Monday, November 3, 2008

State Your Peace

You just might be the one to change the world.

Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:

America should follow Little Red Hen

If America really is structurally broken, as we've been warned with authority from the campaign trail, then it's not because our fundamental principles have failed us, but because we've strayed so far from them.

I'm not talking about the values defined by Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and crew; though Lord knows we could certainly use a good refresher course in those.

The principles I miss are the ones voiced so eloquently by the Little Red Hen, the Three Pigs and the Little Engine That Could.

Generations of Americans were raised on these fables and in the process were taught lessons that would be considered harsh on "Sesame Street." But they reinforced who we were.

From the feisty Little Red Hen we learned the rewards of hard work. We also learned to savor those rewards guilt-free and to understand that what we create belongs to us.

The hen would have flailed the Rainbow Fish had he come sashaying around with his share-your-crayons silliness.

She planted the wheat and ground the flour and baked the bread and felt no obligation to break off a piece for the shiftless sheep or do-nothing donkey -- unless she wanted to. She was my kind of chick.

But she doesn't fit into an America that increasingly questions the fairness of one person having more than another, without weighing sweat or skill.

In the hen's world, if you produced, you ate; if you were able to and didn't, you went hungry.

Why is that too sinister a concept to teach tykes today?

This country will become a very dangerous place if the mindset takes hold that the fruit of individual industriousness is a collective asset.

Those house-building pigs drove home the reality that bad choices carry bad consequences. Build your house out of sticks or straw, and your hams will be steaming on the Wicked Wolf's table.

Build it out of bricks, and you can safely rest them in a La-Z-Boy in front of your big screen TV.

Compare that lesson to the plea that we have no choice but to open our wallets to the Wall Street tycoons who overplayed their hands or to the homeowners who borrowed too much without reading the fine print.

The Little Engine is my favorite. He huffed and puffed up that hill on his own steam, and kept stubbornly going even when he wasn't sure he could make it to the top.

He didn't pull off the tracks to wait for Dora the Explorer to give him a push.

The Engine's breed of self-reliance and determination to overcome obstacles would serve us well as we enter what promises to be the most challenging economic stretch in decades. Will we turn to the government to pull us up the hill, or will we get up a good head of steam and go for it ourselves?

In a couple of weeks, a large number of voters, likely even a majority, will go to the polls to choose a political Pied Piper to lead them to an America where everyone shares and hugs and plays patty cake in equal-size houses.

I'd rather follow that cranky Red Hen.

3 comments....porters always have something to say!:

curlz said...

Chicks rule!

curlz said...

BTW -- perfect song! I love it and will go to the polls today with it blasting from my ipod.

megawatt miler said...

just saw the comments on your last blag and HA-everyone else likes chair covers too!

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