A Tap on the Glass - Vol. 29 - Action and Inaction

John Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was arguably the most beloved of all Presidents in the history of the USA. JFK was a great visionary, revered for his charisma and ethics, who was likely assassinated due to his inability to turn a blind eye to evil doers, by utilizing all his well-groomed character traits, which we will now discuss.

This is why I share with you one of my personal role-models, and all around outstanding human beings.


Take Action

"There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction" ~JFK

This is a story that goes back to the beginning of time doesn’t it? As the story goes, in the Garden of Eden, the serpent that got Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the arbiter of this characteristic. A great salesman, the serpent represented inactivity, and stagnation in a persons growth. These articles and JFK, all stand for personal development, and as such we are the antithesis of the serpent.
This personal development is a choice to take action, sometimes in the face of great adversity and challenge, and most often at the expensive of instant gratification. We do it so that our future can be better tomorrow than it is today.

Push Through Fear

"Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate." ~JFK

I’ll share an old story: It was the 4th quarter. The player was caught a rebound and was running down the court with 10 seconds on the clock. He patiently waited for everyone to make it up court and man their positions. He analyzed all the possible plays in his head and tried to prepare for any possible scenario so that he could score the field goal that would win his basketball game.

As the buzzer rang, he was still holding on to the ball, which he failed to release due to something known as analysis paralysis. He was frozen, by fear, because he didn't know which play would be the most effective. I think you would agree that any play would be more effective than letting the clock run out with the ball still in his hands.

This doesn't just happen in sports, but it happens to all of us in a variety of situations. The only cure is to make our choices quickly, as soon as we have enough information to make an informed decision and not a moment longer.

Be The One

"One person can make a difference and every person should try." ~JFK

A common theme for inaction is something President Harry Truman called "passing the Buck." Both Truman and JFK knew that if people always pass on the responsibility to someone else they will not get anything done.

I'm not talking about times when an expert is required to solve a pertinent issue. I'm talking about every other time, where by passing the buck, people are absolving themselves from responsibility and breeding the habit of inaction. I see it a lot these days. A blind eye turned on something in the hopes someone else will take care of it.

The key word is habit, and by harnessing the power of habit, we are enabling ourselves to deal with difficult situations like it's our job. The way to develop this habit, is to believe in ourselves, and to train ourselves to make snap decisions.

Be Open Minded

"The only unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable" ~JFK

I once read a story about a Holy Rabbi by the name of Reuven Ibragimov who once said that he does not take an unshakable stand on anything. I thought that was very profound, because he is a man that believes in God, without any doubt or question. Although I don't think he's willing to be shaky on that point, I do see that by remaining fluid, flexible, and open minded, he is able to communicate and relate to his students on a very deep level.

There are certain things in life that we hold onto with our fangs and claws, and refuse to let go in an argument. If we would trace back the events or conversations that led up to our decision we may realize that we aren't as sure as we portrayed ourselves to be.

Part of why we do this is because we tend to identify ourselves with certain ideas. After holding on to them for many years, it becomes hard to shed them or leave them behind for something that is more truthful, logical or practical. However, this loyalty to faulty ideas is what keeps us in the dark, and the moment we open our minds to new ideas is the moment that we become free.

Lofty thoughts for consideration to be sure.

Thanks for reading.