Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Devil You Know

An adage concerning fear about the future goes something like this, “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t know.”  That human emotion is the fear of changes, fear about an unknown future.  Whatever elements a person, a state, a nation, or a political party has feels better than attempting something new or different. Humans are comfortable with the status quo.

Examples abound.  A wife stays with an abusive husband, preferring physical harm over safety.  The United States supports tyrants and dictators, rather than resist their rule.  Welfare recipients prefer being enslaved to free handouts, instead of becoming self sufficient. Etc, etc.

One reason for sticking with the pain and loss of personal dignity juxtaposition with the reality not all changes are positive.  In 1913, states ratified the Seventeenth Amendment, giving the electorate direct vote for U.S. Senators. That liberal, progressive action is counter to the Founding Father’s original intent, and it voided the Separation of Power principal.  America’s first automobiles were electric powered; that changed as we switched to gasoline fueled vehicles.  Political parties dictate elections with each claiming a unique mixture of voters.

Taking risks has intrinsic rewards: BETTERMENT. A person, a state, a nation or certain governments profit from reasonably applied improvements.  Skill sets are the foundation for betterment.  For example, our dentist was a dental hygienist before earning ther dentistry license.  Our financial advisor was a corporate secretary before earning a brokerage license.  The United States forged a democratic Europe in World War I and II.  Our skills rebuilt Europe and restructured Japan.  In today’s terrorist environment our nation has a National Security policy that applies the latest skill-sets to keep us safe.

The status quo has a predicable outcome, which is mediocrity and decline. Our public education system is a prime example.  Our country, federal, state and local, collects billions of dollars in school taxes.  The tax monies go into a layered bureaucracy, where money is wasted.  There are lots of glitz, bling, and pop to the educational programs.  Standardized test scores measure that our well funded institutions are actually turning out poorly prepared future citizens.  The basics are under taught, social mediocrity over taught, and few emphasis saleable skills to earn a living.

Is there a cure? Of course, nay ill can be corrected though accurate analysis, applied methodology, acceptance of need for change, and applying hard choices.  The term is “selflessness” verses selfishness.  Without positive change,  people and government parish.

The divesting tsunami in Japan reminds me of a story. A mountain flood washed through a small mountain town.   A woman was sitting on top of her flooded home.  She was very devote, church going Christian.  She began praying to be rescued.  As she prayed an empty row boat lodged against her house.

She watched gently turn, continuing down the wild current.  Then, a raft of people came by, the driver yelled, “Come on. Get in with us.”  But she declines, saying that The Lord was going to rescue her. The raft continued downstream without her.

As the wall of water grew, a Red Cross helicopter flew over.  The pilot lowered a rope with harness.  But she declined to use it. She yelled up, “The Lord will save me.”
Then the whole house fell into the wild river, taking her with it.

She arrived at Sty. Peter’s Pearly Gates.  Standing there wet and bewildered, she asked St. Peter, “Why wasn’t I rescued by the Lord? I am faithful, church going Christian?”

St Peter replied, “First, you were sent an empty row boat, but you declines. You were sent a motorized rafted with others to help you, but you remained stubborn.  Lastly, we sent a specialized unit to lift you up and out to safety.  You refused to accept an improved situation.  As you are well aware, God helps those who help themselves

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