Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 755 Accepting a Loss

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

Around ten years ago I read that 20 states have filed petitions to withdraw from the Union. The election of 2012 was just over. Some folks lost and now they want to take their football and go home. They will not settle for not winning. In other words, being losers in this particular contest. 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. Perhaps  some people never learn. Either that or they never grow up.

It isn't easy to lose. I speak from experience. Voting for those that lose a presidential election is never easy.I have voted for losers seven times. My voting life has spanned 59 years. So for twenty-eight of those years I have lived with someone other than my choice as my 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. And we have elected a black president twice.Those alone are three 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 to 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.

I'm sure if this past election had gone the other way I would have been disappointed but not enough to advocate leaving the union or claim the election was unfair. Sure, the thought of taking myself to another country would have surfaced as it has several times in the past but that thought would also pass as it always has. I'm here by choice.

Basking in the glow of victory is not such a bad thing for a few days. The temperature will soon settle into one of which we are much more accustomed. We will read of issues and how they are addressed or not addressed by our elected. We will shake our heads in agreement or disagreement. We will cheer the victory or hang our heads in disgust. 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 take our football and go home.

This is Retirement Talk.

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