Your Bumper Stickers Won’t Save You

As much as I’d like to sit home and blog, life sometimes intervenes. This morning, it was getting out of the house at 5:30 for my twice-weekly swim. I have a spring triathlon on the horizon. I woke up an hour earlier intending to bang out something for the sake of making my Tuesday blogging deadline, but as soon as I opened my laptop and tried logging on, I realized that I had no Internet connection–I’m not sure why.

I was also unclear about what to write about.

Lately, the things that I find important are either things I’ve written about before (reinvention, writing, fitness), or things I no longer find appealing (politics). Granted, there’s no shortage of things to write about relative to the latter, but more and more, I don’t find politics bringing forth any new solutions to some of the pressing issues of our time. In fact, the politician that many people imbued with so much hope has become very much like the leaders that came before him. Of course that never stops Americans from wearing their binary ideology on their sleeves, or the back bumpers of their cars.

Your bumper stickers won't save you.

Your bumper stickers won’t save you.

So here I sit, drinking corporate coffee and accessing an available Wi-Fi connection, blogging a few thoughts and ideas that crossed my mind while making my way up and down my pool lane this morning.

This is an interesting time to be living. My own life has more uncertainty than probably any other time in recent memory, and more often than not, I’m on my own trying to come up with solutions. At the same time, my outlook is more optimistic than it was a few months ago.

I think this is because of decisions made more than a decade ago that put me on the path that I continue traveling on. Many of the lessons learned along that path support me and help me to be more comfortable with ambiguity than at any other time in my life.

2 thoughts on “Your Bumper Stickers Won’t Save You

  1. Bumper stickers are such convenient substitutes for thought. Very few are a fraction as witty as their posters think them.

    A common one in the South: God said it, I believe it, that settles it.

    But my favorite: Jesus loves you. The rest of us think you’re an asshole.

    Which, in its own way, is a far more profound Christian statement than the first one.

    Meanwhile, there’s always baseball.

    “Bas-uh-ball, been berry, berry good to me!”

  2. Sloganeering, I call it. Slogans are comforting, I guess? In retrospect, they held me under their sway at one time in my life.

    Speaking of slogans, what I find especially interesting, as Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling program runs interviews this week with various candidates for U.S. Senate, is how cliched everything these Senate wannabes offer in answer to Jennifer Rooks’ questions. To me, it’s pretty arrogant for someone to think they can be “the one” that marches down to DC and changes things, single-handedly. But that’s how they answer the questions.

    Yesterday it was Emily Cain, and today, the master of the cliche, Kevin Raye, Mr. Mustard.

    Rooks: “Emily, I’d like to start with the big question; why are you running?”

    Cain: “Jennifer, thanks so much for having me. I’m running for Congress in Maine’s 2nd District because I’m so optimistic about Maine. Because I believe it’s better to be part of the solution than be part of the problem, and I inherently believe there’s more good going on across the state, than bad. We need someone in Washington who has a record like mine–a record of growing Maine’s economy, a record of making opportunity possible for more working families across Maine, and someone with a record of working across the aisle, to really get things done. That’s why I’m running.”

    It went downhill from there.

    Bear in mind, this is someone whose sum total experience in life is going to school, working in higher ed, and now serving in the Maine Legislature.

    At least today’s candidate, Raye, has some experience making some pretty good mustard.

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