The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘America’

WHAT THE ANTS TAUGHT ME

One day Mom came home with a present. I think I was about 10. It was a book called, “All About Dinosaurs”. It was part of a series which I eagerly devoured as I received each new one. I probably read about 20 of them – but my favorite was “All About the Social Insects.” To this day, it amazes me how these little creatures flourish as they do.

 Unlike humans, there are no internal wars within a colony – whether that colony is ants, wasps or bees. They will defend their colonies to the death against intruders – but there is no warfare amongst themselves.  It’s no wonder they have been around as long as they have.

 But the lesson that I learned recently spoke deeply to what is happening in America and is at the root of our problems. It is the story of co-operation – or more correctly – lack of it.

 My normal routine is to take my two dogs out around 5 o’clock in the morning for their first walk of the day. When we get home, we sit in the back yard and I give them their morning treats. The last of these is always a large size Milk-Bone biscuit – commensurate with their 75 and 100 pound size. Spenser, my golden retriever and Gracie, who is a mix who looks like a small Irish Wolfhound seldom leave crumbs behind them – but the other morning they did.

 The “crumb” was about one-half inch in diameter – and it happened to fall on a piece of serrated stripping that is installed in the patio deck to allow for water runoff. This strip lies directly over a colony of ants who come and go as they please and have for the 10 years I have lived here. We co-exist quite peacefully.

 I am not sure exactly what species of ants these are but they are black and I doubt that they measure 1/32nd of an inch in length. They are the smallest ants I have ever seen – but their size in no way diminishes their enthusiasm and vigor.

 As I sat on my chair drinking my morning coffee, I saw one of the ants come out of the colony and take a “peek” at the Milk Bone morsel. She returned to the colony. Within a minute, several other ants came out and took a look at the dogs’ leftover. Or at least, I thought they were just inspecting it. In fact, each one was taking a teeny bite out of the Milk Bone and taking it back to the colony. More and more of the ants came up to this little morsel and within an hour it had disappeared completely. Hundreds of teensy little ants made this possible – all working in co-operation and with a common goal in mind.

 And here we are in America with the President arguing with Congress and both sides of the aisle arguing with each other. We had a crisis over raising the National Debt Limit and now the “Super Committee” which was to provide a serious plan for reducing our financial mess is apparently deadlocked and will come up with little if anything. Apparently, our political leaders don’t have even the same amount of common sense and purpose that I found in my backyard ant colony. With direction like that, it’s no wonder that the American ship of state is heading inexorably into a wreck against the rocks of arrogance and self-interest.

 Is this the kind of America you want for yourself , your children or grandchildren? I certainly hope not – and I believe most of you would agree. There are only three people who can change the way things are going. Those people are you, me and us. 

They say that people get “exactly what they deserve in their elected officials.” Well, if we continue with our apathetic “status quo” way of viewing things, we will continue to get what we have always gotten – and I guess we will deserve it. 

Or we can make an effort to find people to serve us in Congress and the White House who truly have the country’s interests at heart.

The choice is up to us.

 

My name is Juwanna Doright and this is my blog.

If truth be told – and it’s always a good thing to tell the truth- Juwanna Doright is actually my “nom de plume”. I chose it as summary of what this blog is about after watching the film, “National Treasure” for the umpteenth time. Do you remember Benjamin Franklin’s youthful letters which he composed under the signature, Mistress Silence Dogood? If a nom de plume was good enough for Ben, it certainly is good enough for me.

 So why write a blog?

 Because we as a nation and each of us as individuals are at an historic crossroad. Either we can choose to create a better, more productive and equitable society, or we can go the way of other civilizations which rested on their laurels and ultimately were swept away by the tides of history.

 There simply is no way that anyone living in America and with access to media, whether print or electronic, is unaware that as a nation, we have significant challenges ahead of us. I am not going to re-iterate all the bad news. There are plenty of sources to which you may turn for that. Yes, it’s bad – but restating the obvious is not going to solve any of our problems.

 The purpose of this blog is to suggest ways that each of us can contribute to fixing our many and various problems. Yes – we can fix things – but only if we make the effort.

 Not meaning to sound as though I had just picked up Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” – each of us has to do his or her part to pull us out of this morass. It’s not something we can leave to others. If you think about it, leaving it to others – specifically our political “leaders” – is precisely why we are here today.

 Let me quote a statement that Benjamin Franklin made at the signing of The Declaration of Independence. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” That statement was profound and true in 1776 and is just as true today. 

Just as Franklin and the other founding fathers had a different vision than that which was generally shared by their fellow colonists – which is to say, they thought “outside the box”, this blog is going to challenge you to do the same. I realize that for most of us “change” is always a little threatening. I know it is for me and it probably is for you. But I would remind you that, “If you keep doing what you did, you’ll keep getting what you got.” If you’re happy with “what you got” then this blog is probably not for you. But if you think that things can be better both for you, your children and America, then I invite you to check back soon to see how we may make that happen.

 Until then,

 Juwanna Doright

 

 

 

 

 

 

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