American Elephants

Stumbling Around, Trying to Find Out! by The Elephant's Child
December 1, 2022, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Politics

I seem to be caught up in what we know and what we do not know. There’s an enormous amount that we do not know, and we stumble around because of it. Being human, of course means stumbling your way around trying to find out. We invented speech and languages aimed at shared meanings, so we could share what was in our heads with what was in other people’s heads. Obviously we are a long way from perfect communication and common meaning. We are a world full of different languages, often not well translatable or transferable.And even to the small extent that we try to share, it’s mostly very imperfect. Were it easily translatable, we might not have so many wars. A common language remains a vague dream. We can’t even get along in the common language we have.

I’m certainly not trying to change the world or any part of it, just grasp what is actually going on. In our own country, proprietors of a store in New York don’t share much with the proprietors of a shop in Billings, Montana. But there are some commonalities I can look at the pictures of the damage from Hurricane Ian, and deeply sympathize, but the pictures demonstrate the months of cleanup and rebuilding required. A restaurant owner in Topeka may look at the pictures and sympathize, but the restaurant owner in Florida may be wiped out and in need of massive amounts of help. Our society tries to step forward with help, but the pictures of collapsed buildings, splintered wooden walls, and no funds that match the need show where the damage is more than what and how to help. And of course people in one section of the country are concerned with their own needs. So what does society do? Society encourages insurance and the companies that provide it, but imagine what happened to the insurance companies who insured a goodly portion of the needy!

My point is not to lecture anybody, simply to get our minds focused on the needs and how society can help to do it better. If you live in Ontario, Oregon, should you have any concern for a victim in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida? That’s partly why we have governments and elect our own representatives to sort that stuff out. Life is indeed a little complicated. Throw into that conundrum the fact that possibly no resident of Ontario has ever been to Florida. An overly simple example of the problems and possibilities of a United States! How “United” are we and how united do we want to be? Some days I get the feeling that we really don’t grasp the difficulties of all getting along! We try hard to develop solutions, but it is a highly imperfect business and there are no perfect solutions. We really do have to live with imperfect solutions.

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