The State of the Onion Message

Two nights ago President Obama presented the annual State of the Union message. To say that it “made history” is an understatement! Whether or not you agreed with all the President had to say, or whether you think our country is or is not headed for better days ahead, one thing is certain: we are headed somewhere.

And it behooves us all to take stock from time to time as to where we are headed personally, as families, and as a nation.

This analysis can be called (for lack of a better name) “the State of the Onion.” [NOTE: the unfolding and gradual revelation of various aspects of personal life have been described as something akin to peeling an onion, layer by layer exposing deeper, more private, and more fundamental building blocks of a person’s life]

I usually find State of the Union messages to be very uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, and challenging. I suppose, of course, that is their intended purpose.

But when I look at my own life, the progress (or lack of progress) I have made in my own personal endeavors, and the areas where I need improvement, I sometimes come away a little discouraged. That is, the State of the Onion is not always as inspiring as the State of the Union.

And yet . . . I must assert that improvements and insights into my own personal life have an eventual effect on the State of the Union as well. Unruly citizens make for an unruly nation. There is carryover from my personal life that influences the public policy of the nation of which I am a part.

So, as the New Year has begun, and the State of the Union presented, as religious organizations point followers to renewed dedication, as businesses gear up for the challenges of 2015, and as investors examine and prognosticate about our financial future – I would like to suggest that we not fail to focus on our own personal onion.

The truth is, you are the only person who can peel your onionskin. You can choose to delve deeper into an understanding of yourself, or you can refuse to do so and “go about your days.” You can peel the onion, layer by layer; or you an choose to let it be.

Trouble is, unless you eat like Jim Carrey in The Grinch, onions are not really good unless they have been peeled. Neither are human beings. We all develop a protective skin on the outside; there are no exceptions. But we are of little use until that skin is peeled.

Can it be discouraging to peel your onion? Definitely!

Will personal change be made mandatory by what is revealed? No question about it!

But the benefits, to you and to others, will outweigh all the pain – hands-down.

So, let me encourage you to get out your peeler and start to work. Better days are in your future if you peel the onion. That is a guarantee.

No matter what the true state of the union is in any given year, or in any given administration, you will have control over the state of the onion.

And having that . . . your life, and the lives of those around you, will flourish.

About ivanbenson

I am a singer, guitar player, writer, story teller, voice over talent, and heart attack survivor in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
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6 Responses to The State of the Onion Message

  1. Mr. B, you disappointed me. To no avail, I kept looking for some apt allusion to tears sure to come from all that onion skinning.

    • ivanbenson says:

      Sorry to disappoint you, but I began a practice I’d read about years ago of putting the onion in the freezer before cutting it, thereby avoiding all the tears. Not sure it works well with the personal onion, but it works wonders with the edible kind. 😉

  2. Suzanne says:

    Great point – thank you!

  3. Denise says:

    Great insight and analogy!

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