The city that gave us the first American music
True Inspiration and the freedom to use it. Jackson Browne “Where Were You?” 2008
Louisiana is under water. And California is dry and burning. But if you want to take something good from these disasters look at what is happening. People are rallying to help those affected. It does not matter whether the source is Mother Nature or self-inflicted stupidity. People in our country rally when times are tough. I am amazed and ashamed Obama, Clinton, and Trump made a political issue out of visiting Louisiana. Who gives a shit? One is a lame duck, the other is a sitting duck, and last is a dead duck. If it looks, swims and quacks like a duck …. it is a duck.
In our country, we have a long history of helping each other when times are tough. We do not fold. We made it through several wars, a depression, and high interest rates. Add to the list: disease the financial crisis, and racial and sexual discrimination. We have covered a lot of ground. I just don’t believe the sky is falling as Chicken Little feared. In fact, it is when we feel the greatest threat that we respond.
I live in an area of New Jersey where we have dealt with three defining events since 2001. One came from Evil, another from Greed, and the last from Mother Nature. The 9/11 attacks, Financial Crisis, and Super Storm Sandy all had dire consequences. Guess what? We’re still here. The fact that we are still dealing with the remnants of all three is heavy. And guess what? We’re still here. People are resilient, not just here in New Jersey but everywhere in these United States. Even when our political leaders are trying to divide with fact-less rhetoric and lies. We push forward.
We have turned the ocean into a global toilet bowl. We are putting marine life and our existence to the ultimate test. All the plastic ever manufactured is still here. Some is recycled, but most of it is small beads that make up the great Pacific Garbage Patch. We’re filling the sky with CO2 and driving global temperatures up. This is a consequence of our conveniences. But, we’re still here.
I was walking onto the beach today and there was a basket with a sign encouraging people to donate canned goods. The sign said it was for the homeless in Louisiana. There you go, a sparkle, a particle of yeast in a sea of lethargic dough. Someone took it upon themselves to make a sign to help those in need. It is filling up the last I checked. In the coming weeks, we are likely to see an outpouring of giving for those who need it. Anyone who thinks this will be led by Washington has their eyes closed. Sure, emergency aid will arrive in the form of FEMA loans. But money and goods will come from small donations from regular guys like you and me. Why? Because people are good. When we see pain and suffering, we take action. Often at the expense of our own pain and suffering. That is a quality that makes us unique as Americans. We have a rare combination of complacency and passion for action. But make no mistake about it, when it’s “go time” we go like hell.
It is a matter of focusing our energy. Making the list of our top priorities then knocking them down. The side show that is politics is at the least a distraction. It is also a possibility it is number one on the list of things that need to change. Changing Washington will take a force of culture that just hasn’t been manifest yet. We’re about to sign up for four more years just like the eight years we just had. Does that sound like change to you? The alternative is worse. It would be real change at the expense of everything that is good about America. I see the next ten years as painful and pivotal. Then we will position our country as the global leader of freedom and all that is good about life and living. That is a tall order but the time has come for us to plan what the future should be. It’s in our hands. I believe this is exactly where we need to be to create a bountiful and loving future for our children and grandchildren. If all you want to do is spend your time ensuring that one candidate doesn’t become president, I say ok. I offer up the possibility of a Trump in the White House as impossible. The electorate won’t allow it, no way, never.
But, I don’t see a panacea with a Clinton White House either.
This is the time to begin social reform and we have the next ten years to do it. I will be an old man when things start to improve. I would like nothing better to see the beginnings of a bright future as mine draws to a close.
For the time being, we need to focus on helping others in need. It is good practice. No matter who you are, how much money you have or anything else, we are all in a state of increasing need. Drop off some canned goods at the food bank, donate some clothes or write the check. People need it now to ensure for a prosperous future.
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