Obama And Circularity

No political point-scoring. I’m not interested. What does interest me very much is to note something that I think you’d agree is a weird part of life. Circularity.

How many times have you seen or watched something at one point in your life, perhaps criticized the person or people involved, and then discovered that at a later point many of the same circumstances and issues suddenly find their way to your door. You’re standing in a situation that looks remarkably like the one in which you had previously criticized others.

That’s circularity.

President Barack Obama is in the middle of a Syrian situation that looks a lot like the one he had criticized President George W. Bush for handling from 2002 to 2008. My reference, of course, is to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just a few of the things that seem similar: WMDs that generate fear; a question of their use and intent; the challenge of gathering allies in a formal structure like the United Nations or informally as in the phrase “coalition of the willing;” symbolism of American power put to use in a Middle Eastern setting against a Muslim nation; and so forth.

Sure, there are key dissimilarities. But my point is simply to observe that life has a circularity to it. Be careful who and what you criticize because, some day, you may be in the same situation.

Last point. Though I’ve used the term “circularity” in this post, I actually think the better and more intriguing concept is The River that I employ elsewhere. You face many things on Your River that will re-appear in slightly altered form as you move forward, as you go Down River. Rapids, for example. Rapids are rapids, but not every rapids behave exactly the same way. Still, each rapids holds several features in common that can be valuable in how you deal with the next set up ahead.

There is repetition in life. It’s inevitable. The key, then, is how you interact with the repetition that you inevitably encounter.