Dear President Trump,
I understand that you’re going through a tough time right now. I hope you might have just a couple of minutes to consider something I’ve learned along the way.
Sometimes you have to let go of something. This includes everything from what seems like the best idea you ever had to a simple-minded pleasure. It also applies to really important duties like leading a nation.
It’s true that perseverance and determination can pay off in a big way, but those have also been recipes for disaster.
So there comes a time when wisdom dictates a change of course. It can be anything really — a business, a relationship, a desire to save the world, or even just a train of thought. It might seem like surrender, but it’s more like reconsidering what’s really important.
Just because passion, altruism or self-improvement are primary motivations, that doesn’t mean what you’re doing is a good idea. Sometimes other people invested in you have to point this out.
When I was younger, I tried to conquer my fear of heights through devil-may-care behavior around high places. I failed to realize that the fear was not unreasonable, and someone else had to tell me.
Once, after some surgery to correct something I did that made no sense without at least a 0.12 blood alcohol content, the Old Man said, “Kid, maybe gravity just isn’t your thing.”
It was wise advice, but it didn’t jell for another year or so. Not long after we got married, my wife said: “We’re going to have a baby. You need a job. But you aren’t good at paying attention. So, no more jumping out of airplanes.”
I felt put upon at first but eventually realized she was right. My mind was prone to wandering, even when plummeting toward earth. I needed to get my priorities straight. Other people had to be taken into consideration when it came to what I did. Important people, meaning those I cared about and who cared about me.
Speaking of those souls, there are moments when they become what needs to be changed. Marriage, for example. What if at the time seemed like the best decision you ever made turns out wrong. The person you married and swore to cherish forever can become a liability when children come along. And eventually you have to cut your losses for the sake of those kids.
This can be especially difficult when you’re not getting the point. If you’ve been married more times than the Kardashian family combined, then maybe marriage isn’t for you.
Neither is business — if you continue to go into it with people who have bad financial track records. Like Congress.
Hey, we get it. Letting go of the presidency has to be tough. But if the alternative is to inflict on the nation a prolonged nightmare of acrimony and dispute, maybe conceding is the best for us.
Besides, it’s not like you don’t have alternatives. You’re rich and powerful. You could move on to anything now.
Skydiving, for example.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.