TRAVIS WALTERS News Editor
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” said President Franklin Roosevelt in his first inaugural address. We as a nation face many of the same fears today, as the nation did then—both domestically with the economy, and internationally with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We’re at a difficult point in our nations history. We have faced difficulty before, to be sure, but nothing like this.
That’s the dialog isn’t it? “Nothing like this.” Of course we haven’t faced it. Had we, we’d know the solution to the problem. Not knowing the solution is the source of our panic, our fear of loss. What might we lose? Money? Cars? Houses? These things are being lost already, though perhaps you haven’t experienced it, and hopefully never will.
What might we gain from this? As we faced challenges in the past, we developed new methods to prevent each of those particular challenges from happening again, yet we continue to face new, more difficult challenges.
We’ve always gained some knowledge as a nation and as individuals. Our schools teach us new, more complex ideas. Our medicine is more effective and safer. Our nation itself is wealthier both materially and spiritually.
Yet, any number of adages could be recited to showcase the downfall of spiritual wealth by material wealth. I’m not talking about God, though that is certainly a part of spirituality to many Americans, and indeed all human beings. I’m talking about humans as a whole, a sum of all parts of the mind and body; intellect, morality, wisdom, and purpose.
Intellect and wisdom are not the same thing, though they very often go together. I may know a thing by the book, but how to apply it in my daily life may escape me. My father may know a thing and I may follow him and that might make me wise, or I might not follow him; I might chart my own course and be wiser still.
It is in times like these that we look to those that are wise to guide us, and too often we find people that are just intelligent. They do a pretty good job, but are so bent on following the rules set in their education or through massive bureaucracy that they are often not wise enough to do what is right.
We must demand that those who lead us do more than what should work on paper, but as is often the case, they don’t know how. Where do we find the people that will master the current problems, or the future problems? It’s hard to look ahead when we feel so downtrodden, but the future will come. It cannot be stopped and so we must be prepared for it.
I am not discouraged by the burdens we face. Our parents, and theirs, and theirs ad infinitum have carried their own burdens, skillfully. We are here today as a consequence of their actions and could stand to learn from what they did that worked, and didn’t work.
Will we be wise enough to look to the past? Shall we look to the future, or shall we look only to the next election to see what need be said to win, and in doing that place our burdens on the shoulders of those who do not deserve to carry them?