|the beauty of Winter fields can be bleak|
Photo by J. Harrington
Meanwhile, the federal government is "shut down." Women are marching throughout the land. Do those we have elected really represent the best we can do? Are they incompetent? Evil? Simply ignorant? All of the above? Other? Or are we, for the most part, electing people to a system that sets them, and us, up for failure? Einstein tells us that "We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." It seems that excessive emphasis on competition, rather than collaboration, secrecy rather than transparency, and colonial conquering and exploitation rather than cohabitation and partnerships are high among the levels of thinking that have created today's problems. Perhaps we couldn't foresee the consequences of our past actions. Now we are daily faced with them and try to solve them through a battle of wills instead of exploring opportunities together.
|new life stirs as Winter's remnants fade|
Photo by J. Harrington
We doubt very much that the human race will miraculously improve overnight or even in the next year or decade or so. However, that doesn't mean we can't begin to control and diminish our reliance on the worst of our impulses. The United States came about because an authoritarian, distant government failed to listen to those it would govern. We fought a horrendous Civil War to "preserve democracy." We are still struggling about how to effectively and fairly govern ourselves. Will it be only the poor and disadvantaged who suffer the consequences of a federal government "shut down?" Can those consequences be much worse than the dysfunction we have allowed to pass as governance? Let us not have yet another Silent Spring nor a repeat of the history of the year just past.
[UPDATE: others have similar concerns. We found this in the guardian the day after we posted the above.
The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement
Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!For mighty were the auxiliars which then stoodUpon our side, we who were strong in love!Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,But to be young was very heaven!—Oh! times,In which the meagre, stale, forbidding waysOf custom, law, and statute, took at onceThe attraction of a country in romance!When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,When most intent on making of herselfA prime Enchantress—to assist the workWhich then was going forward in her name!Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,The beauty wore of promise, that which sets(As at some moment might not be unfeltAmong the bowers of paradise itself )The budding rose above the rose full blown.What temper at the prospect did not wakeTo happiness unthought of? The inertWere roused, and lively natures rapt away!They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,The playfellows of fancy, who had madeAll powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strengthTheir ministers,—who in lordly wise had stirredAmong the grandest objects of the sense,And dealt with whatsoever they found thereAs if they had within some lurking rightTo wield it;—they, too, who, of gentle mood,Had watched all gentle motions, and to theseHad fitted their own thoughts, schemers more wild,And in the region of their peaceful selves;—Now was it that both found, the meek and loftyDid both find, helpers to their heart's desire,And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;Were called upon to exercise their skill,Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!But in the very world, which is the worldOf all of us,—the place where in the endWe find our happiness, or not at all!
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