An Investigative study by:
Narveen Aryaputri for Georgia Weekly Post
Uncle Sam had two children: Frieda and Freddie. It sounds simple.
Uncle Sam is old, and his two kids are grown up. Or, as some would say, still growing up. It sounds simple.
Regardless, in their youth, Frieda and Freddie learned much from Uncle Sam. They - we - learned the essence of his - our - nature: Resilience, forthrightness, honesty, courage, focus, strength, call to service and the quintessence of Americanism: the ability to adapt while keeping the goal in sight: never losing sight of the goal.
And Uncle Sam taught Frieda and Frieddie how to teach this to their young. And to teach these qualities as they learned it: with endurance and optimism.
So what is the goal? Of course the question will cross our minds. We are curious beings with healthy questions and even more healthy searches. What is the goal and how do we get there?
Let us look at the goal as it is dinned into our heads, taught to every school child in America till it has become the very essence of the air Americans breathe:
The Dignity of Freedom, AND the responsibility that goes with Freedom to achieve Freedom and nurture Freedom. How did we get there? Most of the work was done by Uncle Sam and his Fathers. All Frieda and Freddie have to do is maintain.
This is what Freddie and Frieda say:
First: stop blaming others. Stop blaming the government, stop expecting them to do what is beyond their capacity and nature.
Second: take the responsibility for yourself and your community.
The fate of us is NOT in the hands of the few. We all know this, not only Freddie and Frieda.
The Human form: the broad base of perfect balance: the feet, the legs, and the posture is based on an erect spine. The spine is what carries us, as humans. Because of its significance, the spine has come to mean more than the physical spine. It is Strenght and Character. The qualities Freida and Freddie were taught when they were little. And yet the spine is resiliant. It can bend and swerve and move and yet hold us strong. And it takes strength to be human. But humans cannot live in isolation. We are socials beings, depending on each other.
There is an image from the Kanji script of Japan and China that beautifully shows this quality of the Human: the Kanji script of the Human is " Hito" each stroke is a being. They depend on each other. And that is what makes them Human. This is a very important quality.
How do we activate our community and weave of our society patterns to tightly hold us, the components of our society, move and bend and yet hold us so we are Strong and Resiliant?
For only by achieving this resilient and strong community can we eliminate the climate of fear. AND the addiction of blame.
As the feet falter, and the legs become weak and the spine begins to slip in its balance and the weight of age, Frieda and Freddie have learned to continually keep American ideals fanned and alive. They have learned to avoid the brittleness of age and keep their spine young and supple. No weak ones, these.
Humans know how to adjust to change. Learning from our heritage and the Spirit within us all, not to rely on government workers already overburdened learning to be self-sufficient we teach ourselves the strongest component of resilience: We are the government. We put the workers in power in the position to be of service to their community and its people: those people who are its components.
These are the components that build the weave of each cloth that is a community. If we are to wear the mantel and wear it proudly, then we must make sure the threads of the weave are stong. More than the thread: each knot that ties the threads together is strong and tied tight. Our community - any community - is a jigsaw puzzle. No two pieces are the same. Each piece is vital. Without a piece the jigsaw picture is not complete. In a jigsaw puzzle, each piece matters.
The picture is like a community. Each component matters. Our job is simple: take care of each piece. Maintain its value for what it contributes to the whole. But prime, and foremost, make sure each piece is not draining from the whole. Each piece takes care of itself. This is vital for building the resilience of American Society. Building the resilience of American Society will increase National Security. This is vital. This we all know. But how do we achieve this?
The answer is in three simple structured steps:
A) Make sure we are individually secure and safe.
Let's break this up into two aspects:
1) Social support and network: 'to gun or not to gun' that is a personal question. The fact that, at this time in our history, gun shows are sold out is revealing. America is buying guns.
But more than guns: who is your social network? Who is your support group? Do you have a network personally? Commute and volunteerism are essential to America and Americanism. Americans HAVE to re-strengthen and re-awaken their essential spirit of volunteerism and community. Without this our basic structure will disintegrate, and America will weaken.
And alert and heroic people are what protected our country. The United Flight 93 was aimed at the Pentagon in 2001. Certainly the United States Federal government's constitutional duty is to "provide for the common defense" but Americans know clearly that government includes the American people. More: Government IS the people. We are of the people, by the people and for the people.
The American people have the capacity of Resourcefulness which they displayed then and display repeatedly.
The People and Citizenry need to be trained as first responders in each section of the community. Do we even have a contingency plan active in our city? Or are we leaving this only to the law enforcement forces, already stretched thin? Have the American people ever disregarded a call to service? Will our individual community disregard a call to service in a network of safety ?
Conversely, does the city ALLOW its businesses to take responsibility? Or do our city governments tell the businesses who to do business with and what they are to do? Are our cities attempting to do what is impossible: which is to control all the businesses in their jurisdiction? For some its a time bomb about to explode.
Individuals must be allowed to take responsibility for their own selves. So it is with businesses. This must be made clear to both individuals making up a business as well as clear to the local city governments.
