Blog 1817 – 09.14.2020
As 2020 began, news was already spreading worldwide of a new threat to life and health but some were reluctant to take steps to prevent and to minimize the lost of life. Sadly, some in this country still are not serious about protecting themselves or others from the spread of disease and disaster. We have in the United States this persistent myth of the lone hero, a man of few words, and most of those are that he alone can save the day. The Lone Ranger, Superman, and Leroy Jethro Gibbs are all cut from that same cloth, but those would be heroes always pay a large personal price and yet we as well a terrible price for believing that they alone are the answer to all our troubles.
Some years ago conservatives laughed and mocked a Hilary Clinton book title, It Takes A Village, in which she explained that she believes that it takes more than one parent or two to raise a child properly, it takes a whole village of support people. This you and me against the world theory, as romantic as it might sound, is a receipt for disaster. I mean really trying to brave it alone with a soul mate or even a very adept and faithful side kick is to be ill-equipped to face the really big things that life sends our way.
It was not the hero, the savior, the better tool inventor, or even a loving and faithful significant other that made us successful as a species, but working together as a group to achieve a single goal – survival and the greater good of the group. The single-minded goal of capitalism seems to be to climb to the top of the pile, hook or crook, by any means possible, so one or a few can lord it over the others. Democracy’s intent is to establish a government were every voice is heard, not just the voices of rich and powerful few. The strong man model of government always ends up with a tyrannical few calling the shots and pulling the strings with even the dupe in charge unaware that he too is being manipulated.
I believe that we all have access to a higher better self that we all share in common and that our better angels like our best prophets are always pulling for us to “get along” and “work together.” They that would blame “others” and divide us are not true heroes or even friends. Any man or woman, king or god, who says “I alone can save you” is a con-man, a film flam huckster usually only interested in feathering his or her own nest at everybody else’s expense. By their colors you shall know them, it is said. From a child we are asked the most silly question, “What is your favorite color?” as if we had to pick just one, a favorite child, a favorite parent, aunt or uncle, cousin, or friend. These are all silly and rather infantile points of view as there is a rainbow of colors and people to befriend, love, and make a part of our higher, bigger, better lives.
You hear it over and over in truisms like “you can trust no one but yourself.” The truth is that we are here because a multitude of people throughout history trusted one another and loved us enough to band together and to work as a group on their own and our behalf. Our best leaders have always been team builders, those that knew best how to unite us and to get us to pull together rather than to pull apart. One of my favorite lines from the book of Esther is the line delivered by the wise Mordecai to the pretty young girl Esther regarding her being chosen by the king to be one of his wives: “And who knows but that you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?”
Tough times, difficult times, perhaps, but we in the U.S. have three very clear choices to make in the months again, we can pull together or pull apart, we can wear masks and maintain social distance or risk our lives and the lives of others, and we can vote fear and continued division or we can choose hope and try to put the united back in the United States of America. We are bigger, stronger, higher, and better together than we are apart.
Your friend and fellow traveler,