it is a brand new week... the birdies are chirping... the fishy's are jumpin'...I just might sing me a round of Moon River on the steps of a fire escape, strumming my old guitar, before the day is done (and if you clicked Dear America you would get that)... for Congress has just bought themselves another week of life! It's a good thing.
And yet, there was something off with the first whispers from the president immediately after the announcement of a deal on Friday night (or was it Saturday morning). He said "I normally wouldn't be in favor of these sort of spending cuts" ... [and carried on anyway, almost begrudgingly... saying "but we have to"...ho hum...heavy sigh later... "we have to live within our means" now...]
You normally wouldn't be in favor? ...of little... puny...hardly making a dent...less than 2% of the budget...spending cuts? seriously? what is going to happen over the course of the discussion about the 2012 budget, the upcoming debt ceiling debate, or your overall response of the insistence by 'we the people' to return our government to responsible fiscal policy? and going back to our questions of just last week -- what about your campaign promises to go "line by line" and ultimately "halve the deficit before the end of your first term" (instead of quadrupling it)? You say you "normally wouldn't be in favor of these sort of spending cuts"...um, just what would the conditions need to look like for you to abnormally be in favor of it (if that even gets us any closer)?
but let's not dwell, shall we.
it's spring time by golly.
So, in light of my american girl diary being abruptly hijacked with the hi-jinx of congress all last week, I certainly don't want to dwell on the past any more than I have to; what's done is done; what is left undone, is yet to be done -- or will never get done; what's undone and broken is now a matter of record -- and how. History will decide, as they say.
This week officially begins 'spring break' for me and my girl. And I very much intend to move forward looking forward...in every way.
And proving the magnificence of the universe (again) -- because there are no accidents -- just the right stuff arrived fresh and flirty in my Saturday's mail to help me along (of course, a certain William McGurn might find that context a wee bit odd). But pour me a scotch and light my ciggy anyway, I do believe a little spring forward is overflowing with possibility with ah, how do you say, a certain je ne sais quoi now that I have something truly tantalizing in front of me. Oh darling, move over Holly Golightly, "dismal science" is so yesterday.
A Publication of Hillsdale College, the Imprimis, has arrived: "The Not so Dismal Science: Humanitarians v. Economists" is an adaptation from a speech given March 3, 2011, presented by William McGurn, while at Hillsdale taking part of a two-week residency "as a distinguished visiting fellow in speech and journalism."
As he prepares his audience for the argument in store for them, he begins:
"...when it comes to seeing the potential in even the most desperate citizens of this earth, our economists, business leaders, and champions of a commercial republic are often far ahead of our progressives, artists, and humanitarians."
McGurn leads us through a number of windows in history, from slavery to population control to impoverished nations, from the economics side to the humanitarian supply side, from the civil war on through to the present, and for a second, all the way back to the book of Genesis. He makes ample and abundant the relationship of sound economics when applied with the firm belief that "free men and free women can accomplish for themselves."
Building upon the cornerstones of our society, he reminds us of "the unalienable dignity and matchless potential in every human life...The book of Genesis tells us we possess this dignity because we have been fashioned in the image and likeness of our Creator. Adam Smith told us that we are equal because we share the same human nature."
and adding an observation from a conference McGurn attended nearly a decade ago, he quotes Gary Becker saying, "I am struck by the similarity between the church's view of the relationship between family and the economy and the view of economists -- arrived at by totally independent means, Economic science and spiritual concerns appear to point in the same direction."
And making a strong close, McGurn gives us this:
"One does not have to be an economist to recognize that societies that open their markets are better fed, better housed, and offer better opportunities for upward mobility than societies that remain closed and bureaucratic. Nor does one have to be a religious believer to recognize that the source of all man's wealth has been just this: that he does not take the world as given, but uses his mind to find new and creative ways to take from the earth and add to its bounty.
If, however, we do believe, can we really be surprised that the Almighty who created us in His image also bequeathed to us a world where we are most prosperous when we are most free?"
I am feeling so springy that I believe I'm beginning to feel, ah, how do you say, a wee bit woozy. hiccup.
In the beginning, of America, a long, long time ago, the connection with our Creator wasn't necessarily out of an organized religious force, as something that we had to do, as perhaps a stipulation against our will or fancy, under the commandment of some kind of heavy handed, vengeful, mean God who just wanted to rule the world in conjunction with a power synonymous with government control. No. We purposefully aligned, as individuals, and together as a society, protected Under God, endowed by our Creator, because doing so opened our hearts and minds to the creative Life Force that is God, that is Love, that is Creative (just look around and this sort of Intelligence affirms It's Presence everywhere...in every tiny living breathing thing).
And as McGurn pointed out, we don't even have to believe, or follow, an organized religion to do it, to create; all things being equal, whether accepted as your Truth, or not, all people, of all walks of life, are fully equipped to tap into the Source and create something out of nothing (shhhh, we are even doing it unconsciously at times, shhhh).
We do it following natural urges and inclinations, for better or for worse, because we are kinda free like that to do so (emphasis on "kinda"); it is purely our talents, our application, our ability to transcend the trappings of humanity that may test our souls and stifle our god given purpose with a vitality and passion that is uniquely "fashioned in the image and likeness of our Creator." We, as human beings, tap into the very same Goodness and Godliness of the Creator Itself.
The thing is -- being at the start of this happy-go-lightly spring break from school and normal routine -- is that it has equally stirred my senses to think about our schools and normal routines just the same. (weird)
Unless attending a private school to which time is generally, if not specifically, allotted, NOT once in our children's day in the public school system is turned over to reflect on the Creative Life Force within, or without; not once.
