Recently I finished a book, Finding God, Losing God: the Spiritual and Irreverent Upside to Losing Faithand created this humor and political web journal, “The Nedelman Report,” a political & social journal dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly of politics, religion, and world and national affairs.
As often as not with politics and religion, especially those of fundamentalist stripes, it’s much like being a witness to a crime in progress, watching a rogues’ gallery of miscreants, sociopaths, predatory religious carnival barkers, boondockers, and fools, and the plainly incompetent ply their trade. So, why not humor myself and others writing about it?
Of course, there are the well-intentioned and rare ducklings who grow into swans in the process, who, despite all efforts to the contrary and the forces arrayed against them, conduct themselves honorably (yes, honorably), managing to speak and act rationally for the benefit of what the Founding Fathers referred to as “the common good.”
Now, at the mere mention of “common good,” ultra right-wing conservatives come tumbling out of the darker recesses of their dens and caves screaming screeds about the evils of socialism – occasionally giving us a few minutes respite to wax poetically about the “good socialism” they embrace: medicare and cashing their social security, workman’s compensation, and unemployment checks. Go figure.
I love to travel and at the beginning of 2001 I decided to start a business where I traveled a great deal – importing. What did I know about importing at the time? Absolutely nothing, but missing a few caution genes helps. One month later I headed off to Indonesia and began importing high-end designer furniture by 40 foot high-cube containers. I traveled Indonesia and Southeast Asia for seven years. Fun biz and great stuff. See www.travelbart.com.
Prior to importing, I’d been a Series 24 securities principal of my own small firm and appeared for six years on the Los Angeles Business Channel speaking about investments and tax planning. Then I entrepreneured about for a bit, wrote, produced, and appeared in an infomercial and a commercial, put together private investment offerings, then started the small jet cargo airline…. right before 9/11. Win some, lose some. Jet cargo was not one of my better ideas.
My great American novel is still unwritten, lurking somewhere in the depths of my heart, its feet stuck in the tar pit of my soul. Here’s how I see life and travel now:
Many keep score with money, others with the trappings of power, while some measure their value with a yardstick of accomplishments – more valid, I suppose, than the former. I have some regrets for the things I could have done better along the way and take some measure of satisfaction for the things I’ve done well. I’ve been very lucky much of the time and have had a lot of love come my way over the years. Ultimately, though, I think it’s the love we share in our brief journey that endows our lives with value and meaning. So, my friends and readers, take long draughts of love along your way, jealously guard the wellspring of your creativity, receive a full measure of abundance in your life, and most importantly, hold on to a child-like wonder and curiosity of the world.