The Financial Times, one of the most conservative and well-regarded newspapers in the world, has this comprehensive report on how badly the Trump administration has handled the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, the article is free to read – not at all hamstrung by FT’s paywall. One paragraph that shocked me thoroughly: “South Korea, which has a population density nearly 15 times greater and is next door to China, has lost a total of 259 lives to the disease. There have been days when America has lost 10 times that number. The US death toll is now approaching 90,000.”
One could argue that the paper is using its piece as clickbait, but that perspective only holds true if you are so infected with the Trump virus that you no longer can see, hear or think about stuff like this coherently. Which, I am afraid, is the case with many, many people. Herd mentality can be extremely dangerous. It eventually encourages you to stop thinking independently and seeking only truths and sources that reinforce the herds’ unified perspectives, ideals, and code of conduct.
Here’s some solid advice worth sharing from yet another respected source, Colin Powell.
“The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.
Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening with, others you invest it.
Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends.
Yes…do love, appreciate, and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first
and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above.
Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them. If you are going to achieve excellence in big things you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
― Colin Powell
Cool factoid about Mr. Powell: he renovates old Volvos and Saabs in his spare time.