Monday, July 20, 2009

The Optimist Bucket List - Item 1

Of the 18 items on “The Bucket List” from the film, I can say I have accomplished over half of them.

The most beautiful girl is my niece. Stonehenge, the Louvre, the Great Wall, Hong Kong, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal, all covered. See something truly majestic? I haven’t seen or climbed Mt. Everest but I have flown over Aconcagua. I’ve laughed until my stomach hurts, tears in my eyes from crying and not moving from sheer exuberant exhaustion. How? A friend and I once re-wrote the script for “Return of the Jedi” in to an x-rated love triangle between the Emperor, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

The rest made me consider that many items on these kinds of lists for the most part can be accomplished with little assistance from others as long as you have the money.

The Travel List: All too easy to come up with 10, 100 or 1,001 places to visit.
The Pageant List: World peace, hunger, disease, poverty and illiteracy problems? Tall order.
The Sports List: Going to a Superbowl, the Opening Ceremonies, the Cubs winning a World Series or England taking the World Cup? Each folds in to the Travel List or doesn’t help Miss Universe in her noble work.

Most of us do want to change the world for the better but hopefully we also seek self improvement beyond material gain. What I looked for in writing my list was a way to satisfy at least three of the following attributes:

a) Self improvement
b) Cooperation and assistance from others
c) Overcomes social or political objections, human conflicts or personal feelings
d) Fulfills a lifelong personal dream
e) Benefits someone other than myself, either familiar or stranger

I will share the other nine items on my list over regular postings here. For now the first of ten items (not in any order) meets B, C and D.

Everybody wonders what it would be like to be invited to dine or stay at the White House, right? Although I include myself in that I would instead like to fly on Air Force One as part of a presidential entourage to a foreign country.

If a private citizen other than lobbyists, the media or chief executives have ever flown with a sitting president I am not aware of it. The idea is to simply have the commander in chief include an average civilian who can speak for him or herself and is truly one voice of the people as part of a goodwill delegation. You would think that a ten-hour flight to Europe would offer at least 15 minutes with the President, right?

Gotta go!

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