Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Look Back: The Life of Daniel F. Ford
Chapter 9: Thoughts on Serious Subjects

I combed through my personal archives to get a sense of the person I was in order to understand the person I am. I unearthed an autobiography I was assigned to write in the 8th grade. This is the final chapter. 

When I first started publishing this autobiography I wrote as a 14-year-old Connecticut boy, I never imagined this last chapter would end up going live weeks before a contentious Presidential election.

But in many ways, it’s fitting. Personal views—whether political or otherwise—evolve over time and it’s important to reexamine them every opportunity we get. Shifting your views throughout a lifetime isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of evolution and humanity. Not everything you’ve thought or experienced is all right or all wrong. We’re human, so we get to make up our mind as we go. Our core beliefs lead to spirited debate, challenging compromise, messy rebellion, angry accusations, compassionate understanding, and the fearful recognition none of us has got anything figured out about the world we live in.

I don’t know if it was harder to understand the world as that 14-year-old boy, or as the 28-year-old man I turned out to be. I don’t know if what I believe in now, I’ll believe when I’m my father’s age. I don’t know if anything I believe is important to anyone but myself.

And it’s okay not to know. We don’t need to know everything. We don’t need to have answers to everything. Answers are boring if you don’t have to fight and claw for them. I tweeted during last night’s Presidential debate that we were all born to be rebels. Rebellion is not only in every American’s DNA, it’s in humanity’s essence as well. We all need to get some of that fire back.

A good friend of mine told me recently I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be in my life, that I was an unfinished project of my own making. She couldn’t have been more right. But the journey matters more than the destination. I’m supposed to be constantly questioning, improving, and learning right now and I don’t plan on failing in that endeavor. I can live with a little “I don’t know.”

Enough of present-day Daniel Ford. Thanks for taking this look back with me, and I hope to see you further on up the road.

A guy can dream, right?
Thoughts on Serious Subjects

The world to me is just one big problem that no matter what we do, the problem just seems to get worse. In this chapter, I’m going to give you my outlook on the world and give you some of my opinions on what we can do to try and work our problems out.

The first thing I would do if I could change five things in the world would be to change the way the government is run. I do not believe that one man should be able to run the entire country by himself. Sure, the President has a Vice President and Congress, but that is not enough (editorial note: I had not yet read how big a clusterfuck the Articles of Confederation were at this point).

This one is sort of a fantasy, but I would stop all wars. I know wars may never cease, but I am very concerned. Most of our problems are caused by wars. Maybe we could call together world leaders and try to settle our problems peacefully.

I would also let other countries know that the United States does not babysit other countries. If we were concentrating on our own problems and not other countries’ problems, maybe ours would get solved faster (editorial note: important to point out this was written four years before 9/11).

The fourth thing I would change would be how the police and FBI are run. They are concentrating on petty criminals and not on the bigger issues like gangs. I think police should act upon the same time stuff and the FBI should act on big time stuff (editorial note: the use of stuff clearly shows I have no idea what I’m talking about. Much like most people who are part of opinion polls).

The final thing I would change would be world hunger. We have so many resources, but yet can’t find the heart to help those most in need.

(Editorial note: I’m omitting a paragraph on divorce here because it was so awfully written, I couldn’t save it).

If my house caught fire and I had time to get one thing from the flames, I would have to get two things (editorial note: hell yes, rebel against the rules 14-year-old Daniel Ford!). I would get my Winnie the Pooh blanket and my Roger Rabbit stuffed animal (editorial note: #facepalm). I would get those two things because I have had them since I was little and they have special meaning to me (editorial note: family and pets not so much apparently).

I think that the biggest problem facing the world today is world hunger. There are people dying of hunger because we are too selfish to try and help them. We are so concerned about ourselves that we don’t think of the people who really need food. We have so many resources and don’t give them away to the people who need them because of the fact that they have no money (editorial note: or oil, a strategic location, or sizeable immigrant population in the United States). The only way we are going to solve this problem is to stop thinking just of ourselves and start thinking of others.

Probably the worst problem I’ve ever faced happened very recently. I was in sixth grade and I was going out with this girl and my grades started to slip. My social studies grade went from an A or B to (editorial note: a grade that was not an A or B). What happened was I broke up with her (editorial note: teachers kept us apart) and did the work to boost up my grade (editorial note: when I got the notice my grades were, ahem, slipping, my father waited for me to come home from school and shouted at me for what felt like an eternity. It’s the only time he’s ever yelled at me in my life. I’ll always be glad he did).

I’m not very spiritual, but I do think this. That I believe in God and angels, and that there are people who watch over us. So far, I have not had any trouble with these beliefs.

So many things that puzzle me about the world that they could fill up a large notebook (editorial note: or a binder full of women!). Since I don’t have the time or effort, I will just give you one. I think that the government has captured UFOs and haven’t told anybody. If they haven’t, why does X Files seem so real? What puzzles me is why they don’t tell anybody about it and where these UFOs actually are (editorial note: always end on a completely batshit crazy note, I always say).

3 comments:

  1. I learned the hard way that things need to happen organically, and that forcing any outcome - whether it be in a career, a decision or a relationship - can result in regret, resentfullness and potentially, heartache. Things will either work the way you dream they could, or they won't.

    This life - this forest of existence - runs deep. Make the path ahead of you by clearing away the brush and sweeping aside the dead leaves, but don't lay the slats or pour the concrete until you're sure that the path leads somewhere. And maybe while you're making your way through the forest, you'll notice other things that make you just as happy.

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  2. Beautifully written by the boy who was, and is, Daniel.

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