Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Wish We Had Listened

We all know the phenomenon of remembering what we were doing when major events happened. We know what we were doing when we first heard about 9/11 for instance. These events are important enough to be burned into our memories.

I remember this event, although I didn't think of it until today, as an event like 9/11, the moon landing, and the start of the Gulf War. I remember it clearly.

I was fifteen and sitting on the couch next to my mother. My father was in his chair. We were watching television. On the screen was President Jimmy Carter. He was very serious. My parents were serious as they watched. It was Jimmy Carter's energy speech.

Jimmy Carter was the only president to tell us the truth. We rewarded him by voting him out of office and electing an actor who told us what we wanted to hear even though it was a lie. No president including our new president-elect has told us the truth about our economic and energy situation.

Had we listened in 1977, we could be in a very different place than where we are today. Instead we wasted 30 years and the problem has increased exponentially. It would be great if Obama gives a speech like Carter's within a week or so after his inauguration (updated of course to reflect current realities). I am not holding my breath. He appears to be as committed to deceiving us as much as all of our presidents since Carter.

It is up to us to suck it up, get informed, and tell others. Most people will not listen. But, a few will. Our current economic situation may make people more susceptible to listen. What we can listen to if we will is not opinions (although there are many opinions) but facts. This information is available all over the internet. It is a click away. This is not conspiracy stuff. It is basic factual information an elementary student can understand.

The reason we cannot hear it is because we are not emotionally equipped to listen. We cannot let go of our illusion. We cannot let go of our feeling of entitlement. We cannot bear the thought of what these changes might mean.

In order to face this, we have to face it as though we are in exciting times and that we are on an adventure. We have to step back and not let our emotions control us. We have to be somewhat philosophical and connect with that reservoir of spiritual strength.

I am 47. I consider that I have lived my life. Thanks to this 150 year petroleum blip in human history, I have lived (as have you) like the kings and queens of old. Now I am dedicated to our future generations.

If I have a mission it is to use my credentials as a minister to tap into our emotional and spiritual courage so we may listen to those who are presenting us with the facts of our current situation.

The most important thing is to be emotionally prepared.

Unless we are emotionally equipped to face reality we will rationalize facts to fit an illusion that gives us comfort--even if it kills us.

In addition to the usual nonsense I post on this blog, I am going to be reporting about what experts have been telling us and showing us about our future. Hopefully, I am going to present it in such a way that we can see it as an adventure. The future will need cool heads and creativity.

Here is the speech from Jimmy Carter.

The President's Proposed Energy Policy

Jimmy Carter, April 18, 1977
Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.

It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century.

We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.
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  1. I learned something very important from this post. I learned that no matter how old I get, you will always be older than me Oldy Olderson. Nah nah nah. (I already knew that stuff about enegry. I saw that speech too.)

  2. Then you better respect your elders, youngster.

  3. I remember that speech too and I agree that had we heeded Carter then we would be in a much better place today ... the whole planet ... the whole human race.

  4. People, in particular, Americans, don't want to hear the truth until it affects them personally. I know I am guilty of this. It's frightening to watch the current economic situation, yet, I'm watching it from my nice apartment, the heat cranked up so I'm not cold, eating a bag of imported Doritos that I paid a fortune for. Guilty. We need people to keep speaking the truth until we listen. Unfortunately in politics (and in some churches), it's a real career buster.

    And I'm older than both of you! I don't remember Carter's speech because I was in college and had better things to do, or so I thought.

  5. Good for you, John! I'm looking forward to your series.