Today marks the 242nd birthday of the United States of America. Those of us who live here – have much to be grateful for. But complacency would be inappropriate.
In “America the Beautiful” is the line – “God mend thine every flaw”. We should probably not take this to mean that God (himself … having been thus instructed) will correct our ‘problems’. We should probably (ourselves) assume that responsibility. I would MUCH rather live with Patriots who actively WORK to mend our flaws … than live with ‘patriots’ who pretend that we HAVE no systemic defects … that we (simply) live in the ‘best country in the world’ … and give NO THOUGHT as to how to make life here better for us and for our children and grandchildren.
[ref: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML3qYHWRIZk (America is not the greatest country – Jeff Daniels)]
Robert L. Humphrey found out – that the most dangerous thing one could do (ANYWHERE in the world) – would be to threaten the life or well-being of someone’s loved ones. (ref: my blog post of 24 January 2018)
I consider this to be a (fair and accurate) depiction of our Basic Human Nature; and it’s NOT specific to any particular culture or country.
But a (fair) Second Approximation – would acknowledge that NOT all cultures are equally Alienated or equally loving or equally devoted to their families. No. This is a Variable. And I do not think that the American (that is, the United States) culture would rate very high in this variable. (And, as I have said before, this variable is well illustrated in the film “Bella”; and also – in a film I saw quite recently – “The Lost Child” (Hallmark Hall of Fame film)
We’re AMERICANS! … and this is what we do:
We go down to the Culture Store …
(We don’t shop around or look through the store; we made up our mind what we want
before we got there. We just walk right up to the counter …)
“Hi Mel. Could you get me a 75-pound bag of Self-sufficiency, please?
Fifty pounds each of
And of course the usual supply of
Selfishness and Self-absorption.
And could you have Jimmy load it all into the back of my SUV?
Then we take this stuff home
And feed it to our families … (and ourselves)
I can’t help but wonder – if we couldn’t choose something
more nourishing …
very many Americans live
in a Social Desert.
The Isolation, Alienation, and Loneliness
which permeate our lives –
are a direct result of this ‘diet’ …
which has been carefully chosen –
to be aligned with
our core values.
WHAT IF …
most of the people in the whole world
were to adopt the custom of
getting together with their neighbors
once a week
for a potluck dinner?
What if we got to KNOW each other, and
got together routinely to enjoy each other?
Would not Alienation be reduced?
Would not Loneliness be lessened?
Would there not be more Joy in the world? … and less fear?
Would not many of our ‘problems’ find easy solutions?
Might not this one (simple & cheap) habit (or custom)
increase our chances for Survival as a species?
I think so.
Are not the ‘biggest threats’ to our survival
actually psycho-spiritual in nature? – (anomie/alienation, and hopelessness)
I suggest watching this –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trbHdayluLA (Stone Soup)
I read this very book (story) when I was a child. Many of us did, I’m sure. (In fact, this story is told in many countries and cultures.)
One (obvious) aspect of the story is – ‘deception / trickery’.
But another (and more important) aspect is – getting something from nothing
also … the principle of Giving – what can happen when we move beyond our fear
and embrace Community and the Basic Goodness of Life .
Therefore, I think we could call these Universal weekly potluck gatherings –
(or at least THINK OF them as) – Stone Soup Potlucks.