Good News about Chaos
June 03, 2016 -Steve Hays
A lot of chaos is going around this last month, it seems. I talked to more than a few people with car, phone or computer challenges as well as irritating or unexpected changes or delays. I left out money and body, but heard about and saw the unexpected relating to those, too.
I’m talking about things in people’s immediate lives, not the obvious chaos in our political process or world.
For me there was a great feeling when I got ahead and pretty much finished my part of the magazine a day ahead of time. And then—as I tried to put files in the dropbox for others to work on—couldn’t access those files.
To skip what are now details, but at the time were more than momentary events, my computer crashed and whatever caused the crash appears to have hit my hourly automatic backup system too. So the issue was done—really done.
As has happened approximately three other times in my life—roughly estimating—I spent too much time trying to get back to what I had by focusing on retrieving the files. I may eventually get some of the files back, but nothing that was backed up other places was from this issue. Nothing came from that effort, so far.
(FYI: Please use our new email—firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, and perhaps just in the nick of time, I decided to move forward and start over. I still had several options for retrieval, but even if I had to print late it was a more certain path that I would get where I wanted to go if I changed the path I was on.
It took a lot of help from people who sent me files yet again, and from others—Amelia and Tim—willing to put in extra time to help and do things I couldn’t, and a cooperative printer willing to change things around so I could keep delivery on schedule. It worked. We redid the issue in less than 24-hours.
Thanks to everyone—and thanks to Brian, who is about to rebuild and insulate my computer system better.
As always, in retrospect, I’ve learned a lot that will prevent this in the future—until something else happens. Life happens. Fertilizer happens. I will do some things differently, or add additional preventive steps to avoid this, but the unpredictable happens.
What worked was that I didn’t dwell on what I should have done and just kept looking at what’s next. My talisman helps me avoid that. I just squeeze it and ask myself, “Where do you want to go next?” Time to move on—eliminate the “I shoulds” and regrets.
I was considering writing about the political process and the chaos this time around, but ended up with about an hour and a half to write. And I got hungry.
But I couldn’t help but think how the chaos really works for some of us. When people are in the state I was in the last couple of days there is a seemingly endless stream of things and people to contact and respond to and take care of. Who has time—or wants— to think about politics when life moves that quickly?
And who benefits if it is like that for the majority of us?
If large companies hire you with just enough hours to eliminate benefits, people go without or get a second or third job—if they can find them.
Isn’t it crazy that the employees of one of the country’s largest employers are paid so little that most of them qualify for public assistance? That’s true at Wal-Mart and they aren’t alone.
Don’t the same entities—large corporations—benefit when schools are chaotic and kids don’t learn? If people are to elect representatives, doesn’t it benefit all of us to have an educated electorate that isn’t struggling to get by; citizens that have time to think?
I titled this “The Good News about Chaos” but perhaps I should have titled it after I wrote it. Then again, chaos is good. We need chaos to make real changes—and that looks like where we are, doesn’t it?
Personally I am fine with Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Sanders has shifted the conversation and Clinton has a lot of experience. She might not be Mrs. Nice Guy—according to some—but we need someone to fight for people. My disappointment with the current President is that he didn’t realize until after he lost his legislative majority that not everyone in DC plays nice or wants to sit down and talk about it.
The idea that she will totally flip her views after the election ignores one big thing—that she is a politician and a politician pays attention to the polls. She might even be more effective at getting what appears to be the agenda of future generations in motion better than Sanders. She wants to be remembered well, right?
Besides, who knows for sure who any of them are? Identifying Clinton is more difficult because there has been an “anti-Clinton” machine in place for a decade or two.
No matter what, we shall see—in time. The worst thing we can do, from my perspective, is be in that personal chaotic state and say, “I don’t’ want to think about it. I don’t have time to think about it. I want someone to handle it for me. I want them to decide.”
The guy who is happy to do that appears to be running on the other side—ready to trump us all, I’m afraid. But again, we shall see. I’m waiting for his application—his tax returns. Anyone own him?
Here we are again, back to those things that greatly affect people’s immediate lives.
It’s not always easy to participate—just a vital part of determining what kind of world we will live in.