Any excessive control from the city side, or government, can easily slip into a totalitarian state psychology. We have seen totalitarian state are always weak.
Simply because their essential components..the people..have become weak. As a result, their community has become weak.
Of all the enemies of Resiliant and Strength, Totalitarian state government and psychology is the worst. It will suck the blood out of people. Totalitarian mind sets create hatred and weakness. Cities that use Totalitarian psychology will wind up with an absent or a limp, helpless, weak citizenry and people who are a dead weight on all and any resources the community has to offer.
The warning sign is a growing level of passive people around in the community, sometimes cynical, sometimes disgusted, moving between fear and loss of initiative. If you see this then our enemies are winning and America is losing ground.
2) Who are the community's reliable resources? Who is your trusted source? Who will answer your questions? Let's go beyond the questions....who will answer the phone?!!! What is a number you can call that is not linked to an answering machine? More importantly, who will give you accurate information? Information that is not sensational or propaganda.
This person must not be hysterical or an ostrich-in-the-sand. Someone you can rely on for a balanced accurate analysis. In other words, who are the Wise Ones in your immediate circle. Find them now, when you can. Before you need them desperately.
This is probably a most difficult, yet most important and necessary step. For each of us MUST contain our own personal climate of fear, yet not be sucked into denial like frightened fools.
Our near term goal is clear. Dissolve the fear dividend. One drop at a time. Those who wish to attack us cannot get us if there is no fear dividend.
Look at the basics: America is too large, too vast for any sustainable attacks. Know that it's vastness is its strength. So too is its strength in the government by the people. These are the communities that connect as a tight honeycomb creating a shield. Each of these communities, regardless of place or size, add to the strength of America.
Let's take the image of Grant Wood's "America Gothic" painting, symbolic of our American Midwest values. But it is more. It is also symbolic of the steely strength of American Pioneers as they populated a land unknown to them. And hostile to them in many ways.
The pitchfork has many uses. Let it turn horizontal, instead of vertical pointing upwards, as in the painting; and let it be pointed at anyone who pretends to be Rambo-like terrorist inspired by Hollywood's make believe cult of Rambo-land. Let our good old proverbial Pitchfork be the proverbial Transformer that becomes the formidable monster that no one can destroy. Ridiculous as this imagery may sound, the steely strength of individual components are what governs America's prowess: for America is too large for any sustained attacks.
Abraham Lincoln had said: America can only be destroyed from the inside.
Let us not be a puppet in the hands of other Rambo like creatures, some home-grown in our land, who want to get in their 15-minutes of fame, and force us to spend HUGE amounts of ill-advised and over-arching measures at Federal level to contain something that the shield of the proverbial pitch-fork and guns can handle easily by the N.I.M.B. ( Not In My Backyard ) Method.
This can only be done if we dissolve our fear, and it's toxic effect, systematically.
This is one step further from the Declaration of Independence. It is internal security at a micro-level. It is a series of a micro-item connection. Tiny. Like a honeycomb. Make EACH micro-unit strong, resourceful and Resiliant.
How can a 'cell' with a known terrorist grow in a well-knit community? Can we not be responsible and take care of our neighbor? In the 1800s in the British Isles, the word 'vagabond' referred to a person who came into a community without a 'master' or a 'retinue' and without a purpose. A vagabond was not allowed to live within the walls of a community. But then community members had to know, take the effort to know who is coming in, and respond by welcoming them, or asking them to leave.
This is not a closed door policy. America is a land of immigrants.
We just do not have to go to the polar extreme. In our defense mechanism against the influx of immigrants, we have closed the doors to our homes. We have learned to wear blinders, bury our head in the sand, like ostriches, and we have developed all kinds of problems. Because humans cannot live without community and society. We are social beings. Shutting the doors have created problems that are weakening the very micro-unit of communty that needs to be strengthened. The rates of loneliness have grown, so has the result of loneliness: obesity, depression, anxiety, perversities, and great rage, among others.
Remember: society has the ills it tolerates.
To keep America resiliant and strong: let us go one step further: connect with the communities which have already
developed their internal security system and their resilience, or are more developed. Stay in the loop.
It is an effort. Take the effort. Share with them the developements and progress. As well as the learnings from your own society. No two communities are the same. Share the strengths and weaknesses. It is part of the solidarity. Remember, we are human. Not machines.
There are structured ways of getting this sense of purpose. We all, individually and jointly, need to examine this individually and jointly. This is timeless. Consider the words of Archilochos, from 700 BCE still valid today:
"will, lost in a sea of trouble: rise.
Save yourself from the enemies of the whirlpool of willing,
Courage exposes ambushes.
Steadfastness destroyed enemies.
Keep your victories hidden.
Do not sulk over defeat.
Bend before evil.
Know the rhythm that binds all men"
B) Carefully structured contingency plans.
Have enough supplies and provisions to last between 1week to 1monrh, plus learn to barter.
Barter makes the dollar go further. Ours is the Mighty Dollar. Use it ONLY on what you value and believe in. We cannot blame companies who feed us inferior products when we are endorsing them with our purchasing power.
