Thursday, October 27, 2016

"The Sky is Falling"

Traveling this country is always a surprise, and finding first class towns is rare enough to be a delight. Two towns in the past two days have impressed us as excellent places to visit -- Sandpoint and Coeur d'alene, Idaho. Both are full of life...pubs, coffee shops, upscale boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, book stores, amazing biking and walking paths, and at their core top notch parks, beaches, and libraries.


Fun street art

Many miles of biking and walking pathways

Beautiful sandy beach and park right in the center of town

Lots of city trees

Coeur d'alene...

Tubbs Hill within the city

Many blocks of city park and biking-walking paths along Lake Coeur d'alene next to the city

Beautiful people places! Well, that is, beautiful people places according to my criteria. What about the people who think coffee from a can tastes better than a latte? Or can't locate the work clothes they need in the maze of stylish outdoor wear? Or get plenty of exercise doing physical labor and don't need, and definitely don't want to pay for, fancy parks and pathways?

Outside each of these upscale urban boundaries, rural ideals reign. A tug-of-war of conflicting values has been set in play. The divide is understandable but the intensity is puzzling. As we drive, Ed and I ponder how on the one hand folks talk about this great nation and on the other hand deride it, pointing fingers to their chosen villains. This divide is all the more apparent in this political season where fear and anger are openly provoked and displayed.

As I was writing this blog posting, I stumbled across this quote, pushing discontent, being touted by the Green Party:

"We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy." ~ Chris Hedge

Really? Is our country, our world, really this horrid? Yes we have corrections to make, serious ones, but to declare every profession is destroying that for which they stand is as destructive as declaring there is a boogyman on every corner. Every good progressive can see the flaws in the conservative fear and hate messages, but are we able to acknowledge the same flaws in our own? Serious critical thinking is required to sort out the truth from the hyperbole, and that is not easy, but we must because Chicken Little's "The Sky is Falling" philosophy is not serving us well.

Without being insipid with "can't we all get alone" or "let's all be happy" or "everyone means well" could we perhaps agree to put Chicken Little aside and walk a common road toward make our shared goal a world that works for everyone.


"Today, the drumbeat has become a cacophony. The generation that has experienced more peace, freedom, leisure time, education, medicine, travel, movies, mobile phones and massages than any generation in history is lapping up gloom at every opportunity. In an airport bookshop recently, I paused at the Current Affairs section and looked down the shelves. There were books by Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Al Franken, Al Gore, John Gray, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot and Michael Moore, which all argued to a greater or lesser degree that (a) the world is a terrible place; (b) it’s getting worse; (c) it’s mostly the fault of commerce; and (d) a turning point has been reached. I did not see a single optimistic book."

~ Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist


  1. Thank You Fran Abel for your Thistle Post "The Sky Is Falling". Like you, I remain the optimist. The pessimist room is very crowded.

    “Promise Yourself

    To be so strong that nothing
    can disturb your peace of mind.
    To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
    to every person you meet.

    To make all your friends feel
    that there is something in them
    To look at the sunny side of everything
    and make your optimism come true.

    To think only the best, to work only for the best,
    and to expect only the best.
    To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
    as you are about your own.

    To forget the mistakes of the past
    and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
    To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
    and give every living creature you meet a smile.

    To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
    that you have no time to criticize others.
    To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
    and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

    To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
    not in loud words but great deeds.
    To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
    so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
    ― Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

  2. Excellent thinking, Fran, good on you. j