Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 519(306) Winners Losers

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

I've entitled this podcast, "Winners & Losers".

A few years ago I read that 20 states had filed petitions to withdraw from the Union. That was after the election of 2012. Some folks lost and they wanted to take their football and go home. They would not settle for not winning. In other words, being losers in this particular contest. Their desire soon faded and disappeared. Then the 2016 election rolled around and roles were reversed. Now the other side cried out for secession . There was talk of we west coasters merging with British Columbia.

But one thing we all learn as we grow up is that sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. It is the nature of a contest. It is the nature of life. It is a hard lesson to accept. But accept it we must. Some people never learn. Either that or they never grow up. But one thing about elections: there are always winners and losers.

It's never easy to lose. I speak from experience. I know for I have voted for losers seven times. My voting life has spanned 52 years. So for twenty-eight of those years I have lived with someone other than my choice as president. It isn't easy accepting defeat at the poles but it is certainly doable.

We retired folks have a history of waking in the winners circle or walking away with our head down. We have experience. I always think of one particular election when I thought the world would come to an end with that man in the White House. It didn't happen.  I was young and I thought the newly elected was a complete incompetent. It was the darkest night of my political life. But the world did not end and my personal life flourished. Yes, our country did things during that administration that I considered despicable but it did not end life on our planet.

Since I cast my first ballot our country has agreed to lift the nuclear Sword of Damocles that hung over all of our heads during the cold war. We have enacted civil right legislation and the American Disabilities Act that allows millions of people to be treated in a more equitable fashion. We created an Environmental Protection Agency to insure clean water and air for all. We got rid of the notion that smoking was glamorous. We even got rid of plastic bags (at lest we did where I live). And we have elected a black president twice.Those alone are pretty big things. Of course there are many other issues that I could use as examples.

Then again I could look on the dark side and list examples of where we went wrong. I'm going to defer on that one. None of us are unfamiliar with injustice yet persisting. The four horsemen of the apocalypse: war, famine, pestilence and death still stalk the land. We have a long way to go.

The lesson from elections that gains clarity as we age is that things do change. The change can be very slow but there is change and the world does not come to an end. At least not yet.

It seems like each election results in a major challenge for nearly half the population. Some of us are disappointed but rarely enough to leave the country. (I've never known someone who did.) We could pack our bags and seek other national boundaries but we don't. We vote again with our feet or our seat. And usually it is the seat. We stay put.

Basking in the glow of victory is not such a bad thing for a few days. And laying low for a few days after suffering political defeat is to be expected.The temperature will soon settle into one of which we are much more accustom. We read of issues and how they are address or not addressed by our elected. We nod our heads in agreement or shake or heads in  disagreement. The thing about it is that we will come back tomorrow and the next day, the next week and next year. Hopefully our children and grandchildren will be able to continue the battle. We won't pack our bag and we won't walk down the road.

This is Retirement Talk.

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