By Graham Glover –
There is only one solution remaining. All others have failed. Democratic liberalism? No thank-you. Republican conservatism? Not a chance. Green Party environmentalism? Uh, no. Libertarianism of any kind? Never. Never. Never. My fellow Americans, we are down to our final hope. To save America, our country must embrace the cigar. I implore you to heed my call. The cigar’s time is now.
You think I’m kidding? You don’t know me very well.
What’s so great about the cigar? Everything. Absolutely everything.
You must understand I’m not talking about Swisher-Sweets here. I’m referring to a beautifully handcrafted Dominican, Honduran, or Nicaraguan cigar. (And if our boneheaded politicians in DC would ever get over this ridiculous embargo we’ve had on Cuba since 1960, I would obviously include Cubans on this list. But I work for the Federal Government, so no condoning of illegal contraband for me!).
I’m dead serious, more Americans need to learn the art of smoking a cigar.
Why? Quite simply, smoking a cigar takes time. A good cigar takes 45-90 minutes to smoke. 45-90 minutes of pure joy. And to fix our country we need this time with one another. We need to relearn the art of enjoying one another’s company. We need to relax – a lot more than most of us do. And in smoking a cigar, I’m convinced we can finally figure out how to move forward as a country – together – and not as a divided lot.
Some of my best counseling sessions with Soldiers take place over a cigar. We aren’t rushed to go anywhere. We are typically outside (unless I can convince them to meet me at a cigar shop), which means we aren’t distracted by computers, people knocking on the door, etc. We even seem to ignore our cell phones when they ring during this time. Everything else seems to stop during this “sacred” hour+ of cigar smoking. In addition to enjoying the taste of whatever stick we are smoking, we always seem to make progress on the issue that brought us together. I think this happens because the act of smoking a cigar allows us to relax and focus. Additionally, I usually befriend those whom I have a cigar with, and our time together almost always extends beyond what we planned.
And it is here, in the act of engaging in meaningful and sincere conversation, that I learn about Soldiers, myself, and how we can serve one another and the Army.
So here’s my suggestion for our policy makers, sit down regularly throughout the week, preferably with someone on the other side of the aisle, and have a cigar. Talk honestly and earnestly about where you differ. But talk. Then listen. And talk and listen some more. If you disagree, that’s ok. Relax, light up another cigar and go at it some more. I don’t know how you will find a solution, but you will. The cigar will help. If you can’t agree on policy, agree on the wonder of the cigar you are smoking. It’s a start and it will work. Trust me. Trust the cigar.
Above all, I implore all of you to find time to engage others in meaningful conversation. We moderns have lost the art of conversing. And without regular dialogue between those closest to us and especially our adversaries – our democracy, our way of life – will not endure. This is one of the reasons I love cigars. Like most of us, I am pulled in countless different directions throughout the day. The demands of my job and my family consume most every waking hour of my day. But none of us are THAT busy. None of us are THAT important. And all of us can find a few hours during the week to stop what we are doing, sit down, light up a cigar, and relax, focus, and talk.
The cigar’s time is now. It can save us. Oh yes, it can.