This for me is a stretch of the semi-retirement benefit called getting out of town to warmer places. The blog has been irregular as a result, for which I ask your forgiveness.
Our Middle School President, as I am want to call him because his functioning is about on that level, is also called The Disrupter in Chief. He is causing lots of sleep problems for most people I know. I don’t need to ask which actions have caused each of us the most consternation and/or pain, the list is so long. From his Cabinet appointees, many of whom oppose the mission of their department, to the immigration orders, to his attacks on the judiciary or the CIA or Nordstrom or you name it.
I have one piece of analysis and one recommendation. The analysis is that part of what is going on is too much change. Change comes slowly to us. When we just try another melody for the Adon Olam, don’t think it goes by unnoticed, and the stakes there are not so high. Trump is producing lots of change, some of which we might even appreciate (eg. a reset in the U.S. relationship with Israel) if it wasn’t coming at us at such a rapid fire rate. It is disquieting to say the least. My doctor shared with me the theory that it is a carefully designed plan to bombard us with so much change that we tune it out and it can go forward unnoticed. I am not sure it’s that Machiavellian – I don’t give the WH leadership that much credit – but a slower pace would be a wise idea (in case anybody is listening.) There is no time to process this way, and negative responses are almost guaranteed especially given the content of most of the changes.
My recommendation is about how to make it through these difficult days. It is a three part strategy:
1. We develop an “expect the worst” attitude towards each day. That we assume upsetting announcements will be forthcoming from the WH and not be shocked by them. It’s not a mindset that we have been practicing before, but it seems needed now.
2. With this new mindset we are not, as it might appear, allowed to ignore the news or be inured to injustice, far from it. Activism may be more necessary than in any recent time. The people need to speak. Activism can be attached to a major cause, like the immigration ban or whatever reincarnation follows, through public demonstrations or by personal outreach to Muslims and immigrants that we know. Or it can be as simple an act as going out of our way to shop at Nordstrom and letting the salespeople know why. Doing something, not just agonizing, is good therapy and more.
3. We not watch/read the news after about 9PM, chances of a good night’s sleep will increase.
Share with me your strategies. Best regards and prayers for our country. Bill Rudolph