Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shrinking the Pond

Paradoxically, perversely, but not unpredictably, in times of crisis and great challenge, the natural and powerful response is to pull out all the stops rather than retrench into a defensive posture, refusing to acknowledge the dangers and thinking that denial is the only/best response for continued survival, let alone viability and even groundbreaking leadership. In times like this, everything that is “old” in Hawaii, becomes “new” again, with each idea from the past being unfurled as the banner leading them into the modern era, or at least the present time.

The value of diversity is being able to draw ideas and adaptations from as wide a pool of ideas as possible -- rather than the disastrous one of shrinking the pool (pond), and demanding that no other ideas can be considered except for ungodly more money into the ideas that are NOT working, and in fact, have caused the current crisis. But then, problem-solving is NOT a primary consideration -- as much as providing even more jobs at higher wages producing these same problems!

The most rational and sensible, give up trying and move on -- where their commonsense is embraced, rather than fought tooth and nail, just to achieve sanity. One just gets tired of all the senseless hassles -- just to achieve normalcy and some semblance of constructive movement, not only in one’s own field of involvement, but also as a foundation for all the other developments in that society.

But finally, when one realizes that one is not only swimming upstream against the current but the forces of resistance are doubling their efforts to ensure that one fails, those who can realize such things, realize that the best thing they can do is to give up and move on, and let that society suffer its own consequences. The best depiction of this, is Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, which is more than just not caring anymore. It is realizing that one cannot continue enabling dysfunction and (co-)dependence in others -- which those most sensitive are first to respond to. But because of their responses, it too often deludes others into thinking there were not perils that had to be dealt with by those most capable and adept at handling them; they simply reaped those benefits as their “entitlement” -- and then turned on their benefactors demanding inhumanely more.

A smart society spreads the work over everyone -- rather than exploiting the few for all they can drain out of them, before finding their next unwitting victims. So one has to be clear when those boundaries are breached -- to retain that sense of meaning and purpose in public service, instead of becoming cynical in their belief that “all the people can be fooled all of the time -- and they’ll never wake up because they don’t want that responsibility.”

Truly, people don’t “know” what they have until they no longer have it -- and think that all that is required to maintain it, is the empty flattery and promises that will not be forthcoming as their homage to the gods to continue things as they are. For that reason, it is good to have people pointing these things out to the rest rather than everyone agreeing not to see or to see what is not there -- as though that were sufficient to create a more perfect society.

The greatest danger to any society is when all those voices of dissent and real diversity are eliminated and silenced, so that at elections, there is a “choice” of only one person from one faction (party), as the newspapers, schools, universities, unions, all work to attain as their ideal of a perfectly totalitarian society -- they call Paradise.