The Fog We Are Living In

 

 

The present status of America justifies deep concern. Suddenly we are no longer the leader of the Free World. Even worse, we are foundering. It is as if we are living in a fog of indecision and quandaries. Have we forgotten who we are? It seems we cannot see ahead.

Our Present Malaise

In past eras in America I have seen celebrations of who we are and enthusiasm in regard to possibilities before us. Granted there were major conflicts among our people but we prevailed and forged ahead. Now it seems the fog and conflict are so deep we cannot even grope our way ahead. Some of it is political but too often that is all we see it as. To me it seems it goes deeper. Take away the party rhetoric and we still seem to be somewhere between unable to see ahead or not paying attention to what is going on. We seem unable to forge dreams for our future.

Having Lost our Way

Have we lost our way in this fog? Or are there other reasons why we seem so lost and stuck in pointless conflict? I’m not sure that we can address the problem globally. Perhaps it makes more sense to look at specific issues which can be addressed. They may take vision or they may be addressed piecemeal but in whatever regard we need to begin.

The Future Takes Shaping

One thing about the future. It will not wait. It comes whether we want it to or not. And left to itself it will take shape. It would be better if we sought to take on the challenge.

Opportunity

When we step back and look we can see that there is a dynamic future which is accelerating. Perhaps that is part of the problem. It is accelerating in all regards and it is difficult to adapt. But if we don’t adapt, we fall victim. It’s better to not be arrested by alarm because the opportunities are numerous and stunning. Maybe first we each need to examine what is holding us back personally. From there we can address specific issues. It would help if we restored the balance between conservatives and liberals. I happen to believe it was a dynamic partnership. If conservatives are described as people devoted to preservation and improvement then they can join liberals to shape a view they see of dynamic change. But balance is required and we each have a contribution to make. Unfortunately we seem to have lost our sight of this partnership and the partnership need not be seen as political but rather social dynamism.

More Than an Abstraction

We can describe the partnership but what we need to address is not abstract. We can agree there are changes needed and if we will honor the dynamic differences between Conservatives and Liberals we can make important partnerships. Unfortunately much of the rhetoric is abstract and designed to feed emotions. Again, perhaps it is worthwhile to approach specific real world issues where we can employ our partnership.

What would be your first target task?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Life’s a Beach (Not the other word)

 

What does the beach mean to you?

Allegories Abound

The term in the title is often made as a complaint about hardship or complications. But it also can be interpreted as an allegory. How we love the beach! Glorious in summer it offers us motion, change, ease and cools our days and nights with gentle breezes.

But the most prominent feature of the beach is the waves. They touch our hearts as the most prominent feature of our planet interacts with us. It also represents the very essence of our existence. Our lives are ruled by waves as are our social interactions and the larger experiences of humankind.

Succession and Change

Of course, we understand change but the waves of the ocean are enduring and, while repetitive, they are also ever changing with tides, gentle caresses and tempests. Surfers understand to wait off shore for the very special waves. And they do come in, yes, waves. And what we are learning is that our lives are ruled by the goings and comings of tides and successions of waves of entirely different kinds.

It is fascinating that economists are focusing on theories of waves currently. In recent history we can see the waves as conflict built leading to World War I, turmoil of a different kind and then the building tumult of the rise of naziism culminating in the next wave of conflicts called World War II.

In America we saw the tide of people coming off the farms to factories and the crush of such movement in the war effort. Then the men came home, built families and we had unexpected prosperity.

Information Technology

Of the greatest interest is the rise of information technology. It appears to be the beginning of one of the largest wave movements. Humankind went from feudalism to the industrial revolution to market capitalism and now information technology is apparently leading to what is being called a postcapitalistic society.

I won’t go into all the fascinating details in Paul Mason’s book Postcapitalism but he makes a compelling case. At first it is hard to grasp but he gave one example which was illuminating. Did you know that 75% of the world’s music is stored in a computer in Cupertino, California. The cost of storing is minimal, given the magnitude of data and that and the means of distribution and sale has brought the cost of purchase down dramatically.

Tsunami of Change

As a young person I recall getting on a bus near my house and riding it to a nearby town to a record story. I would go in and request to hear certain records I was considering purchasing. I took them into a booth where I would listen to them and make a selection. Then I climbed on the bus and went home with my purchase.

Need I say more, as I sit here at my computer considering what I might want to purchase. The ramifications are amazing and the argument is made that these processes will put an end to capitalism as we have known it. The playing out of the effects into all elements of society are endless. And, in world conflict, we are seeing the waves of our future.

How has information technology changed your life?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Adventures in the World Pt 1

 

Engaging Europe

About here I thought a change of pace and focus might be desirable. And so let me begin with some observations from times my family visited Europe when I was young. It began just after World War II. I was very young during the war and could not grasp the horror. I saw films but in person it was quite different.

Awakening

Of course there were no Nazis goose-stepping around. There were people working to put their lives back in order. In London we had dinner with a doctor friend of my father and his family. It was cold cuts. There was still rationing and meat was precious.

London itself was a shock. Yes, I had seen pictures, but walking through cleared streets with great piles of rubble on all sides was humbling.The people were pleasant and welcoming but, even after all these years, I have to say there was a sense of silence as if they were trying to regain a view of what the future might be.

Rather than go into greater detail and sequence, let me just touch on some recollections.

Vignettes

Paris was pristine and beautiful. I mentioned earlier seeing a haunted shop girl and I’m sure there was an undercurrent I could not appreciate. It has to take time to recover from such a dreadful occupation. I know the answer but thought about the absence of a statue in a square to thank the German general who declined to act on Hitler’s orders to destroy Paris.

In a later trip we went to Germany. By then repair was well under way. The people were generally welcoming. I think the fact that the Marshall Plan helped them recover must have been crucial. In Munich I saw my father talking at length with a man he was buying a camera from who was deeply scarred. He had been a tank commander during the war and was forthright. Outside I could see deeply scarred buildings sitting next to glossy new buildings. Scars of all kinds were everywhere.

We encountered another component of lasting conflict. We went to a restaurant for lunch and were seated. Nothing else happened. We were ignored. We finally simply left understanding that not everyone was going to be welcoming after such a conflict. Devastation of all kinds can be enduring.

Dreams

Looking back I can see that those trips were unlike anything else I experienced. Too often we simply go somewhere and hang out at a resort. On those trips we had in depth experiences for ourselves and those around us. We could not know the full extent of the personal suffering nor did we really want to know.

But the richness of cultures in Europe ofter lead us to dreams. Depending upon your age there will be dreams which are touched and enhanced. In Rome I loved to see the Alfa Romeos streaking around the streets. Their guttural sound was stirring. Of course there were the romantic films at the time. And so at night I could lie in bed listening to the echoes of the sounds of these sprightly cars and dream of driving one someday while I appreciated the lovely young woman next to me.

I’ll leave it there. I just seemed to have needed to share a little of things from long ago which give glimmers of our lives, who we are, and instruct us. They deserve gathering and consideration.

What are your most precious memories?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt