The state of the union at the present time can be corrosive to optimism.
Greed is at its highest intensity in my lifetime. I have to open a history book to find such dire circumstances in this nation. Employers have developed an increasingly vengeful posture toward their employees and toward their customers, the worst I have ever seen.
We have also witnessed a major decline in self-confidence and optimism. We are playing decades old songs because so few people are in touch with their muse.
I have quit following movies. Have I missed anything?
Our greatest loss, in my opinion, is that we have lost the art, and maybe even the desire, to think in terms of what lies over the rainbow. Judy Garland taught us about faith and confidence in The Wizard of Oz. In simpler times the film was shown on television each spring. I watched it many times.
How likely is this flock of hot air balloons? We drove to Albuquerque to see them fly. People today have little confidence in the unlikely. It is a great loss.
We have Rosie the Riveter as a symbol of the unlikely—women filling in for men, and getting the job done. I have my list of things that are deemed unlikely that I long to see accomplished. I offer it to you here.
- We apply the principles in Parker Palmer’s wonderful book, The Courage to Teach, by identifying our individual strengths and committing to teaching what we know best. We can teach each other how to teach, if that is what we know well.
- We abandon contrived notions such as race that create friction and rejection and which do nothing but showcase our various vanities and conceits.
- We re-examine the wealth of material that has been created to inspire us. I often mention examples in this blog. It’s a Wonderful Life is one of them. Singing in the Rain is another, especially focussing on Gene Kelly’s defining dance scene.
- Let us reward people whose work provokes our imagination and sense of wonder. Let’s not sell out to faceless corporations who prey on our appetite for convenience.
I encourage readers to compile—and share—your list of priorities. What do you support in spite of the fact that it seems unlikely to happen?