No surprise that we live with a fist-full of mysteries in our daily lives. How exactly does this photosynthesis thing work…? When if ever will this traffic clear….? Why won’t he/she call like they promised…? You learn to deal with them. However, the mysteries I’m talking about are all those people we THINK we know and never really do.
Look at it this way. We’re always encountering the mysteries that come with being human — people next to you on the plane, at that deal-making lunch, not to mention during those obligatory holiday dinners with cousins you haven’t seen in years. It’s pretty safe to assume we KNOW we don’t really know them. Where the problem comes is when we deal with people we’re sure we know, yet never do!
Lets count the ways.
Watching a Leno or Letterman interview we tell ourselves “the camera doesn’t lie.” And so we quickly decide who the “real” George Clooney or Oprah Winfrey is. Please! People who work with cameras know precisely how to play to those cameras, and so the Clooney and Winfrey you’re seeing are very much who they intend you to see. No more, no less.
But not to worry, friends, because not decoding the mystery that is a celebrity is hardly crucial. What is crucial is not decoding the mystery that is a presidential candidate. Now here you and I are at least four thick layers removed from the authentic “him.” First, his cloak of professional writers, publicists and logistical teams …next, his own well-practiced public persona….next, the actual thoughts and feelings behind that persona…finally, the gaggle of private pacts and promises he’s had to make with key backers to have become a candidate in the first place. A mystery indeed.
So here’s the deal. Remember the man you’re giving your vote and your future to is NOT the well crafted image, ads, and speeches. At the same time, neither is he all those dissected gaffes, re-played off-mike whispers, and manufactured faces of evil. He was, is, and always will be just beyond totally decoding. But then so are you and me. In many ways each a mystery to ourselves.
As voters we do the best we can. Especially if we admit our choice is really being made with hope and hunch as much as confidence and conviction.
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