Time to wake up.
Are we hearing the alarm bells yet? It’s not your 5am buzzer blasting talk radio (or whatever else gets your butt moving in distress). It’s more like, melting glaciers that trigger unending volcano eruptions, gushing, unstoppable oil spills, crumbling foreign economies and our own financial system, sputtering along on life support. Are we finally coming to?
I daresay yes. Granted “we” includes hundreds of millions of people across the US, many of whom are in sharp disagreement with my opinions, but from where I’m standing, there’s outrage spewing from all sides…
It’s not just because I live in liberal Portland Oregon. For a town of progressives, it’s actually pretty docile. There aren’t frequent demonstrations in the streets. There are hardly any people around till the sun comes out. And then they’re happy – beyond happy, it’s a treat!
Don’t let the relaxed and generally upbeat demeanor deceive you. I’m thrilled – ecstatic – with my current place, pace and trajectory (Portland’s too, for that matter). Still, there’s no shortage of monster problems, worthy of not just concern, but serious action:
Our leaders (in both church and state) repeatedly fail us, some of our biggest institutions have become parasitic and the financial system we have built for ourselves lacks stability. The Government is a bureaucracy folded over on itself so many times that it lacks efficiency and reliability. There is much to be improved upon, yet it doesn’t mean we must take everything apart and start from scratch.
The responsibility is with us. Each individual, representing minute incremental change, is one of countless others in a population that spans the entire globe. E pluribus unum: out of many, one. It’s time for us to utilize our conscious steering power.
We must take our health, as well as the health of our nation, into our own hands. We must reject apathy, figuring out what issues we can tackle on our own, what issues we can take on with our friends and family, which issues require communal cooperation and get to work. Enough finger pointing. Enough jumping through hoops. Lets quit wanting, waiting and whining.
Pushing forward, life moves along with or without us. This calamity, this crisis, this jaw-dropping disregard for humanity displayed by several of our most powerful corporations… if this is what it takes for the People to throw their arms up together in dismay and say “ENOUGH” than so be it. The 2010 primary results gained headlines for historical losses by multiple incumbents, along both sides of the aisle. I’m with Christine on this, let’s stir it up!
A man in the oil business recently told me, “this spill won’t change a thing.” I disagree. With a huge conflict of interest between the lab hired to analyze the continuing oil leak and BP (one of it’s biggest clients) it’s going to get much uglier before the people see.
I was petting my cat yesterday, my little Love Buddy, when it dawned on me for the umpteenth time that everything is going to be okay. Yes, people are getting fed up and, yes, friction with change is always heated, but I can’t be more excited about what’s presently taking place.
As the decadent life ceases to be a part of the American Dream, we are re-adjusting our expectations and long-term goals. A mundane, if not dismal appraisal of society is only brightened with a reminder that in politics, it’s the increasingly less-subtle appeasement of a population that renders them indefinitely passive and/or content. This causes an excessive amount of sub-surface tension… Ultimately, the balance breaks.
Doesn’t that make you feel cheerful? Me too! Because as our blatantly unrealistic hopes of becoming rich and/or famous dissolve into a more permanent awareness that we are now amidst the Great Recession, people will stop empathizing with the most arrogantly indolent members of our upper class, whose mouth-watering treasure troves are won by looting the Earth, robbing it, us and the rest of it’s living creatures of rights to live freely and without fear of toxic contamination and habitat destruction.
There are carcinogens in our food, air and water. Of course no one wants to see.
So, when does action take place? Dad told me a story yesterday that illustrates the answer beautifully…
A few weeks ago, he returned from having crisscrossed the country, as he periodically likes to do. It was towards the end of this recent trip, when he found himself in the Philadelphia bus station, suddenly without his hat.
He had to have lost it close by, so he looked around. Just when he felt himself coming to terms with the fact he’d have to find a new snazzy hat to buy and, meantime, walk around with a cold head, he looked up and there it was. Some huge dude was standing there, rocking Dad’s hat, nearby.
Dad scrutinized, “that couldn’t be it,” he thought to himself, “besides, I’d easily get my ass kicked trying to get it back.” Then again, he thought about having to replace it. He loved that hat and he wasn’t going to watch it walk away. He had to try.
“That’s my hat,” Dad said to the guy. The dude just stared straight into Dad’s eyes. One of the stoic man’s associates spoke for him.
“He doesn’t speak English,” said the helpful translator, “and you’re making him mad.”
Dad had to pause. How does one respond to that?
“Ask him where he got it,” Dad demanded, “because I used to have one exactly like it. I used to have it just a few minutes ago, right here in this bus station and I’d like to know where I can find a replacement.”
The whole time the dude wearing Dad’s hat just looked straight at him, without speaking.
“He got it from his girl,” said the assistant, gesturing to some lady friend of theirs.
Dad knew it was his hat. This must have made his head feel like it was going to explode. But he had to stay cool.
“Look,” he said with stern confidence, “inside the hat. My hat has owls inside. Are there owls inside that hat?!”
No doubt, by this time, they had drawn some attention to themselves. The big silent man took off the hat and looked inside. There were the owls.
“No way,” I said, spotting Dad’s hat on the table, totally impressed. I grabbed it to check out the lining. Owls! Dad got it back!
So, who are we?
Do we acknowledge the signs that we are being taken advantage of by upholders of the status quo, for our collective lack of practical intelligence and drive? Are we going to let our favorite hat just walk away before our eyes?! What if whoever has it is bigger than us?!
Not in this life.