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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daring Deeds

Life is risk.... Filled with tragedy and rewards!

  • "For all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these : ' It might have been!'" - John Greenleaf Whittier
From its inception, as a collection of European colonial assets, to its founding - as a Union of Interdependent American States - The United States of America had been blessed with a singularly remarkable people. A people who would dare to achieve greatness, no matter how significant the costs - which ultimately must born. Risk takers, from every corner of the globe, who set sail across stormy and perilous seas - for a land which was both harsh and unforgiving.

Letting go, of all that they knew, they embraced the unknown and chose the path less certain.... They were searching for something better, than, that offered by already existing: civilization, material-wealth, and its resultant societal life - of comfort and ease. They sought, "The Freedom to Pursue Happiness, however it might be found " - knowing full well, how elusive was that most coveted desire!

That character remained with her people, as they built their farms, and cleared their field of trees - that their crops might flourish. It remained with her people, as they founded their cities, and cleared their land of the remaining colonial powers - that such Freedom might grow. It was enshrined, for all time, in their most Sacred Writings -  which established a New Form of Society. A society, which was established, with only one primary focus, and overriding purpose: to Uphold and Respect the Rights of Free Men - over and above, all others!

That character was existent in the creation in our governmental systems. It was found in the ever-present balance, which was sought by our ancestors - in checking the powers of each and every group from possessing any avenue, or means, to gain Real and Tyrannical Powers above any other. Hundreds of Checks and Balances were cleverly sought, and eloquently devised, to maintain such a precious and precarious balance of true political power.

Upon his return from the Constitutional Convention, and asked of what type system of governance we now possessed, Benjamin Franklin replied: " A Republic, if you can keep it...." The prescience of those words are striking.... As are the words of our other great founders, such as :  George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and many others. For they [themselves] perceived the weakness inherent in our own human natures... they knew, how easily, men could be lead very far astray... they understood, the dynamics of: Factionalism and Party Allegiance. In their own personal lives, they could feel the gross seduction of True Political Power.... That raw and unrestrained addiction, which permeates the soul of the Career Politician like a opiate - and, which [equally] clouds the mind of a common junkie, wandering the streets, for his next quick fix!

The achievements, which we have accomplished thanks to this inherent character, simply boggle and stretch the human mind! The list appears endless to even a sane and rational man. How could one nation, achieve such a dominance, in every human endeavor of note? There is little wonder that The United States - in the eyes and hearts of many - has often attained a mythical status in the world. In distant lands, the cry still rings out: " In America, the streets are paved in pure gold!"

In a hundred years, America went from a few villages of scattered and dubious commercial interest to a civilized society - that rivaled the nations, which gave it birth.... In a hundred more, it developed a wealth and culture that others have not accumulated over many thousands of years.... In the last fifty, it has excelled and surpassed all others according to every unit of measure - which we, as men, possess! Leadership in the creation of material wealth, science , technology, medicine and military arms has become the norm. So much so, in fact, that we often take such leadership for granted!

Yet, everything must come at a price. Wealth and Success are not excluded.... For its greatness, America has paid a dear price, indeed! Our great wealth, has made us both comfortable and complacent. Pursuit for rapid gains in science - and its resultant admiration or reward - has overshadowed the need for: accuracy, thoroughness and attention to detail. Our understanding of and reliance upon technology, has lead us to forget the true purpose of all our machines. Our respect and value for life, has become a mere obsession - to the point of imperiling the very society which spawned it!

The price -  which has been exacted upon us - is found in the characters of our people. That character has changed drastically, over time! We have lost the most delicate and precious balance, which is required in all things.... Like the stars and starlets - whom we so idolize on the evening news - we have learned at what cost comes too much, too soon, and too easily won!

A wise man once said, "What Goes Up, Must Come Down." However from the dizzying and dazzling heights which we have achieved, the bottom is a very long way down, indeed. Let us not allow ourselves to go there, anytime soon! Our children, and our children's children, are counting on us and the decisions which we make today.... Let us, not walk the paths of comfort and ease. Rather, in our maturity as a society, let us strive for a proper balance in all things and continue on our climb!

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