It wasn’t so long ago that it seemed like spring in America. Many people were hopeful. Other democracies wanted to be our friends. Now the weather has turned and only dictators will take us in. Our representatives huff and puff but they can’t blow down the free world with new or restored tariffs. Are we preparing for another less than civil war in our own country where people begin by wishing each other dead on Facebook and progress to buying ammunition?.
Had we not established, in the beginning, an oligarchy of wealthy white men to run the place we might not be in this crisis today. We can’t change the past but we can look outside our cherished ancestors to see how other countries have worked together instead of against each other in order to thrive.
Today I observed that the salmon have been moving approximately 2 bridges a day up the stream near my home in Anchorage.
Here they are at the first bridge. They’ve turned red and are swimming upstream from Cook Inlet which is just a few hundred yards away.
Here they are flapping their fins in the shallow water under a further bridge. They make lots of noise. They’ve become more desperate in their undertaking. They are very red. People get like this. So do Nations when they sense the endgame.
Here are some salmon taking a break in an eddy by the former bridge. Note the white on the top of one of the fish. He is rotting away. These fish start out silver. They stop eating and turn red. Their parts start to rot off but hopefully, they survive to mate. Some people are obsessed with their power and their endgame. They turn everything into a predatory pursuit or a competition to dominate. Others can work together for the greater good. Too bad this country glorifies those who defeat others by force or intimidation. By deciding this is our preferred way of operating, we minimize the potential for the next generation to form models of cooperation.
I hope that the ability to work with others can be taught in school and in the home. Why do we grade people on an individual basis or even decide pay this way when most everyone works winds up working on a team? Do we want the other teams in our workplaces to fail so we look better? Perhaps it’s more difficult to introduce cooperation when there are so many single child families in the middle and upper classes. But that means that the meek will probably inherit the earth.
In Fall, people store up supplies. Some people hoard. In Winter disaster may strike any of us and who will help? Probably not those who consider themselves self-sufficient or who have the most firearms. Instead, it may be those who have experience in negotiation and emotional regulation who survive. It isn’t always the strongest or most intelligent/talented salmon who survives. It may be one who rests with the others at the side of the stream who has the energy to reach their final destination. The truth is they will all die, and most of their children will die before they mature. On that pleasant note, I encourage you to take a walk and enjoy what you see and feel today. Do not binge watch the news or your favorite dystopian fantasy. Instead, say hello to your neighborhood and notice that you are not on top of it nor on the bottom. We are just alive, for now. When I walk I’m not sure who is homeless and who is rich or in pain or Republican or Independent. We are just animals in the woods.
Don’t give up hope yet, at least until after you vote. Have a voting party and invite anyone in your neighborhood who has participated in democracy. Don’t make your harvest hatred. Crunch the leaves, watch the moon rise. Forget about responding to every nasty post you read. Don’t hesitate to sing and dance outside but I draw the line at building a wicker man and sacrificing members of the opposite political party. If members of the United Nations can laugh at the audacity of our president then we can laugh too. It’s easier to get away with that in a crowd.