Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Survival of the Fitness

It is times like these that are a test of how well we have prepared ourselves in life -- for life, that gives real meaning to the term, “fitness.” Fitness for what? one should logically ask. Fitness is that test of how well our preparations will serve us for the challenges of both the good and the bad times -- as that is what the headlines are saying about the present times -- that it is the worst it’s been in the last ten years.

It is easy to overlook that in that intervening time, the economy of Hawaii and the world, went from that low to unprecedented highs -- and back, so we ask, are we better off than we were ten years ago, and have we learned anything (progressed) in that time, or does history simply repeat itself, without moving toward some greater sense of purpose and meaning?

It’s good not to have George Bush around anymore to blame everything on -- no matter how good things were -- and now, are. Countless hours and energies were wasted in that manner -- and many perfected those behaviors as though they had real value to their supporting culture and society, which are more clearly revealed as the dead-ends and counterproductive activities they were in his absence. A generation was lost and consumed in cultivating and rewarding that hatred and dysfunctional way of being.

So even as a “Republican,” (which I have been only by denying that designation), I was very glad to see President Bush move off of the stage, despite his having done much good to lead the world through unprecedented good times and prosperity -- because those material achievements are not enough in themselves. The world has to be psychologically prepared to experience those good times and to properly appreciate them -- for it to be any good, to do them any good and justice, otherwise, all of that is quickly lost again, but one has only the memory of having once been there and knowing that it is now possible -- to savor the next time it comes around and we can rightfully recognize it for what it is.

When the unemployment rate is 5-10%, obviously many more are still employed and marginally affected by the financial shifts of the present time. People no longer complain loudly about prices ratcheting up continuously, but buy them uncomplainingly now, and are happy that they can.

That is the funny thing about prosperity, success, affluence -- that so very few can appreciate while virtually everyone has it, but when it becomes scarcer, then a few more are grateful for what they no longer have.

Hawaii seems to be a better place when it is not so affluent, prosperous and successful, because it hasn’t learned to appreciate and manage it well, but actually seems to flourish when times are more difficult and marginal. That is its culture and mindset (mentality) -- that it evolved in that struggle for survival, and clings to no matter what the underlying realities are -- as a state of mind and comfort zone.

It prepares itself for the hard times of scarcity, and will waste any prosperity and good fortune, and always come full circle in that manner. If times are too good, they find somebody to blame that it isn’t. Then, when the times are not so generous anymore, they have nobody to blame but themselves, and can go about their own business, and take care of business -- in the way not possible if times and circumstances are too good.

In this sense, history repeats itself.


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