As the new president steps in and deftly proves that no one is equipped to take over the world’s most important underpaying job—regardless how much he pretends he is—I watch a nation and world stewing in confused dissatisfaction.
The new president has earned his record low transition disapproval ratings. An arrogant yeller and Teflon blamer who leads like an ambulance driver trying to parallel park, more Americans find his abrasive skill set unappealing than attractive. I hope this changes but also wish there were two moons in the sky.
In the meantime I ponder a far more important question: Where are all the Good Guys?
Good Guys aren’t necessarily the loudest protesters, largest audience bloggers, sound bite stars, or highest profile folks at the protest. Good Guys are men and women of decency who ignore the noise and live by a code of what’s right for others, not just themselves.
The new president fosters a separatist “with me or against me” mentality and currently panders to his constituency. This is not new; every president first feeds those who boosted him into the big chair.
Good Guys resist the lure to blindly follow. Good Guys refuse to be deterred by vitriol, bombast, or intimidation. Good Guys commit random acts of kindness with such disciplined regularity an observer might suspect they are in fact not random at all.
Good Guys smile at people different than themselves, hold doors and invite others to precede them in waiting lines, and make strangers laugh for no other reason than brighten their day.
But Good Guys are not doormats or rubes. Good Guys are smart enough to avoid being suckered by a three-card monte dealer on a Manhattan street corner. A well practiced illusionist, whether a fast talking card shark or small-handed snake oil salesman, fools his audience through distraction and rhetorical bombast. Showmen will not distract a Good Guy.
The showman’s performance is simply designed to smokescreen distraction. Good Guys know that when the smoke clears the facts remain. As this relates to a stumbling presidential trainee, Good Guys will not be tricked by smoke. They will wait for it to clear and remain focused on the Achilles heel that investigative financial reporting will eventually arrow with poison. A Good Guy will track and quantify the vast flow of one-directional money from Moscow through the president’s real estate dealings, which will eventually spotlight what seems for increasing millions to be somewhat obvious.
To a Good Guy time and deeds are parts of the process, grains of sand that tumble from the top of life’s upturned hourglass to the bottom. An hourglass is a closed canister that smoke cannot penetrate. Good Guys do good things, the right things, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. They inexorably advance in life’s right direction, which leads to better places.
Good Guys do not need a camera or audience to espouse their greatness. They just do things; they make things happen, like those of various faiths who banded together in Victoria, Texas to raise more than a million dollars to rebuild the small town’s burnt-down mosque.
Hopefully the future Good Guy army will grow. Future Good Guys will be those who examine their lives and realize that if life is a series of daily frustrations, perhaps the head and heart are misaligned. Alignment comes from within, not by some special delivery parachute someone who promises to drop one. Align the head and heart and frustration is diminished.
Future Good Guys will turn off their habitual “news” sources and invest that time getting back in touch with their heads and hearts. They will confront and balance the two things they must, their moral compass and psychological trepidations.
Until we are happy with who we are, we’ll never be happy with what we have. Alignment simplifies life, making it far easier to navigate than grinding through misaligned.
The current president is, by nature and style, a misaligner. He should not be condemned as a sinner for being so. He is simply a salesman who only knows one way to sell: create the greatest possible customer dissatisfaction and promise to fix it.
This sales approach is as old as cavemen and wheel peddlers and typical of the win/lose selling styles common to the president’s generation. There are two ways to sell something, sharing a pitch that life will be better or trust me to help you avoid something bad happening. The former president sold the first. The current president sells the latter. The next president will sell positive change. It’s the tick-tock clock of how leadership and messages change.
Fortunately, because no one likes a bully except the bully’s mirror, mushrooming numbers of Good Guy parents will raise their children to show respect for all. Still more will actively engage as powerful positive forces in the lives of others as coach, mentor, confidant, friend, and community leader.
Each of us can be a Good Guy and should be a Good Guy. And as inconvenient as it is sometimes to step outside the invisible barriers of our behavioral norm, I cannot think of a better time to be one.
Be a Good Guy. I will try.
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