The Long View

Common belief is that the “Long View” is the thing we must have. People, companies, countries, who take the long view are held up as icons for correct and proper thought and policy. However, I don’t think my generation, “The Boomers,” was raised with this particular view. We are the TV generation and everything, and I mean everything, was solved in 30 minutes or less with timeout for commercials. Hmmm, that’s not entirely true since one hour shows were popular in their own right but were usually “specials,” think Ed Sullivan with Elvis or The Beatles, or the Walt Disney Hour. And, of course, Soap Operas required you view them everyday to get even the tiniest morsel of new information and many of them were an hour. But for the most part, we and perhaps our children and theirs are products of our expectations and we expect that the mystery will be solved, the champion declared, the $64,000 question answered (or not), all within 30 minutes or less.

I also have a theory that the great military leaders from centuries ago were the ones whose vision was the best, that they could stand on a hilltop and actually see the battlefields below them. A leader who was nearsighted had to either have a farsighted sidekick, was probably doomed to defeat, or, had a great mapping and comm system. Some believe that the Chinese think ahead in centuries. Financially, I believe we think ahead in quarters, that is the next reporting period. Many of us extend that thought process into everyday life and I used to be right there with you. I posit that staying that course makes you more of a consumer than a participant and that participating offers a richer experience that is not defined by time or even space. I’ve learned over the last ten years or so that absorbing the moments erases the manic quest for the next.

For instance, while I wish this last and crappy episode of chemo was over, it’s not. And this is just one of the things she must do in the next year. But taking the long view…I’m okay with that.  Even this crumby week is a week to enjoy something…our kids, the birds, the crazy raccoons, the dozens of flying squirrels, our friends, and more. And we don’t want all of that to stop every thirty minutes. Just a thought.


From Washington’s Mt Vernon looking northeast to the Potomac River

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