Is Kentucky's Senator Bunning just a Thoughtless Old Man?
My friend Richard McInteer shared this story with me recently.
"This last summer I had an opportunity to spend some time in a tiny town in the Rocky Mountains. While the town is a lovely place, they were having a problem. There were bears that were wandering into town looking for food. Seeing one of these huge animals right in town was pretty exciting. The local law enforcement was not impressed, they were working overtime to try to keep the bears and the people separated.
While bears seem to be cuddly, they are still a dangerous wild animal. While I was there, I heard the story of a woman in the area that lived alone, that started feeding the bears. Nobody was exactly sure what went wrong, but one day they found her dead by the very bears that she was being friendly to. The woman probably thought she was taming the bears, but she was just playing with fire.
While we might be looking at the lumbering bear's appearance or just thinking of it in respect to the teddy bear that helped make us secure as a child, we want to believe that the bear can be our friend. Some bears, for the chance to get food, will get close to humans, but that doesn't change their nature. It only takes something, like the bear being startled or the person running out of food while the bear is still hungry, for the bear's true nature to come out. A bit of food will not change the fact that the bear is still a wild animal that should be feared and respected."
We live in a society that wants to believe everything about nature is gentle, forgiving, and kind. We want to believe that there is a new home full of new furniture with a new car in the garage for everyone who just works hard enough and makes the "right decisions."
If ever there were a time when the forces of nature were obvious it should be this very moment in history. .
We have all heard of the earthquake in Chile. What seems to startle us even more is the violent behavior of many of the "survivors."
Preceding Chile we had the horrific damage in Haiti. The violent nature of earthquakes coupled with poverty has never been so pronounced as in the comparison of these two seismic events.
I wonder how much of the current economic crisis facing our nation and most of the world is a result of our "wanting to believe" that we have a "soft cuddly financial bear?"
This idea that we can just spend and borrow continually has devoured many a nation through history and seems to be taking a huge toll right now. The banks are putting a severe strangle hold on our run-away spending. However, the government continues to spend borrowed money. Is Kentucky's senator Bunning a thoughtless old man who could care less about the thousands of workers who are dependent upon the government? Or is Senator Bunning taking the heat because he is willing to exercise constraint and understands that "soft cuddly financial bear" can be transformed suddenly into a devouring wild economic beast?
Despite all of our advances in science we cannot prevent earthquakes and we cannot control the nature of a wild animal. However we can prevent horrific loss of life from an earthquake with careful planning and decision making.
We cannot turn the clock back and prevent the current financial conditions. However we can choose to make choices to stop the borrowing that is pushing our country to the precipice of financial destruction