Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The power of 2 minutes

I just finished watching the news, an activity that I really just don't do all that often. Both the boys were exhausted tonight, and after getting Noah into bed before 7:00, I came down and sat on the sofa with Blake. I knew what was coming, and after we sat and watched Mister Maker for about 3 minutes, his eyelids started fluttering, and he was soon asleep. We have had a battling few days, and I just decided that it was worth everyone's sanity to just let him fall asleep, nice and early, without the hassle of forcing a bath, teeth brushing, pyjamas, and a story.   I carried him up to bed at around 7:20. 

That was why, at a few minutes before 8:00 pm, I found myself with the tv on, a glass of red wine beside me, doing a bit of multi-tasking with the computer on and attempting to catch up on what has been happening in the world beyond the walls of our house and the short walk to and from the nursery.

The two clips I saw moved me first to tears, and then laughter, and made me shake my head in wonder at the crazy world of politics.  The first clip showed a bit of Diane Sawyer's recent interview with Gabrielle Giffords, who amazingly is recovering from the horrific shooting earlier in the year.  Seeing the homemade videos of her working with her speech therapist, I was moved to tears at what an amazing story her survival and path to recovery is and has been.  I only hope she is able to get back to her full physical and mental states.

The next, also political story, but completely on the other end of the inspirational spectrum, made me cringe - it was just so bad!  Yes, I'm talking about what has been tagged on Twitter as #cainwreck: Herman Cain's response when questioned on his opinion of Obama's handling of the Libya situation.  UK readers can see what I'm talking about here.  This is a man who aspires to be the President of the United States, arguably the most powerful person in the world!  I mean, I know how he feels - I couldn't intelligently sum up what my thoughts around Obama's handling of Libya are either (nor could I probably locate Libya on a map), but I'm not trying to convince 150 million people that I should be their leader!  I did like the way he - eventually - got around to saying that he was just "twirling some thoughts around" in his head, but man, that was just absolute insanity in terms of an interview or public speaking disaster. 

It did get me thinking, though, about what can happen when we're put on the spot and have to produce some intelligible thoughts or arguments when asked our opinion.  Fortunately for most of us, any failings that are uncovered are unlikely to go viral and be viewed by millions of people.  But maybe it's an exercise in learning: if someone asked me my opinion on a current political situation, what answer could I give, right now?  What answer would I like to give?  Where do I need to go or what do I need to learn to bridge that gap?  It's certainly a bit more difficult than being asked what size nappies your son wears, but worth exploring. 

As for my political opinion, I hope Gabrielle Giffords someday gets to the White House. She seems a much more inspirational option than some of the others at the moment.

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