I'm sure you know the old conundrum: A man is standing on the beach. He hears a shout and looks out into the ocean. He sees an old friend far from shore and she's got a hand up over her head as she bobs in the ocean. The question is, is she waving hello? or calling for help? Waving? Or drowning?
Right now, America isn't waving hello.
Right now, America is calling for help. On all kinds of fronts. Health care is only one problem that weighs down millions of individual Americans, and--lest we forget it--also plagues the competitiveness of American companies. Starbucks, for one, spends more on health care than on coffee beans. Before it went bankrupt, GM used to joke (back when GM could joke, before it became a joke) that it only sold cars to be able to fund its health care costs.
America is calling for help on the energy front--we can't continue with a feel-good energy policy that under-prices the real cost of our fossil fuels and, at the same time, drives the red line of global warming closer and closer to the disaster mark.
Education, urban policy, transportation, jobs--you name it, America isn't waving hello. America is clearly calling for help.
It's time for urgent and positive responses to all of these calls.
Don't tell me what you're against; tell me what you're for.
Don't tell me who to blame; tell me what you're working on.
Don't tell me what's wrong with "them"; tell me what's going to work.
Tell me the kind of change you're championing and the commitment you're ready to make to make it happen.
That's America out there, bobbing in the ocean--and there's a good chance that unless we all start to work together she's going under for the third time.
All Rights Reserved 2009 (c) Alan Webber, Rules Of Thumb