US President Donald Trump helps Jim Duffy work out how to live a good life – but not in way role models usually do.
There are a whole raft of great people who can inspire me. From actors to musicians to humanitarians to politicians. And throw in philanthropists, military commanders, great business minds, religious leaders and even ordinary men and women who do amazing things each day as part of their jobs. There’s no shortage of inspiration out there to get me thinking about making small changes to my life to try and be a little better, a little more human and a little kinder.
But, as I pick and choose categories to whittle down my top nominees it gets easier and easier. By scientifically eliminating one after the other, I finally come to the most inspirational person on the planet this week, this month and this year. Yes, President Donald Trump is by far the most inspirational person I can think of!
Not so fast – I can almost see you sighing out loud or reaching for the keyboard to slaughter me for being an idiot. Let me develop my perspective a bit further before you round on me and ask the First Minister for a comment on me. Slow down before you put a call into The Scotsman to get me sacked.
Don’t you want to hear my reasoning first?
I believe President Donald Trump is the most inspirational man I know, because his attitudes, behaviour and beliefs precipitate so much passion and energy in me – not to be like him.
I do not think I have ever witnessed such a high-profile public figure with such curiosity and head-shaking in my short life on this planet. This is the man who is the Commander in Chief, the measure that the world should set itself against. But, unfortunately Donald Trump fails in all contexts. His attitudes to women, allies, competitors, the brave men and women he leads and even his own lawyer showed me why I need to do the opposite of everything he does and I will end up in a better place on this Earth.
President Trump inspires me as I have two young daughters. His comments on how he approached certain women, which came to light during his election campaign, were disgusting for a man of his age.
Whether he was showing off to a TV presenter of simply being one of the lads, they showed he demeaned the Office he was running for. But he had the audacity to single out Bill Clinton over his attitudes to women. Pot and kettle, Mr Trump.
As far as Stormy Daniels goes, this is ongoing and it seems money left his disgraced lawyer’s account to pay for her silence using a non-disclosure agreeement. Crickey, it’s more twisted than one of the better episodes of House of Cards.
So, as I think about the correct way to treat women, I really have to thank President Trump.
Next up in how President Trump inspires me is his blatant disrespect for the Oval Office and his responsibilities as head of state.
Unlike the UK, where we have a head of state in the monarch and head of government as the Prime Minister, the USA effectively combines both in its president. It is a ceremonial role coupled closely with leading up the bureaucracy and setting public policy.
President Barack Obama was the absolute master at this holding his counsel with great dignity while proving he was a skilful politician.
But, President Trump inspires me more to look at how I conduct myself outwardly. Why? Well, governing a country through Twitter demonstrates to me how special personal communication is and how I should treat it with respect.
There have certainly been some belters of tweets from Mr Trump, but my favourite is: “Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts’, only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon – NO!”
Really Mr Trump, where is your dignity? A great reminder for me to be more magnanimous and, of course, accept that no-one is perfect.
Finally, I find President Trump the most inspirational person I know as he reminds me that it is not all about me.
Putting myself, my triumphs, my outcomes and my agenda first has a pejorative effect on others. Being first among equals with that utterly stupid and ultimately corrosive entrepreneurial trait of ‘I am number one in the room’ kills me every time I see him do it. Being head of state requires a whole lot more sacrifice than President Trump can stomach.
He has never had any military service, but felt he had the God given right to put down the very man – a decorated Navy Seal – who rid the world of Osama bin Laden. That did it for me. He could not take pride in another individual’s brave and selfless achievement.
Hence, it inspires me to congratulate others on the little victories they have in life. There is so much more to be had in recognising others’ efforts rather than stoking your own lumb. I could touch on the colourful flummery that masquerades as a presidential speech on the need for a border wall. Or even his outwardly hostile comments on his own lawyer.
But, for now, I feel suitably inspired by President Trump in his short, but eventful time in office. I hope I have given you enough here to inspire you early this year without the usual ‘five steps for a more positive attitude to life’.
Thank you Mr Trump for being that role model that inspires me not to be you.