Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fear & Consequence

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me an through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
Frank Herbert - Dune  

I can't tell you how many times over the years that I read this quote and this book while going through tough times, and it has come back to me in recent days. No, I'm not talking about the results of the presidential election (though they were kinda scary in any number of ways)

We've survived good and bad presidents in the past (yes, and both are equally dangerous) and we will make it through the time of this one regardless of his abilities. My concern is more about the overall direction that we appear to be taking the country. I am afraid of the power, influence, and control that we the American people appear to be willing to grant to the government over their lives. This is not an America involved in a World War, when the entire economy is gearing itself to the effort of winning a war, but more simply an America that does not understand the concept of consequences.
  • There are no consequences to a business that makes poor business decisions and fails.
  • There are no consequences to a company who fails to heed the changing marketplace.
  • There are no consequences to organizations who hand out lavish compensation to a senior management who is in the process of bankrupting that same company.
  • There are no consequences to unions who negotiate contracts that they know will kill the companies that they work for.
  • There are no consequences to stock brokers who push a stock knowing that it's value is wildly overrated.
  • There are no consequences to a person who buys a house that they cannot afford.
  • There are no consequences to a person who spends themselves into crushing debt that they will never be able to get out of.
  • There are no consequences to a government which expands its bureaucracy regardless of its inefficiency.
  • There are no consequences to a government who spends more money than they can ever take in to provide benefits for which they have no mandate for.
  • There are no consequences to a government which robs money supposedly secured in one part of the budget to pay for things from another part of it because they have squandered all that they had there.
  • There are no consequences to legislators who betray the very principles of the government and the people that they represent in their never-ending grab for power.
Yet even while these fears grip me, I have hope as well. Hope in the indefatigable nature of the human spirit, hope that we can yet stop before we go too far down the path we are looking at, hope we can return to the freedom and self-sufficiency of our Founding Fathers, hope in the innate common sense of the American people. It is this hope that sustains me and allows these fears to pass through me until only I remain. As incurable romantic however, there is one fear and one hope that never entirely leave me. The fear is that I will finish my days without once again seeing true love in another's eyes. The hope is that I am wrong. 

Awww, isn't that sweet ...


Roland Hansen said...

No words were better said.

Mariner said...

The antithesis of your comments regarding consequences of actions is the lack of acknowledgement when the large bell shape curve of America performs a great many activities and does so far better than any country on earth.

Tim Higgins said...


Going down the tubes slower than the rest of the world does not encourage me as much as it apparently does you.