When Cooler Heads Prevail

Peace is often the result, along with a sigh of relief.

I have had enough of heated arguments, ultimatums, and threats. I’ve seen them personally and in the news. I’ve seen arguments blow away years of friendship, marriage, and kinship. I’ve seen people act as if they would face no consequences for their actions. What I have learned is that there is a consequence for every action. There is no such thing as impunity.

I have made a point to keep a cool head about me. Even when others are in a panic, I’m just watching. I’m taking notes while others are shooting their mouth off. I’m taking notes when others make threats or issue ultimatums. I have learned to note a threat of an action, and to wait and see. I have learned that when people issue an ultimatum, they rarely follow through because they don’t really want to do what they said they were going to do. The people who are quiet are more worrisome to me than those who telegraph their intentions. Even so, what concerns me the most is what people do.

So whenever there is tension, I have learned to reserve my judgment. I have learned to assume that most people lack the interpersonal skills needed to get through a conflict. They may have some idea of what they really want, but they have a difficult time articulating their needs and desires, often to the point of frustration or tears. I am aware of my own difficulties in sharing my needs and getting them met. This point of getting our needs met, is where we have something called intimacy.

Long ago, I was introduced to a book called, “I Got Tired Of Pretending” by a recovering alcoholic, Bob Earll. In that book, he said something that I still carry with me to this day, “Intimacy is me being me, and letting you see me.” At the point where we feel safe enough to articulate our needs and wants, we are engaged in the skill of intimacy.

But we can’t do that if we’re yelling, screaming obscenities at someone, and carrying on as if it’s the end of the world. That’s what I saw in the videos of the riot, the insurrection, the sedition, or whatever you want to call it, at the nation’s Capitol on January 6th. For all that tough talk, there was very little intimacy. No one there was articulating a real need. Sure, they demanded change, but the manner in which they demanded change was more like a 2-year old in the middle of a tantrum than an adult articulating a need.

So I’m hopeful that after Biden is inaugurated, cooler heads will prevail. I’m hopeful that Trump and his friends with the mobile gallows can back off their claims that the country will go down in flames if Biden becomes president. I can recall many liberals proclaiming the death of the republic if Trump were to become president. That didn’t happen. We had 4 years of Trump and the country is still here. The country won’t crumble under Biden, either. Give the people of this country some credit where it’s due.

Trump doesn’t appear to me as someone who wants to destroy America. He does tend to favor one side over another, and I’ve been none too pleased with his pandering to the Christian right. And Trump screwed up a bunch of stuff, and maybe even said a few things to incite sedition. We’ve seen much worse than this and we’re OK. You can still get a pizza from Domino’s if that’s your thing.

Joe Biden has been in politics since 1972. That’s almost 50 years. He helped to create the conditions that gave us Trump, so thank him, dear conservative reader. Our country is still here and will continue to be here long after Biden’s term is complete as president.

Do I agree with Biden’s politics? Hardly. I see him as an elite Democrat who bows to the money. We’ve had a long string of presidents who bowed to the money, and Donald Trump is just another one of them. The only one in recent memory who didn’t bow to the money is Jimmy Carter. He was a better president, by far than Trump. He put renewable energy on the map. He’s been building houses for the poor for decades now. I don’t see Trump doing that. Trump is busy raising the rent.

If you support Trump, then accept that Joe Biden won fair and square, just like Trump won in 2016 while losing the popular vote by 3 million. Is that fair? Trump had his run. And if you think Trump was a populist, I’ve got a bridge for sale in Brooklyn you might like to see. Trump merely danced around the edges of real change.

So I don’t like either one of them. But I have a cool head about me. I’m willing to wait and see what happens next. I’m willing to wait and see what Joe Biden can do about the pandemic. I waited patiently for four years for real change from Trump and didn’t get it. His conservative judges will keep things largely the same, too. But you don't see me walking around in protest, do you? Even if Trump had somehow managed to win in 2020, I still wouldn't protest. I’d just wait to see what happens next. Biden and Trump are so far beyond my circle of influence, that’s all I can do.

I can write to my representatives in Congress, sure. But they don’t listen to me because I don’t have the money to be worth their time. I’m not a Republican so they act like they have a license not to listen to me. I still keep a cool head on.

I have a house to maintain. I have a family that I love and care for. I have neighbors that I love. I can look around in any room in my house and find something to be grateful for. I know that no matter what happens in DC, I can still find something to be grateful for. I know I can always fall back on gratitude. That’s how I know that cooler heads will prevail. If you can find gratitude, nothing that happens in DC really matters.

If you like drama, then grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back, and watch CSPAN. Otherwise, take a breath, relax a bit, and then get busy with something else. It’ll all work out. Let the cooler heads prevail.

Write on.

Husband, father, worker, philosopher, and observer. Plumbing the depths of consciousness to find the spring of happiness. Write on.

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