The Politics of What, Me Worry?

So friends on different sides of the political divide in America are up in arms about the Massachusetts Senate results. Democrats are devastated; Republicans triumphant. And me? I think Alfred E. Neuman had the right idea about politics with his famous phrase "What, Me Worry?"

Seriously. If you take politics so personally that you risk a heart attack depending upon each change in the political winds, that says more about your priorities in life than which way the wind blows.

This doesn't mean politics isn't important. Hell, most human endeavors are important in one way or another, and at the extremes deal with many life and death issues. This also doesn't mean you shouldn't inform yourself about the political choices out there, or take a stand. But to internalize politics like so many people do isn't good for anyone.

For example, consider police officers, who in my opinion have one of the toughest jobs around. They continually work with people who are either in rough emotional straights, want to hurt them, or don't want them around. A good percentage of the criminals they arrest are quickly released for different reasons, and their ability to help those in desperate need is rather limited. So how do most police officers avoid going crazy? The wise ones know not to take things personally. They focus on going home safe and sound at the end of the day, and remembering what is important. Life. Family. Friends. Community.

And here's the special trick to that: By focusing on these areas of life where you can truly make a difference, over the long term you will create more change in the world than all the political ranters and screamers combined.

So the next time someone starts going off about politics, remember: Any idiot can talk about politics--and they often do! Any idiot can get upset about politics--and they often do!

Don't be an idiot.