I wonder why all my jokes always turn into serious conversations.
I was joking around with my brothers the other day about a need for “president school” . In theory, it would be a school that prepared presidential candidates for the presidency. Every candidate would have to go through it to be able to accept their party’s nomination. Implications aside, it was a pretty funny conversation. Ideas of course topics stretched from diplomacy to family management. I could imagine it now….. presidential readiness certificate. We laughed about the prospect for a while but inherent in the conversation was where the knowledge to become president comes from. How do you gauge someone as a qualified candidate?
The presidency is a very complex place to start this conversation from. We shifted our focus from being the president to things that you can only learn how to do by doing or being. My brother started off with the most simple question. He asked me how I learned how to be an effective brother. I learned how to be a good brother by watching other brother relationships. I watched how my father interacted with my uncles and aunts, how my cousin’s interacted with their siblings, and watched how my friends interacted with their brothers and sisters. Secondly, I was in the place to be a brother for a long enough time that I learned what works and what doesn’t. The same goes for a father, mother, sister and brother. We learn from others but most of it is a work in progress. You can never really teach people how to be effective at something. You can only teach certain skills that will help people in these situations learn as fast as possible.
So if I’m picking a list of presidential list of guidelines that I have to draw from every candidate to decide whether they are capable or not:
(Note: These guidelines not exhaustive and don’t bear much weight independent of the list.)
- Previous experience in executive roles. Yes the presidency is unique in its challenges but the idea of being in command and responsible for an organization larger than yourself is a skill set that can only be taught by being in a role where it was required. Anything from being a general, governor, representative, senator, CEO, diplomat, or a mayor of a large city is valid. Generally, any where that required you to answer to a large group of people.
- Steep Learning Curve. A candidate must possess the ability to understand large amounts of information in a short amount of time and apply it to current problems. Presidents will face challenges for which they know nothing about. While its understood that you can’t know everything about everything, you have to make decisions like you do. (most of the time will you have the help of experts and others but it comes down to the president)
- Empathy and understanding. As president, you are required to manage relationships on multiple levels. (state to state, people to government, etc.) I’d like to know that you can manage these relationships effectively which will probably increase the success of your presidency. Some may say that looking into a presidential candidates life is out-of-bounds but it is important to see how they managed relationships.
- Approach life as a life long student. My uncle always use to tell me , ” A wise man thinks himself as a fool while a fool thinks himself a wise man.” Continue to learn and approach the presidency as a student on a scholarship that requires a 4.0 and your grades are checked daily. This is an outlook on life that you can tell whether someone has or not just by listening to them talk.
Okay, obviously I left some things out. Also, it is often difficult to display some of these things during a presidential election because the electorate may look at some of these qualities as weak, but if these are characteristics that every president should have.
Decided to change up the theme for my wordpress. I like the minimalist feel. Enjoy!
I own an Iphone that was given to me as a gift and I prefer to use Mac os when the dual-boot option came up in my computer labs back at school. I like the designs and the creative advertisements that Apple effectively uses to gain users. I am the first person to jump up in excitement when a picture of a soon to be released apple product is leaked. Even with all my enthusiasm and fanboyish ways, I will never spend my money on an Apple product. I want to bring up one of Apples first commercials: 1984
So a quick reading of this commercial…. Apple is the woman with the war hammer and she is taking down “The Man” . Granted, this commercial was in 1985 and companies change overtime, but Apple has assumed the role of the man in every form. Apple handles its software and hardware. Even when they allow other parties to sit at the table, they are extremely restrictive. I think back to constant battles developers have had with apple over many of their apps in the app store. I’m sure you must have certain standards but Apple went over and beyond with many of their restrictions. This normally happens to underdogs in markets. They become top dog and forget where they came from and what they stood for.
So, if you haven’t guessed it, I’m a Linux user. Linux is who is fighting the man now. For that reason, I will never be #teamapple
During my morning run, I randomly started thinking about the ability of comedians to make people laugh about serious issues. The first person that came to my mind was Chris Rock. He talks about really serious stuff. Here is a clip of one of my favorite stand-up specials Never scared:
In this clip, Chris Rock is talking about a serious issue concerning the over medication of Americans and people are laughing about it. Politicians look for ways to get their electorate to be concerned about issues and the best way is right under their noses; laughter.
People like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have used comedy to bring up political and social issues as well. The Daily Show and the Colbert Report both discuss the days news with a comedic twist. For me, the comedy along with the news allows me to think of the subject in a way that would have never thought about. I would say that comedy definitely does something and has a role in how many people perceive issues.
When I get a chance, I would love to look deeper into the role of comedy and its role in social and political issues. Is it a recent development or has comedy always been an outlet for serious issues. I remember my psychology roommate said that we joke around with the things that we are most afraid of. Maybe that has something to do with it. Thinking back to history classes, I remember a discussion we had about jesters and the role they played in voicing concerns of the kingdom to kings in a monarchy. Wow!! It looks like I have a starting point.
I’ve even thought as far as to come up with a name…”The fifth estate”. The name was rooted in the plan of our forefathers for the branches of government. The first, second and third estate became the executive, legislative and judicial branch. The fourth estate was the press.( iffy…a discussion for a future blog post) So, by naming it the fifth estate, it signifies the role of comedy in politics.
I hope this is one of my many ideas that actually happens. I think it would good for people to realize comedians help educate citizens.
Probably one of the most over-used quotes to justify making good out of the difficult situations you encounter….. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I’ve increasingly heard this used for many things that it may or may not apply to.There are a lot of subtle themes in this quote that we fail to realize when we try to apply it to situations. I’m going to bring up three and attempt to unpack them.
1. We are not in control of what life gives us.
Following the metaphor, life will give you all types of fruits, some of them will be sweet, some of them will be bitter or sour. We do not decide what life hands us. I agree to a certain point, we cannot control what life throws at us to a certain limit. I think that we can put ourselves in situations where we are more likely to receive what we want instead of what life gives.
2. Lemons are inherently bad.
Lemons are bad enough that we would want to make them into something else…Lemonade. While lemonade is good, it takes away from us experiencing the lemon for what it is. Experiences which are thought to be lemons need to be examined as for what it is. I’m all for making good out of what life gives you but it is also important to relish in the bad so you can learn from it.
3. Life may give us lemons, but it is ultimately up to the person to decide what to make of it.
Life can throw different things at you, but it is up to you to figure out how to respond to it.
I thought of a tweak to the quote: ” When life hands you lemons, grab life by the balls and demand apples.” I wonder what that says?