The Resiliency of America, Part 3:
A Glimpse at The Core Genius of America
Everybody wins. Some more than others, a few the most. Several before the rest. Everybody wins. But you have to know how to play the game. And that presupposes that you know just what the game is.
At the heart of every decision is me, the self. A decision is made by me, for me, or at least about me, but certainly by me. Me could consider what others said, or did, or what me saw or thinks or heard or even believes. Regardless, me is deeply involved in the decision. And this essentialness of me is protected in law if not also in culture or philosophy or in acceptable cognitive norms of behavior. Me is the measure of all things, and that idea is found deep in the roots of America, which, if one were in love with trivialities that have grandiose implications, includes the very word, me.
So, in America, me makes the reality, me makes the game. Me considers others – their writings, words, ideas, beliefs. But me decides on the game. It may not be considered a game with rules, and pieces, and objectives, and points. But it can be. If me wants it that way. And me decides how to win the game. Again, me decides based on writings, words, ideas, beliefs of others, but me decides. No one else. Me decides. America encourages that. Protects that. Establishes that. And all the institutions, churches, groups, so-called communities, disciplines, et cetera, make sure that me can make and play me’s own game.
And, so, me needs to be free, to decide what me wants, when and how and, yes, even why. If me is completely unhindered to decide, then me cannot blame someone else. A big source of friction is removed in society. And me is more predictable, more controllable.
All the more so if me makes the game with its rules, and if me decides who wins or loses. So me can be the great writer, or prophet, or savvy businessman, or politician, or savior, or devil, or loser, or victim, or martyr, or saint, or somebody, or nobody, or cool, or not, and so on and so forth.
The game is the game. But, is it the big game?
The big game
And so this me and all the others get to live together, in the same society or perhaps more properly, under the same political regime on the same spit of ground. It’s a great calling card for America. It appeals to something deep in me and inside of every other me on earth. It is irresistible because ultimately it…is…all…about…me.
Yet there is this haunting. Is the game for this me, the big game? What is the big game?
Everyone is distracted by their own game such that they lose sight of the bigger one, the biggest one, the real one.
That game is this: to die with the most money, or, more accurately, make and enjoy the most during this life. Nothing else is serious, everything else is just fun. Money determines value of all things and is the highway to success. Politics, religion, literature, sports, entertainment, and so on and so forth are just for fun, unless or until they interfere with or offer the possibility of, increasing riches, money, wealth. Then they become important in a fleeting sort of way…until the problem is cured or the benefit secured. This is the essence of the big game.
Not everybody knows it, but those who do know, know those others who do. It’s in their positive “can do” attitude, a cheerfulness, silliness towards all things (except making money), a lack of brooding, a lack of anxiety, a getting along with everyone even when things turn to crap. It is the stiff upper lip or the sardonic visage in times of trouble with a hint of a grin in better. It’s in a look, a gesture, a sense. Recognition comes quick.
When me is allowed to make or play a game of me’s making, then the big game kicks in because even those appetites of the mes who play games of their own making offer the possibility of making money, of tapping a market. The many games made by millions of mes create not only distraction, but also markets, or opportunities. But these millions of games are not the big game.
But the biggest markets, the biggest opportunities, are with those who know and play the big game. The biggest markets and the biggest opportunities are with those who know how to make real money and be with those who know how to make real money, or succeed in their chosen field if that translates to serious money, serious money making. That’s the big time. Hang around winners, be a winner. Hang around money, get money. The big game is making money. Lots of it.
The big game is THE game.
A word about success and winners. And happiness.
Winners succeed. What is success? Using your talents and pursuing your passions to advance the interests, or for the benefit of, the powerful (that is, the rich) so as to advance socially, economically, culturally, professionally, politically, or in some combination of these. One of those interests, and one of those things that benefits the powerful (that is, the rich), is to keep alive the belief, the system, the processes, that allow everybody to be a winner. Let everybody think that in America they can be whatever they want. Yes, Johnny or Susie, you too can be President of the United States. Or something or other like that.
And, there is a lot of truth in that. In America, you are free to pursue your passions and interests. But that may not give you success nor may it make you a winner in terms of the big game.
In America, you can move up in social and economic and power circles. That’s winning, that’s success. The key is to know your passions and talents and personality to harness all of these things to move up socially, economically. And be willing to jettison that what keeps you from moving up whether that be a religion or a belief or a habit or a spouse or a job or whatever.
Losers don’t succeed, at least not like winners. Losers don’t know the big game – they don’t know any game. They think there are no games. Losers think something is something when it is something else. Maybe that’s their game – to be deluded and to lose as a result of their delusion and so win by losing. Losers are known for sure by two things: their sincerity and their seriousness. They really believe x, y, z for there own sake even if these are fictions, principles, or even the ideology used to create America.
Happiness is the appropriate satisfaction of the needs and wants of me. That may come with success, as defined above, or winning your own game – whatever that game is because after all, me makes the game. But, me’s game may not be the game needed for success. Me might win, but not succeed. Or me might lose, and be a big success. Or me could just be a loser and never really understand the game – the big one or me’s own.
This leads us to something more profound in its recognition. America’s foundational principle is that there are no principles. Practicality is the principle. Whatever works is the principle.
Whatever works is based on, and emphasizes, a correct understanding of at least some important aspect of human nature. Using these one or two things that are so natural to build loyalty to America.
Part of the reality of human nature is that everybody determines their own course, or at least wants to believe that. Me is important. Always has been. America knows that and builds on that. Inflates it. Enshrines it. Makes it a moral imperative. And in doing so validates me with all of the games and rules and scenarios me can make. Is the plethora of computer games any surprise?
Yet another example of America’s resiliency – the ability to take an important aspect of human nature and use this to draw people into, and keep people in, the greatest experiment of all time.