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Chatterbox: A date with weight


Today I nearly missed a great date; not a people/person date … a date on the calendar, with numbers.

Today is Sunday, 02, 02, 2020, a full palindrome. It remains the same whether we put the month or the day first while using the whole number for the year. This hasn’t happened since 11-11-1111 and will only happen once more (12-12-2121) until 03-03-3030. Today was also Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday. If it was your birthday too, hoorah! If you turned 2 or 20, double hoorah! Abbreviated fun dates like 12-12-12 are interesting too, but they’re not palindromes and are less rare.

When we think about 2020 in our history though, most Americans are focused on our upcoming presidential election, and people around the world are watching. Some Americans believe they know how it will turn out; others are simply hopeful.

No one can absolutely predict the outcome of the election or, at least, we hope not. Still, one thing is for sure: Whatever it is, we will all carry on. Whatever happens will become history and, as always, all the people will live with the outcome. An election result that benefits most Americans best is always best, but what benefits the few is also possible.

Any outcome will leave some of us deflated, or confused and annoyed, but after our initial disappointment, we’ll move forward and upward. People are resilient, but most of us are also patient, diligent, optimistic, proactive and determined, albeit in our own way.

Most of us also have great respect for the people who serve. They have the courage, intellect, knowledge, tenacity and level of dedication to put themselves in the public eye, and into the furnace of the public fracas. Though most of us participate in some way, those in the public eye really have personal chips in the game. They invest much in terms of time and risk, and much in terms of being faced with public disgruntlement. Even their privacy and family are compromised, but they work on.

Regardless of which side we support personally, though, we can agree that it takes a lot for any of us to stand up and defend our beliefs. We can acknowledge that what we believe is, sometimes, only that which we have chosen to believe, and it does seem to fly in the face of all common sense as well as defy and deny all that’s evident. What we can’t do, however, is remold history to support our argument. There isn’t a way to convince ourselves that we haven’t ignored the evidence, ignored the facts or redefined, misused, or misquoted the truth so that it will suit us, our beliefs, or our stand. We just get comfortable with it, or give it less importance.

Chatterbox inaccurately quoted Mark Twain recently. “No amount of evidence will change the opinion of an idiot,” has been found to be inaccurate, but the source of it, the correct quote, is far too long to fit on a coffee mug. Also, we can take issue with the word “idiot” as it’s offensive and implicates everyone. I had hoped it meant that only an idiot would ignore evidence but, really, many people will be tempted to do so when trying to sell their cause.

This upcoming election, its endless discourse, its resulting impact on our nation’s condition, our people’s livelihoods and lives, and our position in the global arena, will all be affected greatly if only because the two sides are too divided for the outcome not to be highly polarized. We can be sure of something else, because history supports it: however long it takes and whatever hardships it brings, Americans will, if nothing else, make the most of the time, and will, as always, manage the conditions so that they become a lesson, good or bad.

Whether we see that lesson and its impact upon us as trials, delays, and setbacks, or as a bright horizon with positive changes, depends on which side we’re on. Everything will be affected for better or worse by our personal position, that’s for sure, but we will all manage. It’s just what we do. We have no choice. We carry on.

Evidence and history do both prove, undeniably, that humans are indomitable, doing our best even through the worst. With every day and every change in the norm, we rise to all challenges. Whatever 2020 brings us, we’ll be no different. We’ll always take our lemons and make lemonade.