The New Year’s Eve party on the edge of the cliff
by Carolyn Wyler
I check today’s date and then pinch my arm hard to see if it hurts; this is indicative of my continued existence. December 22. Phew! That was close! I try to catch my breath and calm the palpitations as I realize I’ve just dodged another near death-end-of-the-whole-world experience. I’ve barely had time enough to recover from the anxiety and fear from the one from last year.
Ooohhh craaaaaapp! Wwwwhaaaaatt iiiiissss thhhhhaaaat? Everything around me started shaking and for a moment, making it tremendously difficult to type this. I glance out my window and discover the cause of the disturbance: The earth had moved again. That fiscal cliff that had been far off in the distance several months ago is now in clear view. At this rate the entire U.S. could be in crumbled up little pieces in just nine days, having fallen off of a very large fiscal cliff.
At least that is what they are telling us will happen if you buy into all the hype.
Pardon me if I’m not panicking with this whole new end of the world scenario. Do I think that there could be serious consequences if Congress doesn’t get their act together, quit leaving imprints of their lips on other peoples’ asses and quickly solve a budget problem for next year? Yes I do. Do I think that the country will completely fall apart, causing one cataclysmic disaster after another until the nation is a massive heap at the bottom of a (figurative) cliff? No I do not.
We are a strong nation. We will survive.
Every year, the U.S. senate meets to sort out what they can do to add or cut to make the country run more efficiently. Every year too, thousands of us set resolutions that can, and often do, have an impact on our lives.
I am generally anti-resolution making, except for making an annual resolution that I won’t be making any resolutions. This is in part because I don’t like having anyone else tell me what to do, myself included. Mostly though, it is because 99 percent of the goals I make end up broken within just a few days or weeks of setting them. I can’t handle that much failure on my conscience year after year.
This year, I have decided to throw a big end of the year, throw-things-off-the-edge-of-the-cliff party and everyone in the country is invited. But to be perfectly clear (and to not set us up for failure), I should state that this will not be a resolution-setting party. We will simply be compiling a list of things we need to get rid of and change in order to help us become a better nation.
First and foremost, we need to toss HATE off the cliff. My heart aches for the families left to mourn the ramifications of others’ hostility. Some may argue that guns are the problem here, but guns don’t kill until someone pulls the trigger. If we try to dig down to the root of the problem, most likely we will run into built up anger, disturbance and hatred.
Second, eliminate arrogance. Remove the attitude that one person is better than another. Get rid of the trampling over others, climb down from that pedestal and meet each other eye to eye.
Third, discard the lack of acceptance and unwillingness to compromise. (Though to be honest, if everyone could just come around to my point of view everything would be so much better.) If it’s truly not hurting anyone else then who cares what someone else does? This world is full of people from all different cultures, beliefs, and ideas. It has to be willing to accept and compromise in order to operate.
Lastly, toss out entitlement. And contrary to what you may think, I’m not referring to those who need governmental assistance either permanently or just until they are able to “get back on their feet.” I am talking about feeling you are owed something because of your position in society, because of who you are or who you think you are. I’m talking about those who don’t feel they have to contribute their fair share and yet still believe they deserve special consideration and treatment.
So those are my suggestions. Meet me on New Year’s Eve at the figurative cliff party to toss over a few of your own.