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Finding Perspective

In trying to negotiate the world of publishing and putting in twelve hours on an internet safety course, I needed a break this weekend. To put my life in perspective, I turned on Netflix’s “The Last Czars.” I’ve always had a perverse fascination with the Romanov family.

History is important. We have to learn about what came before in order to understand where we are now and how to get where we want. That said, I sometimes think I watch historical documentaries for the same reason other people watch horror movies: that fabulous sense of superiority. I know the ending. I can tell which decisions the characters involved should have made. I can yell at the television “Stop being such oblivious idiots! Your people all hate you and Rasputin is creepy!”

Life doesn’t work that way, though. Did the Romanovs make good choices? No. At best, they were unaware of the open suffering going on around them. At worst, they just didn’t care. I want to judge them harshly. Everyone of them was raised to believe God placed them in charge of the country and it doesn’t look like they ever questioned this.

But life is a series of choices made on the fly, by people who don’t know the ending. If obliviousness has turned out well for your family for 300 years, it might make sense as a strategy for you. If you have a son with hemophilia, that’s the most important thing in your world. When someone can help your son feel better, you might overlook certain faults like an ego the size of a T-Rex and a raging lust for power. You might overlook the fact that you yourself are monumentally unqualified to lead a country.

All of this helps me put my adventures in publishing into perspective. I will make the best decisions I can for No Accounting for Destiny. I will make mistakes. The good news is that I need to make decisions less like “Should I give up autocratic rule and share power with a democratically elected body of representatives?” and more like “Which one of these photos makes me look more authory?” This is good for everyone.

Kimberly really hopes her subservience to her cat is the closest she will ever come to autocratic rule.

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