Saturday, December 27, 2008

Is This How Americans Change?

La Cucaracha December 27, 2008. Link to Cucaracha websiteThis cartoon in the LA Times today caught my attention, because a lot of what I've been writing about is change, and having lofty ideas, and then running into a lot of resistance in the end.

The cartoon is rather ironic, because during my many years in Denmark I would praise America's dynamic capability for change, which I attributed to the fact that we are an immigrant / pioneer / pilgrim nation. Our ancestors and our neighbors came here to change their lives, since they couldn't live the lives they wanted "back home." So they came here and many put up with great hardships to get what they wanted. Some of course hoped that their hard work would at least enable the next generation would attain "IT" even if they never quite got IT themselves. For many this meant rethinking the way they "always did things" to achieve this one thing they couldn't get or do in their old life or location.

These new Americans were go-getters, changers, activists. But maybe we've done so well that the newest Americans just want things like "we" created, and have no further desires.

The cartoon isn't really about reluctance in changing how much we eat and exercise, although that's part of it. It's also about changing what we eat, how it's produced. It's not just about how much energy we use, but how it's produced, or about how much we travel, but how we travel, and how the vehicals we travel in use energy. (Read all the other messages in my blog to find out what I'm getting at.)

The new Obama America has to become the old, innovative, explorative, tolerant America. (I know, some of that is history book myths, but we believed in them when we were schoolchildren!) Lets get out of our armchair and clean up the mess we've produced (by innovators, to be sure,) getting the whole picture about what our food, energy, travel, etc. mean, not just to us personally, or to America, but to the whole globe.

Happy New Year of Change!

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