Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Tag: success

The other day, amusingly obscene penmonkey Chuck Wendig posted a prompt about Terrible Minds nicknames to Google+. His note at the time was that one’s first name was the object immediately to one’s right, while one’s surname was one’s greatest fear.

Which is where the title of this post comes from, as mine was Remote Control Mediocrity.

Because it got me thinking about success and how we define it. Years ago, I thought six-figure (or any-figure) book contracts were required for validation, because I thought for sure that if one wrote a “good enough” book–meaning a book that is technically competent in all ways–one could get an agent and attract a corporate publisher like Random House.

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Truthfully, I’m rather surprised I don’t have much to say about the Obama/Clinton debate last night (I almost reversed those names, than backspaced over it. That’s probably telling. Though of what, I am unsure). I didn’t watch it (my headache prevented much in the way of coherence on my end), but I read most of it, and it seems like Hillary took an offensive strategy, spending most of the evening trying to create doubt in Obama.

Obama’s is, arguably, the position to be in, though that’s not to say that it’s easier. As someone who’s been in a rather enviable position and who has been repeatedly and personally attacked by people jockeying for that position, or better, I admire Obama’s reticence and restraint. It’s something I know I have to learn; I find it extraordinarily difficult to accept some of the slings and arrows that come with outrageous fortune, or sometimes to remain quiet. It’s not merely that success can breed contempt, but also that success is so very often so rarely something one believes one deserves.

Because, of course, success is not external. Success really comes from within, and has no direct correlation to anything either material or acquired; the most successful people in terms of business and wealth can also be the least successful in terms of life.

The more I learn of Obama, the more I feel I like him as a person, which is completely strange considering I’ve never seen the man. The more I see him speak, the more I see that smile, the more certain I become that I want to vote for him. The more I think he’d be good not just for our country but also for the world.

I think Edwards has a similar quality, to some degree, but without the same characteristic ease with which Obama carries it off. Edwards seemed to have to try, which is, I think, why he performed poorly; he was often fighting to gain ground, and sometimes it’s better to just be happy with the ground you’ve got and allow it to grow. Obama seems very happy with the plot of land he’s got, and I think people are realizing, more and more, just how large that plot is, because the deeper one goes, the more lush it appears. And I think I’ve extended that metaphor about as far as it can go, so I’ll leave it.

I think, last night, it became obvious that neither candidate would select the other as VP; the longer this process extends, the more I become certain that an Obama/Clinton ticket is simply completely out of the question.

But Obama/Edwards?

Yes we can.