Where Do I Get Off (Running for President)?

In case you did not know, I am currently building a campaign to run for office of President of the United States of America.

Let me be the first to admit the obvious reasons that this could be considered a strange choice. First off, I spent the first thirty years of my life 100% apathetic about politics. I have never run for any public office. I have a criminal record peppered with misdemeanors, and a robust history of drug experimentation. In 2009, I filed for bankruptcy, and my employment and financial histories are minefields of mistakes. I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager, and often have coped with depression and anxiety by drinking too much, isolating, and gluttonizing.

I could do this all day. But I won’t. These facts do not inherently disqualify me from running for president, nor do my mistakes tell the whole story. This is all only one side of the coin of my life. There is rhyme and reason in the perceived chaos of my story.

My years of political apathy, in part, came from looking around and seeing a society that usually seems so obsessed with everything going on outside of them while avoiding their own inner work as individuals. Distractions abound in our culture, and people often tend to fixate on celebrities, political icons, the media, fears, and dramas that they do not actually have a deep intellectual comprehension of.

In 2017 terms, many citizens of the United States know about North Korea in only cartoonishly simplistic ways. Their fear is real, but it is based largely on unfinished preconceptions and ethnocentric media bias. By dwelling in fear and drama of what we have no control over (as individuals, we do not have a say about what Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will do), we miss out on what we do have some say over: Ourselves, our responses, and our actions.

We can choose to be more compassionate, empathetic, and creative in how we respond to crisis in our world. We can choose to take the blinders off, and see North Koreans as human beings who are trapped in quite a predicament, together along with us. To change our perception of that which is external, requires an internal focus. The problems are outside, and the solutions are within.

As I wrote in 2007 in the poem ‘Pray for Rain’: “The bloodiest war that I’ve ever seen is not overseas; it’s inside of me/The only choice that you ever knew is not anywhere but inside of you.”

So, yes. My years of political apathy were largely because I was working on myself. However, what I’ve learned is that balance is essential. Caring about what’s happening in the world around me, while being a loving caretaker of my body, soul, and mind.

Another reason for my previous era of political nonchalance pertains to a perception that the human world is driven more by the fake and superficial than by what’s real and meaningful. I struggled immensely with this at many intervals. This ties into so much that’s burdened me, like depression, anxiety, difficulty holding jobs, poor decisions with money, and definitely my drug use.

See, on certain mind-altering substances, I discovered realms of my mind and facets of existence that were previously unattainable. Within myself, I found a sacred place that seemed more real and meaningful to me than anything society had ever offered me. I found peace, harmony, meaning, bliss, and insight. And for many years? I became obsessed with going there.

And again, it’s about balance being essential. My obsession with drugs alienated me from the world I was attempting to function within. I wanted to show the world what I saw, but the barriers were too immense, and dissonance resulted.

My life slowly slipped away from me in so many ways. I was desperate to defend my right to be me, and my behavior became increasingly erratic. Waking up one day and realizing I had a criminal record and a giant scar on my credit history, and had made so many mistakes and faced just as many consequences, was sobering.

Figuring out how to be myself in this world has been the challenge of my lifetime.

And I am remorseful for anything I have ever done to hurt another life-form on planet Earth. Very rarely, was harm ever intended, even in the slightest. But that doesn’t change the fact that people have hurt because of my actions, and for that, I experience remorse until every last wound has healed.

So, where do I get off? Running for president? What makes me think I have the remotest chance?

Well, here’s the thing. I do not know if I have a chance. My chances of success or lack thereof are not what drive me.

So, what drives me?

It’s rather simple: I don’t know anyone who:

1. Genuinely, 100% without compromise, believes in the inevitability of global peace and harmony

2. 100% believes that every person in the entire world is doing the absolute best they can within the limitations of their current beliefs, socialization, and resources

3. Has accumulated an extensive understanding of the psychological principles that drive human behavior

4. Has studied and conducted successful experiments utilizing the principles of quantum mechanics, which has incredibly pragmatic functions for the future of our human world

5. Is intuitively inclined towards putting together our so-called differences like puzzle pieces, resulting in more completeness and cohesion for everyone

6. Is certain that we can build a world where everyone wins, always and no one loses, ever

7. Prioritizes the well-being and discerning stewardship of all life-forms everywhere, sentient and non-sentient alike, creating a cruelty-free standard without compromise

8. Has zero abidance for any system, corporation, or legislation which perpetuates oppression, inequality, or injustice for anyone, anywhere

9. Is willing to work tirelessly with those who currently profit from oppression, inequality, and injustice, to find new solutions to meet their needs while eradicating every trace of unethical practices

10. Understands the importance of establishing a revitalized financial paradigm that takes power and control away from the institution and puts it in the hands of the people, while establishing global currencies (cryptocurrencies) that diminish barriers and solve problems we’re currently facing

11. Respects, admires, and participates in the Arts

12. Literally wouldn’t kill a fly (and in fact, is working on developing a no-kill pest control start-up)

13. Is passionate about innovating education to treat children less like factory-built machines and more like unique and autonomous human beings capable of incredible things

14. Is an experienced yoga practitioner and teacher with visions of yoga festivals on the White House lawn

15. Knows that love trumps fear and that light does not destroy darkness; but fills it, exposes it, reveals its meaning.

Nope. Don’t know anyone. Except me.

Of course, I have many shortcomings that are not all that presidential. And many knowledge gaps to fill. And so on.

But part of synergizing the world means, promoting everyone to do what they were born to do. You lift me up at my weak spots with your strengths. I utilize my strengths to empower you where you’re deflated.

So, do I have a chance? I don’t know. You tell me. You’re the one who decides.

But my heart warms when I envision a United States run by principles and ideals like the fifteen above. Notice I didn’t get into specifics yet, about healthcare. Abortion. Immigration. But those things are covered up there. What does a world where everyone wins, always and no one loses, ever, do about healthcare and immigration?

Whether or not I’ll become president in 2020 is irrelevant to the #hicksyou2020 campaign. Because like I learned from Bernie Sanders, real change is catalyzed when we stop sitting on our hands and step up to do our best. Let ourselves blossom into our truths. Stand up for what’s right, and not let anyone or anything shut us up when we are driven to let our greatness shine.

I believe in the greatness of you. Of everyone reading this. And everyone not reading it. Everyone, everywhere.

No matter who you are. No matter what you’ve done. In my eyes, you are now free of any chain that’s ever subjugated you.

We’re all free…

And that’s not just a slogan anymore.

We’re free, because that’s the world we’re making, intentionally, consciously, and resplendently.

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