Monday, October 20, 2008

The Vision Thing

If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.
- Chef Gusteau, "Ratatouille"

One of the main tenets of The Secret is that in order to attract what you want in life, you must do two things: have a clear vision of what you want to have happen, and make it vivid emotionally so you are passionate about it coming into your life.

The passion is critical, for without it, you simply have wishful thinking.

The Law of Attraction can be used for good or ill, however, just like the dark side of the Force in the Star Wars movies.

These days, we are beset by enemies who are patient in their hatred of our freedoms and Western Civilization in general. Not only radical Islamofascists, but Marxist revolutionaries like William Ayers who are determined to overthrow -- or undermine -- this country, following the methods prescribed by Saul Alinsky.

Saul Alinsky and his disciples preach an anti-gospel of sorts, that focuses on the negative to get people emotionally involved in "change". From Frontpage Magazine:
Alinsky laid out a set of basic principles to guide the actions and decisions of radical organizers and the People’s Organizations they established. The organizer, he said, “must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act.”[40] The organizer’s function, he added, was “to agitate to the point of conflict”[41] and “to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’”[42] “The word ‘enemy,’” said Alinsky, “is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people”;[43] i.e., to convince members of the community that he is so eager to advocate on their behalf, that he has willingly opened himself up to condemnation and derision.

But it is not enough for the organizer to be in solidarity with the people. He must also, said Alinsky, cultivate unity against a clearly identifiable enemy; he must specifically name this foe, and “singl[e] out”[44] precisely who is to blame for the “particular evil” that is the source of the people’s angst.[45] In other words, there must be a face associated with the people’s discontent. That face, Alinsky taught, “must be a personification, not something general and abstract like a corporation or City Hall.”[46] Rather, it should be an individual such as a CEO, a mayor, or a president.

Alinsky summarized it this way: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it…. [T]here is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks.”[47] He held that the organizer’s task was to cultivate in people’s hearts a negative, visceral emotional response to the face of the enemy. “The organizer who forgets the significance of personal identification,” said Alinsky, “will attempt to answer all objections on the basis of logic and merit. With few exceptions this is a futile procedure.”[48] [Ed: emphasis added]
Are we in danger of losing our cherished way of life to those who are more passionate about their nihilism than we are about creating a brighter future, building on our many strengths as a nation?

If so, then part of the problem is what we're focusing on and putting our energies into, courtesy of the "if it bleeds it leads" mainstream media. We are focused on our past and our pain, not our future aspirations. Just where the radicals want us.

What we believe about the world around us shapes our actions and behaviors. We limit the options we're willing to consider, the possible futures we can conceive. And our basic attitude of optimism or pessimism further influences how we think the game of life will unfold, for better or for worse.

I think part of the left's antipathy toward Governor Palin is due to her optimism and glad heart. As Beldar noted, "Sarah Palin's campaigning is infused with contagious joy":

I'm watching Sarah Palin address a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, live on Fox News, and I can't recall ever seeing a GOP rally like this. The crowd is genuinely pumped, which is rare enough. But what's particularly amazing is watching and listening to Gov. Palin. I can't recall ever seeing a politician who so clearly relishes campaigning. She's animated and enthused. I know she's speaking from a teleprompter, and she's probably delivered large chunks of this same speech before many times, but she's tuned in on every line.

She is simply infused with joy. And it flows off the stage, and it's picked up quite powerfully by the TV cameras.
I propose that it's time for us to help our elected officials define the world we want to live in, locally, state-wide, nationally, and globally. The challenge is to define Utopia in positive terms, not as an absence or negative of something. It's not about "hope" or "change". It's about a crystal clear vision of that shining city on the hill.

However, it's hard to remember you came to drain the swamp when you're fighting the alligators.

For example, say there are pot-holes on your street. If you're like most people, you'd probably complain about them to your family, and commiserate with your neighbor when he pays for an alignment after hitting one with his car. If you're moderately ambitious, you might even call up City Hall and complain to the surly civil servant on the other end of the phone. You focus a lot of energy on the fact of the potholes, and are exquisitely sensitive to how quickly they seem to multiply.

Rather than focus on the pot-holes, imagine your street with new asphalt, clean sidewalks, happy children playing in the yards, friendly neighbors, and a spirit of optimism bathing the neighborhood. Talk to your family, neighbors, and friends about how you'd like the world to be. Take action as the opportunities arise, staying focused on the goal.

Count your blessings, and nurture the seedlings of what's good in your life. You may be surprised at the results!