It's tough for people out there. The last thing we need is more of the Tower of Babel -- confusion and noise. To be confused when plenty of us are confused already as to the direction of the U.S. What has gripped us, that we have come to a point where senior citizens are scared into whether they will be receiving social security checks or not as part of the national debt ceiling debate?
Federal spending is about 300 billion a month. Federal tax collections approximate 180 billion a month (the gap is borrowed) -- some 58 billion goes to pay social security benefits, some 58 billion goes to the military and about 25 billion to pay interest on U.S. debt. Doesn't it come back to priorities and intentions?
By now, we know that the debt trajectory we're on is unsustainable. The revenue intake doesn't match the spending. And we know we got to this point through stemming the financial crisis (bailouts, backstops...), wars, mismanagement of the budget, overpromising, overspending -- the potpourri! We can no longer put off the major structural changes needed in order to meet our obligations, create jobs and grow the economy.
It's an opportunity, or continued economic and fiscal deterioration, depending upon how we define and approach the problems. We're all looking for answers, solutions. Not much yet from Washington or Wall Street.
Maybe, when things get so complicated, we return to the simple coming together, to get the job done.
It got me thinking about the amazing women I've met over the years. Can't just pick a few as there are so many. I come across them daily, whether they be 5 or 10 or 15 or 30 or 50, or, like my mother, 80! They seem to find a way.
Whatever point in life or circumstance we find ourselves in, whatever the walk of life we've chosen, whatever struggles we've encountered, we are united in our undying quest for life affirmation and sacrifice for the good of all, to believe and to carry on a legacy, be it for our families, our children, ourselves, humanity. We are the embodiment of the indomitability of the human spirit -- forward thinking, full of hope and energy. The "let's find a common ground," the "don't give up," the "just try it, what have you got to lose," approach to life!
I guess I must have been waiting for the right moment that would capture a microcosm of "amazing women." It came this week, when Dr. Charles Mercieca (president of the International Association of Educators for World Peace) sent me an email and a link to the video below. It struck me. Perhaps it had to do with identification and personal experience of what is possible through vision and will, to do what needs to be done, to move forward -- to have courage to do so in the face of obstacles and fears.
No surprise, then, that I would find Dr.Mercieca's simple note, about a simple act of kindness and respect, so compelling for our times:
A flash mob dance video was organized by Kim MacGregor. Kim created this as a tribute to her best friend Erika Heller, who died of colon cancer last year at age 31. Each and every telephone conversation they ever had, Erika would end by telling Kim "You're an amazing woman!" Well, Kim wanted to do something special to honour her friend and this is the result. It was filmed at the Toronto Eaton Centre after only one 6 hour rehearsal.
How beautiful, a "flash mob" organized for "good." What struck me is this. I saw our future in these women -- a microcosm of possibilities -- the banding together to create something beautiful -- a dance in memory of a friend. Given the opportunity, the power of the human spirit can do the amazing. These women acted, in unison and with purpose, with such grace, to inspire and uplift those who happened to be there at that very moment in time, as witnesses to beauty.