Monday, June 15, 2009

Saddened by the need for every day

I run every day. As of this writing, I've been running for 280 days continuously, at least a mile every day, running above 5mph. Having that level of commitment, that drive to tackle something every day, even those days when you don't feel up for it, has taught me something. It's made me realize that this is an obsession, but also that it remains on my mind all the time.

It's a part of my day, and I am ready to rearrange things in my life to accommodate it. It hasn't been a huge impact, but it's there, and it dictates some of what I will and won't do. And it takes priority at times.

Today I got my Monday newsletter from the Libertarian party. The theme of the note was that there is no campaign season, and that a politician needs to think about fundraising every day. They can't take a day off, and they gave an example of that. They called for donations, saying that they can't afford to not raise funds all the time.

I'm also on the Obama list, and I also got a call from the Dems that they needed money as well. I must have been dropped from McCain's list since I haven't seen a GOP mailing in some time.

It's sad to think that fund raising is such an important part of US politics. It's a good reason why we should perhaps have some basic requirements for office and then limit the funds that can be spent by candidates, along with ensuring that there is some level of equal media access. I have not idea how to do that, but I'd like to think there's way.

I have hope that there are people out there that really want to make the world better without needing to personally profit themselves.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Passive Influence

I study karate on a regular basis, and over the years I've practiced a number of different martial arts, most of them in fairly strict in the traditions and routines of student behavior. When I started this new school with me son, it was a lot less strict. That was OK with me, I'm older, and it was a new business with a fellow IT worker leaving his job to pursue his dream of a martial arts school.

Old habits die hard, and I was used to bowing before I moved, before/after kata, and at other times, without exception. Most people in the school only bowed when asked (begining or the end of class, when the teacher mentioned it at the start of kata, before partner drills, etc.) However I bowed every time before I moved to change position, line up, keeping with the routine that had been drilled into me at many places.

After about a year, most people were doing the same thing. Our teacher had noticed, and actually called it out one day. I hadn’t really noticed the others since it wasn't something I cared about. I study for myself, and I've tried to pass that belief on to my son. Our instructor did say that I set an example, and he appreciated that.

By living the way I thought was proper, I’d influenced people. I'm not sure what I take from that, but it did make me realize that our actions change change lives, even passively.