No moment of silence. No re-alignment with the Great Equalizer that can shape a life from a pea to a princess, a pauper to a king, a Lula Mae into a Holly Golightly (I know, I know, a strange twist and a stretch, but humor me, if you will). But in this modern era, even though we are said to have "progressed" over time, we now create children only to send them off to school to have their God given life force snuffed right out of them, or simply ignored altogether, if not also, demonized and sent to the back of the class.
...because, heaven forbid, we try to teach them a moral conscience, a connection to mankind, the differences between good and evil, and the essence of the Creator itself planted deep within their soul, individually and collectively, and their inherent duty to live in relationship with It, whatever you want to call it...or even, for just a moment, THINK about just what It Is, and ponder It, question It, learn something from It.
yeah, heaven forbid we do that.
We used to teach these things -- back in the eighteen hundreds -- every day. In addition to church on Sunday, our schools would teach our children through stories, like those captured in what became known as the McGuffey's Readers. These books used fables and prose, poems and Bible verse, all to make a point: to urge children to think, ponder, dwell upon the deeper questions and concerns we all have in common with being human. And not only think about these things within themselves, but debate them with one another -- further allowing the creative life force to work It's magic through the classroom, and ultimately touching each and every child through osmosis, if nothing else.
Of course, McGuffey's Readers were not used everywhere, but when people joke about the olden days and only having an eighth grade education (yes, like the beginnings of certain Abraham Lincoln) they may not have considered how serious the studies were way back when...you know, back in the day. Some might even say, immediately following the age of enlightenment, came the age of what comes next -- how to best use this new found enlightenment in daily life for the betterment of the whole (taking into account economists and humanitarians alike, of course) while, not to mention, making striking advances for oneself.
From the author of Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach, came a companion book simply called, Something More. In it, she makes an incredible claim saying, "We're not meant to fit in. We're meant to stand out." think about that!
And goes on to tell of a response to such a quandary for self-esteem from Marianne Williamson -- who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest New Age writer's of our day (especially during the 90's, when she was often on Oprah). Marianne laid things out like this:
"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? [But] actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. [You] were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within [you]."
Adam Smith meet Marianne Williamson.
Yes! Don't you just love that, "your playing small does not serve the world." (and yet, if we get just one more charlie sheen...oi vay)
Our Judeo-Christian heritage, following the great escape from the Church of England, in order to create a more perfect union separating the church and state, had nothing to do with creating a separation from our Creator, nothing of the sort. Whether authentically Christian, Jewish, or Deists, our founders connected to God as a Life Force, and a Life Force NOT intended to ever be separated. For this creative principle is always beginning and never ending. They believed in the manifestation of Divine Ideas through and through, and likewise, equally shared within each person, making it very easy to devise a system of government surrounded around freedom, liberty with as little government intervention as humanly possible (oops).
From the Science of Mind visionary, Ernest Holmes, "The profound thought of all ages has stood in awe of Life itself, realizing that here is a power and potentiality, the highest possibilities of which the human intellect cannot fathom. Universal principles are never respecters of persons; the Universe has no favorites." Another way to look at it, respective of the law that Thoughts are Things, is -- what you think about expands...so be very, very careful of where your thought goes in the first place (but that we shall save for another day).
This is the stuff that we are made. It is incredibly powerful -- while also wondrously fair. Our founders gave us the greatest gift ever by recognizing certain unalienable truths and principles for all people -- for all free people, that is. To be certain, societies falling under the unlimited, overzealous government umbrella, those perhaps deemed "closed and bureaucratic," fail to teach, and reach, potentialities and divine destiny every time.
While in one final argument, made by another stellar professorial type, Dr. Tibor Machan of The Daily Bell, reminds us how lucky are we that even our own morality, and choices thereof, must remain free to be or not to be (and perfect timing if I do say so myself... in my In Box.... just this morning....strange):
"It is impossible to do the morally right thing at the point of a gun. Coerced morality is a contradiction in terms. Only when one does what is right or wrong voluntarily, of one's own free will or initiative, does it amount to something morally significant...But if one has a moral obligation to help one's unfortunate fellows, promote the arts, conserve resources, or guard against the destruction of ancient ruins – all of that and anything similar has to be undertaken voluntarily, not at gunpoint. That's the nature of moral or ethical obligations and responsibilities."exactly; which is why the left (and right) cannot simply make it so by force through regulation by government commandments; which is why the education of our children must include simple discussions examining just that -- with no child left behind.
Our children require the tools to make up their own mind and construct the moral foundation from which they choose to live... creatively, abundantly, freely, in the pursuit of their own happiness...I mean, for goodness sakes, can't we at least talk about It?
Our children require time open for discussion -- giving ample time for real, deep, meaningful thought and debate to occur...so that maybe, one day, they too, "add to the bounty" of this great earth and not simply take things away.
Our schools could be designed as miniature THINK TANKS for good, all over the country. Not out of coercion, but from a place of learning, giving, for broadening horizons and even, "winning the future." But a shutdown of the debate itself not only hinders our growth and expansion, but it suffocates even the tiniest possibilities to bud. Our last hundred years took Spirit out of our schools and routines, may in the next, we bring It back.
At one time, we were all taught to tap into the Divine as if it were child's play, as if every day was like spring time. How on earth did we get here? Think progress?
I think NOT.
Make it a Good Day, G