Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are We Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

As a grant writer by trade, I ask this question of myself every day - sometimes several times a day.  Until recently I have been 100% sure my answer as a grant writer.  I am no longer so sure. 

Today I would like to ask this question as a Pragmatic Patriot.  Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?  What are the roots of our motivation?  Given enough time, the human mind can justify anything.  This has been demonstrated very clearly with Adolph Hilter and many others who have committed enormous, unthinkable atrocities on millions of innocent human beings in the name of progress or divine direction.

We can look at our nation's government today and theorize all sorts of motives for the behavior of our elected government employees.  I myself have theorized that it all boils down to a lust for power.  In 1887 Lord Acton wrote "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  The question is, have our elected government employees premeditated their corruption, or has it simply occurred due to the attrition of their length in service?

I was once among the crowd that automatically defaulted to the former rather than the latter.  We all are inundated with political rhetoric charging our senators and congressmen as ruthless criminals with malicious intent.  While I don't doubt that this is true in some cases, these people are just as human as the rest of us.  I believe the majority of them have been conned into believing their actions are noble and honorable.  Many urban legends have also been propagated regarding the elitism of our congress.  I challenge our readers to visit the following web-sites to gain the truth regarding our elected government employees' benefits package.

Is it possible that we can also explain many politicians' rise to power with the fact that many far-better-qualified Americans have failed to consider serving their country in this manner?

So what about us?  Are we part of the problem, or are we part of the solution?   Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  So what are we doing?  A group of farmers can all pray long and hard for a bumper crop and say "Amen!" together.  The hard truth is that nothing will happen if they don't buy the seed, prepare the field, plant the seeds, cultivate and harvest.

So, as a grant writer am I a part of the problem or a part of the solution?  I have been justifying my grant work with the argument that my clients are simply recovering some of their otherwise-wasted tax dollars.  I must now confess that I have been part of the problem.  The truth is that our government should not be in the finance business.  It is no secret that our government is spending money that we don't have.  (Notice I said "we" and not "they."  Our government doesn't have any money, except for ours.)  As an advocate of this injustice, I have been a part of the problem.  I had allowed selfish ambition to guide my motivation.  I will now be limiting my grant work to non-government sources.

Using the farmer analogy, we have all been great at praying and joining each other in a hearty "Amen!"  How many of us have the conviction to buy some seed, prepare some ground, plant, cultivate, and harvest?  We need to quit pointing partisan fingers at each other, and we need to regain our unity to survive.  A house divided will fall.

I challenge our readers to abandon business as usual and to find the motivation and courage to become part of the solution.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Brian Buckta
Written Impressions
103 S. State St.
La Farge, WI  54639
(608) 625-6372 / cell (608) 606-2062

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