My Fistful of Meā Culpā…
To Our President

Okay, this is my meā culpā. For those of you that didn’t take Mrs. Harris’ Latin class at Mt. Lebanon High School, let me explain. On all of our assignments, we had to write in the top righthand corner of the page, LLT, which means Latin Lives Today. I have benefited from Latin a great deal. For example, meā culpā is the ablative case for “through my fault or responsibility.” Therefore, this meā culpā is directed to America’s president, Donald J. Trump, aka Donald the Dumb. I have been critical about him for a long time. Okay, I, along with the majority of Americans, have been disapproving of him for a voluminous number of reasons.

Nonetheless, Donald J. Trump has taught me several things about how to lead my life even though he hasn’t changed his nor will he. Regardless, this is my fistful of my meā culpā to Donald the Dumb.

This is Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Meā Culpā, which was released in 1964.

1. Don’t go around dissing everyone. I need to look and find the good in everyone that I meet. Instead of tweeting about people and calling them names, I need to acknowledge their virtue that I see in them. The focus of my comments should be directed to encouraging the person. In that way, I reinforce their abilities and not allow them to reinforce their litany of their self-doubts..

2. Don’t take credit for what I didn’t do by myself. Share your good fortune with others. Several years ago, LeBron James received the NBA’s MVP award. While he appreciated the award, he would have been happier sitting with his team and not center stage during the award ceremony. His rationale was that his team helped him receive the award, and they should share in the credit. Interestingly, Donald the Dumb doesn’t like James, because he is black. Additionally, our fake president took all the credit for our good economy. However, it was Obama who guided America from the precipice of an economic meltdown that started prior to his presidency. Donald the Dumb doesn’t like Obama either, because he is black.

3. Don’t bs other people when you make a mistake. I have made a fistful of mistakes in my life, and I must own them. Going around lying about not making any sort of mistake in life will result in hostility from the world. I own my foibles. Blaming someone else will cause those around you not to trust you. If you are wrong, acknowledge it and go on. Speak the truth; anything else is merely hot air.

4. Don’t shun away from laughing at oneself. While I need to own my mistakes, laughing at yourself will disarm those around you. When you are willing to laugh at yourself, you join with those that might be laughing at you. Talk about disarming one’s opponent. I need to take the laughter of others and also be able to add to the laughter. Perhaps, I am not as young and debonair as I imagine myself to be.

5. Don’t talk first. Nelson Mandela said that he learned, as a small boy, how to be a good leader and person in general by watching his father. When his father got the tribal elders together to discuss some pressing issue, Mandela’s father didn’t talk first. In fact, he waited until all had spoken. Even as a young boy, Mandela got the message at two levels. You would turn people off if you told a group what you think on some matter and shut them down to discuss the issue. In addition, the others might have various ideas about which you weren’t even aware.

In my previous essay, I wrote about a former colleague of mine who called me out of the blue—as in over four decades. I hadn’t seen or heard from her in years. One of the things that intrigued me was that she had her fistful of acknowledgements also.