How to Spin Off the Earth in 61 Days or Less

After 61 days of travel in 20 states and 4 countries, I have finally returned home to Boston. For the last few weeks of the trip, I had been eagerly looking forward to waking up in the same bed every single morning without having to politely decline breakfast with my host or tell the housekeeper to come back later. And yet, since returning home, I have not slept through the night once. Every night I have been woken up by revelations about life, travel, and the future. My mind has been racing to jump right back into the normalcy of living in one place and to create some semblance of certainty in my otherwise extremely chaotic life.

To some this might be an exciting journey into the sub-conscious mind. For me, however, it simply means that I wake up late into the day wondering why everyone is confused when I wish them good morning in the afternoon!

* * *

After driving across the country in September, I had a very important realization: The United States is much bigger than just Massachusetts. This may seem painfully obvious, but when you spend your time in one place, it is easy to forget that the country is much larger than just Greater Boston. There are so many regional differences, interesting idiosyncrasies, and strange Americans.

Then, after traveling to Thailand for a month, I had another very important realization: The World is much bigger than just the United States. This was my first trip to Asia and I found it to be a fascinating culture shock. The Thai culture had so many rich and intricate nuances and a long standing history. Not to mention, millions of people living life just like back home. Thailand also had many regional differences, interesting idiosyncrasies, and strange Americans, or as they call us, Falang (a.k.a. Foreigners specifically Western Foreigners).

Being able to grasp the vastness of the global community on this level really makes you feel small and helpless. It makes your subjective reality seem meaningless in the larger scheme of things. If I am one in 6 billion, then what affect can I have in this world? If I am just a pawn in a global society, why do my petty actions matter? And fortunately, I think that the Thais had my answer: Local Communities and Individual Satisfaction.

* * *

So what is it that allows a local community to function, and furthermore, what is it that creates individual satisfaction? The answer is: productive, resourceful relationships.

If each of us lives in our own subjective reality, then we are each destined to go down our own individual path. Ideally, we are all going to lead our lives to be as close to “who we are” as we can be. Some of us will be close to that path and others will be far from it. And the understanding of where we are on that path will be governed by our individual satisfaction or personal fulfillment, which I would call your quality of life.

Thus, by finding other people who are aligned similarly to ourselves, we are able to interact and coexist in a very coherent way. We are able to agree on similar points of view, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, values, standards, ethics, etc. etc. We are able to express these understandings of “who we are” and “what it means to be who we are” to an audience that understands better than some other subset of individuals to which this would be an incoherent way of being.

And what is amazing is that in productive, resourceful relationships, this is an audience that unconditionally cares what we have to say. And ironically, after all is said and done, our similar views, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, values, standards, ethics, etc. etc. do not matter one iota. They are irrelevant because we are operating from a place of unconditional love, unconditional support, and mutual trust. When we are truly aligned with those around us, we can unconditionally be who we are as can they. Those with similar vibrational energies will vibrate as we need them to in order for our visions to be aligned and coexist. That is why productive, resourceful relationships are so powerful!

And that is why collaborative communities of productive, resourceful individual relationships improve the quality of life for all of the members of the community. In essence, we all have our own subjective realities, which operate in one collective reality, yet we only interact with a very small portion of this collective reality. And when we find others who want to live similar subjective realities we can collectively improve our quality of life. We can live a quality of life that allows us to feel unconditional love and support to be “who we are.”

Thus, local communities and personal satisfaction make our individual subjective reality coherent and meaningful, due to our productive, resourceful, and hopefully, interdevelopmental relationships.

* * *

So, at this point, you’re wondering why I would proceed on such a tangent when it appeared I was going to discuss something about my travels to far away lands or perhaps tell you about my return trip across the country. Well, I haven’t slept through the night for the past 10 days and I needed to let go of some of the existential thoughts that have been plaguing my mind. I have been trying to come to grips with a coherent understanding of how to proceed through this subjective reality in my local community, and furthermore, how to improve not only my quality of life but the collective quality of life of those around me.

