The Whirlpool – A Parable of Our Times

Our world is beautiful. There are moments in each day (many of them) when the breath of life should fill us with joy. Each morsel of food, each flower we pass, each exotic smell or sound. The colors of life are beyond wonderful. We should all be ecstatic. But we are not. Something has happened … Continue reading “The Whirlpool – A Parable of Our Times”

Our world is beautiful. There are moments in each day (many of them) when the breath of life should fill us with joy. Each morsel of food, each flower we pass, each exotic smell or sound. The colors of life are beyond wonderful. We should all be ecstatic.

But we are not.

Something has happened which is pulling us down and destroying all of our lives. We are caught in a viscious cycle that none of us created. The solution will require all of us to be onboard with it. I can’t for the life of me figure out how that could happen. The events of 2016 and forward have demonstrated just how gargantuan and improbable a solution is.

Here is our problem – told in a story.

Imagine a cafeteria filled with children sitting at tables. Each child has a stack of paper. Each child has a large box of crayons. They can create art for as long as they want – there is no shortage of materials. There is plenty for each of them.

One child starts crumpling paper and throwing it at other children. Then one starts throwing crayons. The children who want to keep drawing and coloring are hit now and then as the paper and crayon throwing continues. Gradually, the paper starts to ruen out for the paper throwers and the crayons start to run out for the crayond throwers. Certain kids start taking the materials from other kids – some of them ask and use beautiful sounding words, others use force, others use deciept and theft. An enterprising child starts to gather the materials from the floor – a suggestion is made that materials from teh floor should be put in a central box on each table. Those kids who have avoided the paper/crayon war so far are eventually forced or coerced into putting their paper and crayons in the central box. Certain people are put in charge of the materials, they dole them out, horde them, or share them. Gradually, an economy arises where acts have to be performed to be given materials. Those who do not help clear the floor, uncrumple the papers, or do other service are not allowed to have materials. At this point there is a lot of crying – there are a lot of attempts by the broader minded children to create fairness – the kids who want to throw things, the kids who want to horde things, the kids who want to cheat and steal and exploit – they don’t stop. They may start being sneaky about it – but the system they have created continues and they start putting together bigger secret piles in secret places – under the table, in the corners, etc. Their hordes grow larger and larger as they are not constrained by the rules – and meanwhile, the kids who didn’t do anything wrong, the kids who followed the rules, the kids who are not to blame for the artificial scarcity are forced to work instead of draw, they are forced to give more and more time to get the materials that were theirs in the first place, they are sometimes left unable to even get a single broken crayon or a single crumpled piece of paper. Meanwhile, in thier strongholds, the bosses of the crayon/paper cartels draw, play, laugh, and tell their minions to continue the chaos which has allowed them to take control – of everything.

And that’s where we are.

There are solutions, but they are not easy. Since there are no adults to restore the initial balance … the children must discover the solution on their own. We should all be able to live and enjoy our lives – what will it take to make that so?