Capture a Dream

Life moves forward toward something better when the better product or idea wins and when the loser works harder to improve his product by applying what he has learned and then dreams of offering a winning product/service next year.

I learned this lesson when I was 12 and worked as a paper boy for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. Others did not want the route because of its challenges. It was hilly, around the lake with homes set back far from the street on huge lots, some down along the lakeshore, some high above the street, most with long distances between them. But I took it on and built my route from almost nothing to the largest in town, from carrying the bag, then bags, to buying a red Radio Flyer wagon, to buying the slickest looking bike with side saddles found anywhere. Taking care of the customers was my service and they rewarded me for my extra effort. Had my own checking and savings accounts and didn’t know what to do with my $$ except help out a needy family now and then. My savings quickly disappeared when I went off to a private high school.

How that concept may work out in government and politics and in life with citizens whose ideologies are so ferociously opposed to each other is another matter. But I have a hunch that it could possibly be quite similar when given a chance.

I am reminded of something a friend recently asked me: “These things you say and write about the Bible – what makes you so sure?” Good question. Actually, the thinking Israelites asked the same question. After Moses was gone, how could they know when a prophet was just feeding them BS to improve his own position? Answer: “If what he says does not happen, the Lord never said it. Do not be afraid of what he says.” In other words, was his talk full of threats or full of promise, inspiring hope? Does this fit with many corporate policies and procedures that do not work? What about government policies and procedures and regulations that hinder creativity and growth? And what about all the apocalyptic/armageddon talk by the Green people that frightens folks into submission?

One of my friends wrote somewhere that using mythology and scriptures written by humans to spread fear among people is unloving behavior at its very worst.  Oppressive and threatening words do not bring on genuine change because Love never said them! Such words can make nothing happen. They have no creative power within them so they only make things worse. Do not be fooled by mere surface change (obedience to threats) which is only due to fear of punishment.

A good rule of thumb: if the scripture or a “prophet” speaks in oppressive terms and tones and threatens punishment or tribulation, then such words are NOT from a Supreme Love that forgives unconditionally and generously accepts us in spite of our prodigal behavior. They are not loving-creative words. Disregard them and do not fear them! (So much for all the apocalyptic trash from the left – and so much for all the fear-mongering “holy” words from the right.) I am not convinced that compromise between the two is any better or even possible. Something entirely new seems to be calling out for attention.

So, if the scripture or the prophet speaks in gentle, kind, and encouraging words which promise freedom and prosperity for a city set on a hill for all the world to see and admire, words that build dreams, then pay special attention to them and follow them because they have creative power to change your life, making it better for yourself and for others. Such words hold endless power in their promise, even if they come from someone who does not have all the education and letters behind their name. Many seem to be hungry to hear such words of encouragement again.

This makes sense to me. And it should also carry over into good government I think. It has been proven that Freedom holds endless promise here as well. People who have an idea and are willing to make the effort to build on it can become very successful. Ask many immigrants like my great-grandparents who came here to build better lives. 

I have so much more to learn about what the Framers of the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution really knew from experience and history. As some of you have correctly pointed out, many of our problems found roots several administrations back. Some think real statism began with FDR. Perhaps so. From what little I know, the Framers of our government fought with similar ideas of control by government but happened to come out on top and gave us a Republic instead. Their stories must have been convincing.

Blame does little to help the current situation. However, it does seem that if voters would take greater care to notice that the many promises made by the teleprompters are usually made at the expense of other citizens, then we might not be in the mess we are in now. I hope more will finally learn this lesson and remember it for a while by taking more responsibility for themselves and not depend so much upon a nanny state or fall for the promises of self-seeking politicians.

Sometimes words are slippery and do not openly terrify with threats but instead drip like honey. Thus the confusion they cause. My guess is that the key would still be whether or not they hold promise of something better for ALL the people – socialism and talk of the collective good (both at the expense of others) and Robin Hoods just do not fit inAmerica.

As we know, governments are necessary, especially to protect us from those who plan to take advantage. But why have we not learned from the Moses story? He listened to his father-in-law and expanded the government (priesthood) so he could have more R & R time to golf atDubai. But things just got worse, so more regulations were added and government grew to enforce the regulations. The more government, the more regulations, the more oppression = less creative ingenuity, and less progress. Over the following years came the monarchies so they could be more like their neighbors. Instead, they got even more regulations and taxes. Finally, they had nothing left and were lead away as captives again. In spite of being in the center of the great trade route betweenEgyptandGreeceand the mighty kingdoms of the East, they blew the opportunity. Maybe they could have tried fast food Mclamb-burgers and wine tasting saloons for instance. Maybe even camel washes and rub downs at the rest stops.

The old dream of a promised land that had filled Abraham with hope and took him out of the East because he saw how he could improve his condition and make things better for the family of his dreams faded into the sunset. Enter the apocalyptic myth brought home by the priests fromPersia. So Judaism, then Christianity, and finally Islam fell for the “things only get worse” concept and everything is headed for a final judgment blast – Make the best of your miserable life while it lasts – Humanity is the problem and the reason for this downturn – So to hell with humanity – Oh, but listen to the priests, believe their words and salvation theories and maybe you can be saved from the blast to come.

Seeing their children abandon the dream of a promised land must have taken Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob out of the cheering section for a while. But Love calls for patience. Things will get better when they finally learn from their mistakes. I hope we don’t blow our opportunities under freedom. This land of promise must never become a forgotten dream. Vigilance is important. Watch out for the BS.

I guess I’m saying that we need to learn from the Moses story and so many other unsuccessful stories like it. More important, we need to compare them to Love’s great story of relief from tyranny that releases freedom and opportunity. We were created to be ingenious at making things better. A mid-eastern sage dared to teach and live Love’s story, but his followers twisted what he said and made something of him that he never intended to be. Instead, his full attention was bringing relief to his neighbors, setting them free to love each other and improve their situation, not setting himself up as their Lord and Master. Love would never do such a thing.

August 1, 2011 ~ Henry Hasse

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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