Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is here. Garden planting time has arrived. Already the squash, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are sprouting. Now the digging of holes for transplant of these vegetable plants is upon us. It is a good time and a time for reflection.

My hand guides the spade as it uncovers the leaves and digs the holes, and a sense of doing something productive blossoms deep inside. For one dark moment, I think of the past; the paths not taken. The ghosts of departed friends and loved ones rise from my memory for a moment. Introspection is not all bad, but too much can be bad for the best of us. It is best to look ahead even though that future path is much shorter than it seemed at previous planting times.

What is ahead? Will the current economic depression run its course to a return of the ways of years past? If not, will the new order that emerges bear any resemblance to the capitalistic economy of today? The answer to these questions is one worth pondering.

America is the undisputed leader of the modern world. Like the rest of that world, we are going through a bad time. We take great and justified pride in our newly elected national leadership. Finally our leader speaks and points to the problem. It is energy, he says. We nod in total agreement. Our economic system is locked up and credit needs to flow again, he says. Some of us wonder what this means and its connection to energy. Some even turn their heads away as the leadership asks and receives money to fund some needed projects to employ citizens. Many more become rightfully concerned as sums of public funds go to what we perceive as undeserving recipients like banks and officials of the financial oligarchy.

The largest concern is whether the need for economic growth espoused by the leadership means a type of growth that bears the same markings and characteristics of the system that resulted in the present disarray of greed and disregard for the planet's resources. Many citizens think so and disillusionment is growing.

An agrarian past grew to an industrial present and ultimately to the physical and moral bankruptcy of the world economy as resources were devoured by an ever growing population. A future looms and the major concern is what will it look like?

Before we grow too impatient with the leadership of our nation, perhaps a view of transitions in the past is not out of order. Remember that those changes did not happen all at once. There was resistance to change. Wars were fought. Pestilence entered our world and took away many a poor soul. Ultimately though, the evolution of change made its inexorable way forward and those who stood against it perished.

So it is with the present situation. Old ways of thinking must and will change. Some of the change will result from enlightening of individuals. Some of it will sadly result from deathly struggles resulting in the obliteration of those who refuse to change. Technology will provide some light for the way forward. As always, the future is there. The question is whether we in a collective sense shall shape it, or be shaped by it?


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