Yesterday I began a review of my performance during the year about to conclude. I always approach this process with relentless skeptical empiricism and borrow heavily from the tactics employed by the late Admiral Hyman Rickover, ruthlessly and painfully interviewing hapless candidates for his nuclear navy. Well, not quite to that extent. More like Hannity interviewing Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley or Wayne LaPierre. Nevertheless, I fully subscribe to the great American fantasy of incremental change leading to transformational self-improvement.

As a retiree and single empty-nester I have neither gainful employment nor a complex committed human relationship to evaluate. I think my lady lab, Brighton, likes having me around. I am, however, a consistent contributor to this excellent publication’s letter and commentary section. This is my work product, if you will, and I decided to start and finish there.

After thoroughly reviewing and parsing every line of thoughtful analysis and heartfelt exhortations included in my missives, I have concluded that in addition to the brilliant insights, aspirational sentiments and common sense, rock-ribbed American values I routinely deliver to my legion of avid readers, I have discovered what many of my employee performance reviews identified as “opportunities for improvement” should I continue on as the conscience of a generation. Attention must be paid.

Many of the transactional and single issue contributors to the Coronado Eagle & Journal and all of the obsessively long winded, crusading, existentially focused deep thinking players (myself included sadly) share two prominent tendencies: virtue signaling and a relative of mansplaining that I have dubbed geezersplaining, wherein elderly self-important men graciously volunteer to educate the rest of us by addressing critical problems of the day and offering brilliant solutions founded on years of experience, bloated self-assurance and lives no more successful than those of their neighbors. Together virtue signaling and geezersplianing, delivered with the noblesse oblige of Louis Quatorze, provide the splainers with the feelings of moral and intellectual superiority that they crave.

We inhabit a tiny orb, a grain of sand compared to our solar system which is a speck of dust in our galaxy which is one of billions in our universe. We truly know almost nothing and control less than that. Yet we worry, plot, attack, demonize, analyze, sermonize, obsess, organize, down size, exercise, exorcise, categorize and ostracize. I suppose this must involve a Darwinian survival dynamic or just too much time on our hands. No mas!

Immediate resolutions I intend to keep, not recommendations for others:

Much more: humility, meditation, deep breathing, long walks, hopefulness, acceptance and really good wine

Much less if any: virtue signaling, geezersplaining, political obsessing, negative thinking, cable news, judging. fixing and mediocre wine.

I will check in this time next year and hope you prosper and decompress. Remember all of this is just a ride. Enjoy it. It’s short.

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