And I will continue this discussion shortly with my explication of my new found understanding of the environment, sustainability, and local community development. Or I will find another equally interesting discussion of why time travel is incoherent due to my several bouts with jetlag. Or an even more interesting discussion of how to view life from a multi-dimensional perspective that makes not only this lifetime and next lifetime seem meaningless, but significantly less important than understanding how to view these lifetimes in a planetary context of space and time. And if you're lucky, I will combine them into one clearly explicated manifesto entitled, "Balling out of Control: Art, Lifestyle, Both or Neither."

There is no one more helpless, irresponsible, and depraved than this man!


Superfat Tuesday

Four years ago during the Democratic National Convention, I stood face to face with Senator Barack Obama. As he walked through the lobby of The Colonnade Hotel, he exuded charisma and confidence. He had a presence that you could feel and a smile that was contagious. I shook his hand and told him that he was going to do great things for this country. I knew then that he had the potential to transform the country I just didn’t know how quickly he would make an impact.

* * *

Superfat Tuesday was a long awaited day, and a historic day at that. As everyone in New Orleans geared up for another alcohol induced stupor, twenty-two states prepared to vote to see who would represent each political party. And amazingly, despite the fact that this charade will continue for several months, I think that we determined not only who the candidates will be, but who will win this battle.

We all know that politics is a game of rhetoric. Politics is a game that the media, lobbyists, campaign managers, and voters play to see who will be the President of the United States. Each interest group tries to swing the votes in its favor as the voters desperately try to determine fact from fiction. Interestingly, the democratic political landscape is largely determined by these few and is tangentially determined by the people. Name recognition, party affiliation, and access to information play a larger role than we sometimes wish. And yet, because it is a game, everyone can play. This is a game that we can join in and a game that we can win. It’s not going to be an easy road, nor should we expect it to be, and that is what makes it so much fun to play.

* * *

Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee showed that despite their good intentions, the Republicans wanted one candidate to get behind. John McCane is the old man whose depends they want to hold as he desperately hobbles his way towards the finish line. Perhaps Huckabee will earn the Vice Presidential nomination, but McCane’s old school values, lack of religiosity, and hundred year war provide them with the best chance to unify the majority of the country behind the status quo. Why change what’s not working?

As for the Democrats, although it is still too close to call for the networks, I think that the tide is shifting in a positive new direction. As Hilary paraded up in her yellow jumpsuit and read her canned speech, it was clear that this motherly figure appealed to a motherly and grandmotherly crowd. She had swayed the votes of baby boomers and their parents, but the younger generations were not wooed or swayed by her political jargon. They were instead inspired, excited, and hopeful for the prospect of changing the face of the country.

* * *

As CNN cut away from John McCain’s “victory” speech to cover Barack Obama’s speech, I could sense that the tide was beginning to turn. The Obama campaign decided not only that they were going to interrupt the McCain speech, but also that they were going to be the very last speech on Superfat Tuesday. Obama’s speech, geared towards a bipartisan national audience at the end of the biggest primary day of all time, let America know that he had the edge over Hilary and over the Republican Party. It was at that moment that I knew this was a time to hope for change.

Barack Obama represents the future of this country. He provides not only a fresh new set of values, but also a passionate fervor to implement these important changes. Obama knows that the task of transforming this country will not be easy and in some cases will not be accepted. Maintaining the status quo always seems to be easier than changing the status quo regardless of the atrocities perpetrating this country. Living in a dysfunctional reality never seems dysfunctional until you alter your perspective. Bush believes that he is plotting a functional course as he continues to lead us down a dysfunctional path. But the time for change is now! We must transform our image and our priorities if we are to survive in this rapidly shifting world. Our policies towards education, healthcare, the environment, and the economy are in dire need of change and we need a charismatic leader to take the reigns of this country! Obama is that leader and our next President!

* * *

I made the joke about a year ago that McCain would be the president of this country and that we were not ready for a woman, a Mormon, or an African American. I said that the majority of this country would not stand for a change that drastic. I firmly believed that we were stuck in the past and preaching a set of values that were incongruent with the reality in which we lived. I truly believed this sentiment until just this week.

On Superfat Tuesday, I was finally able to be hopeful, excited, and inspired for the first time. I was finally able to believe that this country has the capability to transform. Yes, we can make a difference in our own reality, our own country, and our own world! Yes, we can bring about the necessary changes to become functional once again! Yes, we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!