“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” – Aeschylus
Have you ever woken up after a night of drinking and thought, “I really don’t want to get up right now… but I simply have got to use the bathroom… I really want to go back to sleep, and I’m afraid if I get up it will be the start of my day… maybe I’ll feel better in another 10 minutes… God, I sure wish I didn’t need to go pee…”? I don’t know about you, but I have felt that way before – resistant to get out of bed and use the bathroom, the hard day ahead looming, the desire to sleep a little longer trying in vain to overtake my body’s need to urinate. And that’s the impression I have of Us, as I begin to open my eyes, shake off the fog of our previous night, and look around the room…
Yeah it’s true, I feel like a man who drank way too much until way too late, then stayed up after I got home watching God knows what until who knows when, and now it is 6am and I got to pee like its tomorrow. Like Forrest Gump I tell ya America, We got’s to go pee. But We can’t wake up… Our Body knows it should… We need to… but We drank too much wine until way too late into the dark hours… and the day ahead seems so hard.
There it is America, that’s how I feel about you…about Us… there, I said it. My fellow Americans I implore you, as hard as we are all working these days, as dire as our situation is, as bankrupt as we have become, see that it is time to wake up. Realize that it is time to respond to the pressure our Body is experiencing, get off our asses, and release the toxins that are polluting us. Urination, the removal of waste – maybe it’s the Lean/Six Sigma practitioner in me, but yes America, that’s what we need. We have got to take a leak, leave the contaminants of past decisions behind, and then re-hydrate with something healthier for us.
I’m not sure where this road, this Lean/Six Sigma political project into America will leave me, will leave Us… I’m guessing that we’ll just sleep until well after noon and then wake up in a puddle, and this is what motivates me to write. Perhaps God has called me to be our alarm clock. At times I begin to realize that one man can’t make a difference… but then I think, well, I’m not sure of that. Who knows? Then I call out to God, at the top of my thought, and pray:
“Dear God, if you’re out there and you can hear me, please know that you still got one man, right here and now… yeah me, over here in the back row, the one waving here… (oh good he saw me)… yeah, what? No, no question, no… sorry, just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss role… you know, if you’re counting to see which ones of us see the crap around us and long for something better for our children. Sorry about the distraction all, didn’t mean to make a fuss – you know, new guy and all… but God, I just had to make sure that You knew you still had one of us out here who still cares… who is still longing to create a more perfect union… still desiring to find the best way for your country to work.”
Sometimes the thought that I am alone starts to bring me down, but then I realize that there is a whole bunch of us out there… out here. Yes, I still believe We are good (or still good, depending on where you are in life). As for me, I think that We are just lost…we need to open our eyes and look around for a second. Sometimes that’s hard, particularly when you don’t like what you see. Me personally, I like to sleep. I justify my naps with things like, “well, it was a hard day yesterday,” or “you know, those redeye flights really throw your timing off,” but the simple truth is that I like naps, I like sleep, and I like ignoring politics.
So here’s the deal America: If things have gotten so bad around here that I opened my eyes to look into it? Well, then you know that it’s time to get up. I have the distinct impression that, if we don’t wake up now, we will wake up in a pool of our own piss. Or maybe… maybe you all woke up before me, saw that the mattress was stained yellow, and then decided that it’s no use anymore, so we might as well just sleep on it… I don’t know, you tell me? Have we decided to bequeath our children a yellow mattress, or are there Americans out there with the strength to stand?
“I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.” – Alexander Woollcott