And the same is true for any purchase. Imagine how great your life will be with that new Camaro! Or the Jet Ski! Wow Jet Ski Guy! You're Amazing! The ladies will be all over you, right? Maybe not. Maybe you'll be the same old schmuck you were before, but with a Jet Ski (and more debt, which the ladies really find sexy).
These are all forms of externalizing, and they are not helpful to you personally. Pining for the days of the Zeppelins isn't going to help your personal life. "Fighting for a Living Wage!" isn't going to get you one, so much as going to Medical School will. Protesting banks isn't going to pay off your student loans - a better bet is to not take them out in the first place, or to study something of merit.
It is easy - it is weak thinking to believe (and it is belief, which is dangerous) that "if only" they would pass a staggering bond issue and put in a trolly line, the crack addicts and homeless would go away. "If Only" they would legalize marijuana, life would be perfect! (from what I can tell, living in places like Aurora Colorado still pretty much sucks, even if pot is legal).
And it doesn't matter what the "if only they would..." thing is. These things are usually traps for weak thinkers, who concentrate more on external problems in their lives than the internal ones.
You do have choices. And those choices make all the difference in the world. Or at the very least they make more of a difference than these externalized deals do.
For example, if you read my last three postings, you realize I am pissed off at Fidelity. I got mad and vented some steam. But then I realized that no matter how pissed off I am, they are not going to change their behavior. My only choice is to do business with them or not do business with them. And that is where my energies should be directed - to researching, really for the first time in my life, how these investment firms really work. It is a fascinating subject!
But you'd be surprised how many people fail to see that. They try to salvage bad deals from bad vendors, rather than give up and move on to someone who is honest and decent. You have to know when to walk away and not look back.
By concentrating on the choices you do have and the actions you can take you can accomplish so much more than if you waste emotional energy trying to "fight the system" or get things to change, when in reality, you really can't change them.
Sure, you should vote. You should contribute to a political campaign you believe in - in an amount you can easily afford. Those things do make a difference. Worrying about who will get elected, however, and blathering on about it, really doesn't accomplish so much.
Take action in life - pull the levers in your own life, and worry less about "larger issues at stake".
Advice I need to keep reminding myself of. Which is why I started this blog.