there was lots to learn.

A large part of the success I have had in life can be attributed to lessons I learned sitting on the carpet in front of my father’s leather recliner discussing matters of importance – politics, history, sports…

how it all began :)

how it all began 🙂

A lot of it felt like being a student of Plato laying out the laws of the universe.  I question everything and only hold opinions that I can support by facts because of my father.  It’s a bit funny because he veered off script at times… the student became the master… My father’s advice was tantamount to that of a great statesman… of course, saying is easier than doing 😉

In life, though, what is most critical is just being exposed to great advice.  If you adopt it, you will prosper and can rise above your station in a way you have never imagined.

For me, what is wonderful about my father is the confidence and critical thinking he instilled in me at such a young age that I was counselling other seven year olds to follow their own path and not get caught up in the hysteria and misguided aims of the masses 🙂

I can’t remember him ever saying he was proud of me and our relationship was complicated enough it might make a great melodrama but – even when I wanted him to behave differently – I was always grateful for the incredible life philosophy he had instilled in me from the time I was capable of human language.

He represented critical thinking, compassion, ingenuity, bravery and hope.

He was the guy who made me political even though I never knew whom he voted for.  There was a beauty in that – that the political process was about ideology not the dirty business of politics.  I still remember watching Jimmy Carter get elected with him.  A President that never gets enough respect.

I am sure my father would have been appalled by Trump and the forces of hate that have brought him to power.  I wish we could talk about it.  But – fingers crossed – sanity will prevail and I can drink a toast to hope in November – as I will to my dad tonight.

I wish you had paid more attention to your health but I am grateful for everything that you taught me.  To all those dads out there who inspire their daughters 🙂

back when I was political ;)

WOW!  Jimmy Carter is on Stephen Colbert… he is almost 90 and he is SO cool!  I used to be wildly political.  I think I still am but I am not as sure the most effective political channel… but I watched Jimmy win.  My father and I used to watch all the elections… the primaries and the leadership conferences… the whole shebang…

and Jimmy was president during the Iran crisis… not the Argo nonsense… but the sensible American president and the impressive Canadian ambassador… not the stuff of Hollywood drama and still not well publicized but the stuff of honour and self-esteem.

It was interesting to see that Jimmy really was the dude to make ex-presidents cool… I always kind of thought he invented it but was far too busy when I was young to be able to fact check…

But, yes, the peanut farmer from Georgia whom I revered as a teenager was one of the original “good guys”… go, Jimmy!

Warren, Bill, Bill… good to see you out there waving your arms around, throwing money at the third world and issuing press releases… but you will never be Jimmy Carter…

Jimmy and Stephen – thank you for tonight.  You both inspire me to be a better person, give me faith in the great ideals on which the United States of America was founded, and – most impressively – show that the south can be a place of inspiration for anyone in the world who wants us all to get along better and create a community of cooperation and equality.

If these two amazing dudes are not yet on your radar, check them out!

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