The bane of my existence throughout this lifetime has been the frustrating, never ending search for balance and reason in society be it individually, locally, nationally, or globally.
If we lived in a third world country where tribal interrelations still bordered on cannibalism, or in the middle east or India where religious zealotry abounds, or to bring it closer to home, in the post Civil War era of this country when opportunists took advantage of the resulting chaos to create even more strife between black & white, rich & poor, advantaged & disadvantaged in order to feed their greed, I might be able to understand this constant arrogant, self serving pettiness that absorbs so much of our lives.
However, in 21st century post World War II America, I find these behaviors to be unfathomable. Perhaps at the federal or even state level of government, there is some irrational old money sense that playing head games with other peoples monies, lives, & welfare are fair game and that the aristocricy and power brokers are justified in doing so. If that be true, and if there is a God, pray that he save us from ourselves.
At the local level though, it is ego based hypocrisy at its finest! Perhaps in the upper echelons of the political parties in Floyd County, a select few may be summoned to Washington DC for a period of time. Short of that, I've yet to see any Congressional, Senatorial, or Presidential leadership qualities in local government period! For any of them to thump their chests and proclaim any long term sovereignty over anything, save which shoe they put on first is pure arrogance and has no bearing at all on the good of the people they serve. This "he said/she said", it ain't my fault", childish horse shit was beaten out of me by my daddy by the time I was three and I thank him for it! To be fair, however, we "little people" who voted them into office are no less to blame. We did elect them after all and many of them more than once!
In events of disaster, we can actually come together for a short period of time and work together usually only out of the guilt & fear that "it could have been me!" Three days later, however, if two of us met on the street and one of us had a gallon of fresh water and the other had only two quarts of the same, likely as not we would fight to the death for one to take it all as opposed to dividing it up equally. Sadder though is in that scenario there would be a third bystander who had no water at all and the thought of sharing with him would never enter the process. After all, the disaster has passed! Abeit there are numerous exceptions to that story, the ugly truth of American society at the street level is that it is a true one and it spills over into committee meetings, water cooler meetings, and official hearing rooms all too often.
As a citizen of this country, I have the right of free speach and opinion on unlimited topics. I can however, abuse that right and while it remains legal to take a stand & make a statement, it may result in doing more harm than good to whatever cause I am promoting. And this is the crux of my personal dilemma of intelligent reason versus arrogance.
So I pose the question once again. How do we get past the individual egocentric attitudes and work together as common people with the common goal being to make our individual and communal lives better? How do we become a community? What will we leave behind that we and our heirs can be proud of? How will history judge us and the living environment we created?
Will it be something reminicent of our forefathers who created the first storefront plate glass manufacturing facility in this nation? Or will it be the slumlord kingdom that one passes by on his way to Louisville or through on his way to Ceasers?
I along with many other concerned citizens await answers to these questions.