Gratitude comes in many forms. I spent a lifetime assuming that I knew where and how it would arrive. That I knew what it would look like. But clearly, I was wrong.
Long-time readers of this blog are well aware of my struggle to reclaim my pre-Great Recession life, and of my inability to do so. Left to labor in menial, dead end jobs with few—if any—benefits, I ranted and raved about the stupidity and the greed and the utter lack of morality in corporate America.
I shared my personal experiences; the personality profiles and the group interviews and the don't-hire-the-unemployed ethos. The thoughtless and short-sighted cost-cutting and the knee-jerk lip service to the words customer service, which lies at the heart of virtually every one of their two-faced marketing campaigns.
Likewise the egocentric displays of power, mindless conformity and raging hypocrisy.
But none of that exorcised the gnawing, insistent feeling that I was a failure. None of it repaired my broken self-esteem. Not even the knowledge that there were hundreds of thousands of Americans just like me whose lives had been put on hold.
I was conditioned to believe that as a man, I was something less than one if I did not succeed in a system that I now understand considered me an expense. A speed bump on the road to unfettered wealth creation.That I was hired to be fired.
It humiliates me to admit it but yes, I ached.
That is, until I heard U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speak.
I don't think the former senator from Alabama could recall the thirteen original colonies, much less explain the Theory of Relativity. He doesn't know the difference between Budapest and Bucharest, or the significance of the Magna Carta.
What Jeff Sessions knows how to do is acquire power and please the people who can give it to him—as instinctively as my cat knew the sound of me opening a tin of cat food meant she was going to eat.
This walking mediocrity is a luminous example of the sea-level intelligence which infests the legislative branch of our federal government.
One has only to listen to Session's surprise at a federal judge's decision to hear the abundant witlessness and arrogance and prejudice inborn in this man (supposedly expert in the checks and balances within the government that has so generously supported him for the past two decades) to realize what a shithead he is.
And he is the Attorney General of the United States of America.
Just as the NBA doesn't necessarily possess the world's best basketball players (it possesses the best who remained felony-free while simultaneously gleaning a scholarship to a school with a prominent basketball program), our government doesn't necessarily feature the best and brightest minds of our times.
It features the best and brightest minds of those eager and adept at lapping at the food dish set out by the wealthy and the powerful.
Mr. Sessions, thank you. Thanks to you and your generous display of ignorance, I now understand in a way I never quite did before the complete lack of a relationship between ability and success.
I am, if I haven't made it clear, eternally grateful.