“No Doubt About It”

This time of year always gets me thinking and inevitably, doubting what is coming next.

Once the blitzkrieg of summer starts to relent and the booming bass coming from the departing college student’s pre-owned vehicles has faded off into the distance, you find locals popping their heads out into the general population and having those “hey, how was your summer?” conversations that kids in schools all over this country are having this time of year.

It’s like seeing your neighbors for the first time after you dig out of a really bad snowstorm or if they return from vacation. The difference is that most of the people that you haven’t seen all summer have been within three miles of you the entire time.

In the summer, we don’t drive more than 30 blocks unless it’s a special occasion. A 15-minute drive in any other part of the country for a night out might be considered extremely reasonable. In the summer in Ocean City, downtown might as well be Cleveland to the uptown folks, and West Ocean City might as well be Nebraska to everyone that lives in town. As far as Berlin goes to the strip-dwellers of Coastal Highway, though they’ve heard things, it’s got the mystery and the intrigue of life on another planet; and driving to Rehoboth requires all the planning and preparation of a cross-country trip.

Even in a resort where I realize that visitors must think that locals don’t do anything other than party all night and sleep all day/winter, there is some sense, even here, that the summer fiesta is coming to a close and the chilly uncertainty of autumn looms around the corner. 

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. – Descartes (French Philosopher/Scientist)

After this weekend, the season starts to mellow as we all know, and then the doubts do start to trickle into your head. Things like: Did I save enough money for winter? What am I going to do now to make ends meet? Should I really move to Baltimore and try to find a ‘real job’? Is the market ever going to pick-up or should I try something other than real estate? Can I make it through another winter here?

Everyone has doubts no matter where you are or who you are.

It’s not like the pithy kind of doubts that most people get wrapped up in either.

The “oh my god, whatever, etc.” questions that concern fattening asses, rehab-bound pop stars, fleeting summer love, or your major that you are thinking of changing for the fifth time.

The doubts I speak of are about direction and purpose and why we as humans are considered pansies if we look introspectively at our own lives or what we are doing with them.

Does doubt drive us toward change or convince us that we could never actually achieve change?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. — Bertrand Russell

The past few weeks have been bittersweet for the country as high-ranking “Bush Cronies” are “gracefully” stepping down from their positions. Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove, who has been whispering into the ear or pulling the puppet strings (depending on the way you look at it) of Dubya since 2000 not to “cut and run” has done that very thing when either the job is done or the mess has been made (depending on how you look at it).

Rove, of all people, has been making a career off of creating doubt for over a decade. His whole strategies have been scaring people into thinking that the country would be in danger if we put anyone other than “his boy” in the White House. According to them, they have never once been wrong, and all those that doubted them have been not only incorrect but also un-American. There are now debates on whether or not a guy is “black enough” to be President, or “yes to a woman, but not this woman”-kind of thing, but never about the total package of what we need for this country.

The Democrats talk about issues but lack vision on cleaning up this mess of a war and Republicans talk pretty much about nothing but the war over there and nothing about fixing the problems we have here.

I am so full of doubt it is almost as if voting has become choosing the guy (or gal) that will screw up the world the least.

The important thing is not to stop questioning — Albert Einstein

The shape of things and their makeup have always intrigued me. I’m the annoying kid that asked “why” a little too often and followed it with a “how come” to the point of making my family members want to put me in timeout till I was old enough to know it all.

I think doubt is a personal check and balance in your own life. It’s the “where am I going?” blended in with the “what the hell am I doing?”

Yet the thing about some folks in Ocean City is that they try to come off like they have it all figured out, and their direction or current position was always part of a well orchestrated plan that they drew up themselves on a bar napkin.

Perhaps the perfect balance is having the balls to take risks, but never getting so blinded by your name in lights or overrun with your own press clippings to never think that you can have a bad idea or make a wrong move.

Maybe the folks like Karl Rove and others that have been blessed (or cursed) with power and who claim to have all the answers are the ones that are the greatest fools of them all.

Though I doubt they will ever realize it.

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