“A man’s character is his fate,” –Heraclitus
Let’s admit it to ourselves- President Obama’s era brought us improved peace and prosperity. We trusted his cabinet, we trusted his advisors, and we trusted him to make reasonable decisions, if not always the perfect ones. In the era of Pres. Obama there were no sex scandals. There were no illegal arms trading. No one’s political offices were ransacked for sensitive strategic information. There was also decent homeland security, save for the god awful violence Americans perpetrate against each other.
During Pres. Obama’s era I never once had to explain away something outrageous or embarrassing reported in the nightly news about our president to my kids. Why? Because as Heraclitus said over two thousand years ago, a man’s character is his fate, and Pres. Obama is a man of outstanding character. His fate was to create eight years of earnest effort in the face of daunting odds. He wasn’t perfect, yet things got better.
Fast forward to the Trump era, and we are about to see what the other side of that wisdom means. What will a man with a character of chaos, drama, and private violence do with the responsibility of the top most level of power? How will his character determine his decisions, his instincts, and his belief? What is this man’s fate?
More importantly than what Trump’s fate could be is what ours will be. What is our character and how will that determine our fate? Though Americans are as diverse of a population of citizens as can be, there are universal qualities in humanity that are good and that we must embody as a majority.
There are community engagement activities like volunteerism that embody good character. But in these times, more action is required.
Individually, those who are natural leaders, conscientious, and curious must consider running for office, or canvas for the campaign of a good candidate. Running for school boards or city councils is a great place to start. Campaigning for state seats is another. At every level, the power and authority of talented leadership is of value.
Activist Americans must organize peacefully time and again, resisting the misuse of executive power. They must use social media as a tool to raise awareness. They must encourage their friends to be better citizens and make showing up for democracy something cool and joyful.
The character of our people will be our fate, and with positive action and commitment to justice, this could be a good thing.