Perhaps a lesson that none of us can ever fully learn – regardless of our age, lived experience, or social status – is to not be thin-skinned when it comes to criticism, scrutiny, or the “Gossip Wars” which exist at virtually every level of society. In fact, a great deal of trouble and misfortune results from being thin-skinned in the face of such social realities. Much of my personal troubles and misfortunes in my late-teens and early twenties came from not being able to handle the “Gossip Wars” within my local community. But dealing with these social realities gets easier over the course of time. Thus, the best strategy in the face of such social realities is to absorb everything peacefully and then respond effectively and wisely to them after a long and exhaustive self-education process. As Bertrand Russell said:
“I should say, love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like.”
Moreover, no one and nothing is perfect. Everything and everyone is a work in progress, which means there is always room to improve, no matter who we are or what we are. And as Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely put it: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”
To an extent, Trevor Noah may have been instrumental in teaching Washington how to take it easy and to take things in old world stride when he roasted a number of Washington mainstays at the ‘White House Correspondents’ Dinner’ a few weeks ago. But change is gradual and incremental, and there is hope that the younger generation of international society can deal with the aforementioned social realities in a way that is much more effective and wiser than the way by which older generations have dealt with such social realities.
In my book and in previous blog posts, I emphasized the dichotomy between the ‘Cold War Paradigm’ of American foreign policy versus the global hegemonic paradigm of foreign policy. The former paradigm was developed and refined over the course of the Cold War by the likes of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, among others. I have also mentioned that I had the great fortune and privilege of meeting Zbigniew Brzezinski in March 2015 right when I was embarking on my book project, and that we had a brief but warm and meaningful conversation.
I have criticized and brought under scrutiny the global hegemonic paradigm of American foreign policy over the course of my blogging endeavor. And ironically, we are in a global context by which the “Cold War Paradigm” has never been more applicable to America’s approach towards international politics and international relations. One of the basic elements of a “Cold War Paradigm” is to bring China “westward.” There are a number of ways by which this element of a “Cold War” paradigm or strategy can be implemented, one of which is implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative” which I noted in recent blog posts.
Also, the point of criticizing and bringing the prevailing foreign policy paradigm under scrutiny was not to prove anyone wrong or to ruffle anyone’s feathers. There is a deeper reason for why people do what they do, and there are psychoanalytical, moral, as well as economic and scientific causes for why we do what we do. I have mentioned a number of these causes or factors in recent blog posts, and I hope readers have derived some benefit and utility from a blog that has reached its three-year anniversary today. As they say, time flies when you are having fun.