You ever notice how if you are single, a holiday such as New Year's Eve seems like such a couples holiday, but if you are a couple, particularly one-half of an unhappy couple, New Years seems like a hot time for singles? If I were Alanis Morisette I would say that was ironic. The rest of us know, however, that it is merely human nature.
Here’s another slight conundrum about human existence: we tend to really, really, really want the things that are out of reach, but when that thing begins to hover within our reach, we freak out, start splashing and it floats on away again.
This is not me mind you, just some people.
Ever notice how when you ask someone a straight question and they throw you a curve ball, arcing widely around the question, you are in some serious trouble?
Ever know someone whose character goes against what you believe to be right and true, yet you find yourself really liking them anyway? Bill Clinton was like that for me. Despite his many personal gaffes, I was truly intrigued by his Teflon-skin and cork interior. Nothing stuck and no matter how deep the shit got, he always bobbed to the surface. And thanks to the Teflon, he looked squeaky clean, as well!
I guess, put another way, you could say he was a person who, despite his personal shortcomings, was a magnificent leader, manifesting conviction and vision while inspiring those around him to carry on in the midst of chaos. That dichotomy fascinated me, causing me to voraciously read the many books written about his presidency by the staffers that worked day and day out with him. (Note: I’ve never read his book, My Life, and probably never will. In this particular case, it would be better to rely on third party observation than to rely on the spin-master’s hefty tome, which is no doubt at least 50% Clintonian fiction.)
The point here is not the sum of all these parts. It is the commonality; I adore and delve deeply into that disparity of character that allows the same person to give to the poor but cheat at his taxes. Or spoil the guinea pig with carrots and celery but poison the mice that sneak the rice and crackers. Or love his wife but cheat on her.
Within each of us lies the capability for both great harm and great good. The French poet Louis Aragon noted that “light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash."
It is that zone which makes humanity endlessly fascinating, exciting and deeply, truly loveable. Because that is me.