The key word is RESORUCEFULNESS. People who are resourceful. Not technology. People learn from People.
Sister of resourcefulness is recovery. Rapid Recovery. The distance between realization and action to rectify must be very short. This must be short BOTH in mental capacity and in time. It is important to understand this concept. It is not impulsive, ungoverned infantile, unstructured cation. It is very goal oriented. Focused thinking to being this rapid recovery.
C) Draw from all sources. Learn from all sources.
This is New America. It is a new world. Familiarize yourself with the intellectual thinking that is around us. We are in a war of ideas.
We are in a war of attrition. Those who do not like our way of life will slowly wear us down. Idea by idea. And you will not know, or realize, the hemorrhage. It is a calculated way. Understand there are abusive societies. Not just abusive people. Understand how they work.
Understand their mindset. Do not allow yourself to get into the slide of ignorance. Take this challange: come to a place where you can recognize the source of a concept. Remember: the purest thought is the one that cannot fade under examination. Do not doubt the integrity of your beliefs. Yet, arrogance is weakness.
It behooves us, as well educated sophisticated people, to know the concepts of Human communities across the world, as clearly as we know what to accept and do not accept.
Henri Kissinger was the one who invented the term 'Benign Indepifference.' While the term he invented and used might be useful for political purposes not diplomatic negotiations, it is a method to use in tightly knit communities, strengthening themselves against enemy onslaught.
Keeping in mind that the young tree bends, the old snaps being brittle and without any resilience, being supple is not an option. It is a requirement. It is a vital component of Resilence.
It is the strong aspect of The Goal.
In the 'Art of War' Sun Tsu talks clearly of knowing the nature of the enemy. It is a very strong factor in his text and instructions. This same concept is repeated in all the other texts of instructions in the art of governance. Sure our intelligence at the Federal level is leading really quickly, yet, keeping in mind we are the government, we exercise our vote, do we learn as quickly or better?
As part of our structured goal of achieving and mainting America the Resiliant, this ignorance is not an option.
The more afraid we are, the stronger our enemy gets and the weaker we get. All this stuff about people getting killed if they speak their minds is a factor of increasing the Fear Dividend.
We have to have the courage of our convictions, and make sure the ones around us are constantly reawakened. Each of us have to maintain our robustness. If we don't watch it, and if we allow ourselves to be crippled by fear and the lack of structure, pretty soon we will be these helpless limp dolls that had become popular in the 80s as a symbol of the culture in America then. That would be disastrous today, in the climate of the clash of cultures today.
This robustness costs very little money. And it is vital.
In June 2007 the report by the Council on Competitiveness, a Washinton-based group "committed to ensuring the future prosperity of all Americans," concluded: "The ability to manage emerging risks, anticipating the interactions between different types of risk, and bounce back from disruption will be a competitive differentiation for companies and countries alike in the 21st Century."
Companies and counties are made up of people. Without people there are no countries and companies. And no community and no society. It is the strength of the individual that makes up the Strength of the whole.
WE as people, have to demand our governments put in place programs that help build those qualities of the Amidan Tradition of self-reliance and volunteerism, endurance and optimism, resourcefulness and steely strength and recovery.
We must not allow the cites and state governments to keep us at arm's length.
WE are the people. WE have been empowered by our land and it's organizations. WE maintain the work done by our Founding Fathers. These are decisions WE must take.
Who is going to be dependable? This is our only way, those people and companies and organizations, including Governement, who are dependable will draw people.
The official term : Operational Risk needs to be familiar to us all. It is the term meant to be used for pre-empting a crisis.
The very Rambo-land of Hollywood can be an advantage and a problem. Humans are always influenced by Story.
Americans kept their wits and helped each other in every crisis America has seen.
Hollywood and the media does a wonderful job in telling the tales of dramas, sensation, killings, gangsters, struggle, success and failure, of laughter and comedy.
Hollywood and the media can also do a wonderful job of telling the tales of resiliance: resourcefulness, speedy recovery and strength, edurance and optimism. Especially at a time of national crisis.
Today we need to seek out the stories of individuals and societal resilience. These we highlight. Discard the cycisim. Discard the fear. Discard the apathy. Those are not the habits or thinking patterns of winners.
Be watchful of your own thinking: are your slipping into the apathy which is fed by cynicism?
Be wary of fear-mongers: those who use, flame, and stoke the fear factor for their own political and personal ends. Again, when a person is able, and is structured enough to see it for what it is, the fear-mongering words will be like water off a duck's back.
Understandably, not all people or citizens have the qualities of resilience. However, as a core group amasses the necessary qualities and strength, it will attract others, it is natual. It is a pattern that remains in Nature.
The other pattern in Nature is of transformation. Resiliance is interwoven with change. The cliche "Change is the only constant" is true and has been true always.
Those who do not change will be left behind. Hardliners of this concept say: those who do not change will perish.
To all of us who are able and strong, and those of us whose spines are balanced and firm: help yourself and those around you.
Like Freddie and Frieda.
Will you be fearless like Frieda?
Will your be ready like Freddie?