Monday, October 6, 2014

My Tail Wagging Me

"The tail wagging the dog" is a current-day slang phrase that tries to communicate that what we think of as "normal" cause and effect have been reversed.  (Two side notes:  First, whether or not cause and effect can actually be reversed is a subject for a different conversation;  Second Wag The Dog was actually the name of a movie meant to illustrate what this reversed state looks like in leadership.)

For example, the Federal Reserve, which is supposed to be setting monetary policy (cause) to create desired outcomes, mainly in the fixed income markets (effect), largely reacts or catches up to the those very same markets.  The tail wags the dog.

Congress, which is supposed to lead our greatest society on earth for the mutual pursuit of happiness largely reacts to social movements by codifying them after the fact.  Again, the tail wags the dog.

Lastly, we, as a nation, have a foreign policy which does not lead our allies into mutual-benefit international relations so much as react to what seem to be a increasing string of surprises.  One more time, a wagging dog.

But it is easy to blame or criticize big nebulous things like the Federal Reserve, Congress and Foreign Policy because they have been designed to be unable to fight back or defend themselves in civil discourse.  For me, right now, my concern is with my tail and whether or not I am wagging it or it is wagging me.  

Some days, I feel like I can be influential, persuasive and wildly participatory in the well-being of those in my circles.   Other days, I feel like a leaf helplessly being whisked down a stream.  I suppose this has always been true, as the song says, some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug.  Its not the realization so much as my reaction to it.  Maybe I'm getting to an age where I don't want to be wagged anymore,  Maybe I'm impatient, or maybe, just maybe, I need to refuse to be wagged just a little more every day.

Either way, I hope wagging can eventually go back to being an unbridled expression of joy rather than one half of a somewhat discouraging cause and effect progression.

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