Monday, March 7, 2011

The beast breathes.....

I used to teach my students that their reality was not automatically anyone else's. Our movement through life is curiously individual, and to assume that everyone makes exactly the same imprint on life's magnificent soul is a dangerous one.  Human, perhaps, but dangerous nonetheless.

As the years spiral by for me, something strange has made itself clear to me. Maybe only to me, I don't know; you'll have to tell me what you think.

Elections are coming up here in our area and maybe yours, too. Glossy political flyers stuff my mailbox, my phone rings at odd hours accompanied by disembodied robotic voices extolling the virtues of one candidate or another, illegal political signs litter the roads. (Why would I vote for someone who breaks the law to get my vote?) On election day, people will be holding those illegal signs at every intersection, waving at me when I should be concentrating on the oncoming traffic, most of whom don't know how to turn properly, thus endangering everyone else. But I digress....

And my reality has come to tell me that none of it will make any difference in the scheme of the huge problems we face as a country and even as a society that seems bent on self-destruction. The campaign madness, the voting day hysteria spewed out by the media, the platforms of any of the candidates. None of it will make a whit of difference in what happens AFTER the election. Because once an organization, including a country and its bureaucracy, attains a certain gargantuan size, it becomes a moving, breathing machine of its own, with only one goal: To survive with all its machinations intact. It breathes like a beast with a mind of its own and it simply will not be contained. It apparently can't be contained.

I have seen this play out in numerous scenarios during my lifetime. And I don't think it will change based on my vote or yours. Or theirs, either. I can't explain how this happens, since the machine was created by us and it is maintained by us. But at some point in building organizations of any kind, size begins to matter. A lot. And the beast soon takes its first unassisted breath. When that happens, any attempt to change it by sending different people into the cage is futile. No matter how empassioned they appear during their campaigns, or what their so-called "party," these (perhaps) good-hearted folks are eaten alive by the beast. They become sustenance instead of masters of change as they promised. As maybe they really believed they could be.

As I taught my students, I cannot assume this reality is anyone else's. However, based on what has happened in this country alone during my lifetime, I have seen nothing to alter this reality for me.


No comments:

Post a Comment