Sunday, October 22, 2006


There is something seriously wrong with the American psyche. I submit - this "problem" was the reason we failed to see 9/11 coming, and is the reason we will be equally surprised by 9/12. You see, we Americans have a problem - we are stuck on fantasy island and we can not escape because we are trapped by paradox.

You see, we are both extremely fearful, and yet exuberantly positive. We believe we can achieve anything, and complain that we are limited to nothing. We are both proud and ignorant of our past. We are optimistic about our future and yet we passively await its demise. We can dream big, but forget quickly.

What does this mean? What does it have to do with my subject? Well, it means we Americans have a dissonance of inaction. Our vision only extends as far as our willingness to believe, and our willingness to act falls even shorter. It means that we are failing to see the big picture and act long term. Let us take the topic of emergency planning. Let me ask you, do you know what to do in the case of an emergency? Are you prepared? How many Americans are prepared? Is our government prepared?

The CIA did not see 9/11 coming, air traffic controllers did not know how to respond, and the military was not ready to scramble jets. FEMA was not ready for Katrina, and they did not act accordingly following the disaster. These are just the shortcomings of our government, but the American people are equally to blame. How many of us have extra water and food stored, an emergency crank radio, flashlights and extra batteries, candles, matches, a corded phone that does not require electricity, exit plans, and rudimentary knowledge of what to do in different types of emergencies? From my interactions with others it seems not many. I personally have most of these things, and the things I do not have I am in the process of gathering. Some might see this as paranoia, but I see it as preparedness, awareness, and foresight. Am I fearful? Not at all; in fact, I am less fearful because I have taken action in the areas that I can have control.

It is this type of foresight that our government must have, and the American people must begin to develop. We must imagine the unimaginable, and then believe in possibility. Then we must use our ingenuity and creativity to be prepared. The capacity to believe that I speak of will surely help combat terrorism and help us be better prepared, but it does not have to be focused merely on doom and gloom topics. It can be focused to determine positive solutions for issues like health care, out of control spending, homelessness, global warming, etc. The point being, that if we fear the unknown and the unimaginable, then we become slaves to a future of uncertainty. If we dare to imagine, believe, and then take action, we can control our future for the betterment of all.

1 comment:

DeAnn said...

I think people saw 9/11 coming, but were too naive/lazy to act upon it quickly and with urgency. Which is maybe worse?