The other evening we had dinner with some good friends, when I mentioned that I was volunteering for Rocky Anderson in the Justice Party Campaign. The fellow who sat across from us replied without hesitation, "He hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell!" Not with malice, simply as a statement of fact.
I came back with something to the effect that stranger things have happened. I observed that there is no "lesser of two evils" in the upcoming election, with both parties controlled by corporate money, and Obama's policies as bad or worse than Bush's. I noted that practically every single problem I read in the news would not exist if we elected a leader like Rocky Anderson, and then got behind him at different levels of government, including local levels.
I pointed out that Rocky is raising issues that desperately need discussion. That it is better to shoot for the stars and hit the moon than not to aim high at all; to light a match than to curse the dark. That in addition to having nothing to lose, I can live with myself much better now than when I focus on the negativity that surrounds us. I noted that I have a grandson who I would like more than anything to have a brighter future than the one I see at present. And mainly, that I simply refuse to indulge in negative self-fulfilling prophecies, which by definition are a waste of time.
I too was not trying to argue, merely stating why I choose to focus on what can be done, rather than what isn't being done. I tried to emphasize that, ironically, the largest obstacle holding back the election of a president with a proven and amazing political record--along with the brains and courage to put words to action at the national level--is one's acceptance of the idea that "it can't be done!"
Indeed, I said, if everyone who claims, "It can't be done," started saying, "It must and can be done, and I'll do what I can to help," there is a virtual certainty that we'd have a president who most Americans would be proud of. Not to mention that the country would be headed in a direction favorable to the future of us all.
"Not a snowball's chance in hell!" "It can't be done!" Part of me loves those words, because I take them as a challenge, but also because it has made fools of so many humans throughout history. People doubted America would be founded (or even discovered); we doubted the Berlin Wall would ever come down; that the Cold War would end, before the world did; that World Wars would ever end; that slavery would ever end, that women would ever vote, that the Civil Right's Act would ever pass; that changes we've seen around the planet in the past year would ever happen.
But need I go on? Naysayers
abound when innovators set out to accomplish things. The Wright brothers studied
birds and accomplished "the impossible." Henry Ford brought horsepower to life.
Clarence Birdseye developed quick-freeze machinery to make quality frozen food,
and later went broke when no one believed him. But he stuck to his guns,
conquered consumer skepticism, and went on to set the industry standard. Kennedy
lit the torch that got humans to the moon.
[The following is excerpted with minor revisions from The Entrepreneur, October 16, 2008.] "Television network executives weren't sure the viewing public would accept a sit-com with a Cuban leading man married to a feisty, American redhead. So Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball produced the "I Love Lucy" pilot with their own money. At every turn, Lucy and Desi were a step ahead of the studios, revolutionizing television along the way.
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