Cultivating Positive Relationships Empowerment Techniques Opinion

What do a dumb pet owner and Trump have in common?

Recently, I came unglued when I found a small dog locked inside a car with all the windows up. While the dog seemed fine, I couldn’t fathom who would be stupid enough to do this in hot weather. When the owner appeared, I berated her for her stupidity and committed to calling the cops if there’s a repeat episode. After getting back in my car, I muttered to myself, “This stupid woman must be a relative of Trump’s.”

It’s a sad day for this country when we start comparing any act of stupidity to our president.

But, that’s the state of affairs for a large swath of the American public. Of course, to be fair, Hillary is practicing her own brand of stupidity by lashing out and blaming everyone she can find for her defeat.

It’s little wonder that anxiety and anger are more palpable than ever in both public and private settings. If the founding fathers were alive today, I’m guessing most would either be on heavy doses of Xanax or in jail for vehemently protesting that the country’s leadership has come to this!

Capitalizing on a theme near and dear to my heart, I keep exhorting people to find solace, support, and strength in “We, Our People.” Our people are our communities—family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, social media network—potentially anyone and everyone with whom we can establish a one-on-one relationship.

This seems to be a natural choice when a major catastrophe or adverse event occurs. During the Great Depression, many people survived by banding together and helping each other when and where needed. After 9/11, we saw a temporary camaraderie driven by our sadness, horror and anger at being so ferociously attacked.

Today’s situation merits the same actions, because without a safety net many of us are at risk of flailing and failing.

This is the time to be proactive. First, think about what you need most urgently, and where you can go to get the support and assistance you deserve. Then, prioritize secondary and tertiary needs and wants and potential “helpmates.”

Then, turn the tables. Think about your entire network of people important to you. Where can you reach out, offer to help, share a bit of lightheartedness, provide a happy surprise?

By addressing your needs and those of others, we can collectively better weather the storm of stupidity, avarice and power-mongering that’s so blatant in today’s government power centers, gain some measure of satisfaction and joy—and find some sunshine poking through the clouds going forward.


Mark Lusky, aka The Happy Curmudgeon, has voted for Democrats, Republicans and a Libertarian in presidential elections going back 30 years. As the owner of a 34-year-old, Denver-based marketing communications firm, he is a political malcontent who often quips support for “Thunder the Wonder Puppy” as a presidential candidate. (Too bad George Carlin is no longer among us to make a run—although he likely would have known better.)

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