Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cost and deficits of independence

Proofreading a stamp journal for my husband, I am reminded how many countries have split off to become "independent" in my life-time. Triggered by a casual mention of Katanga and South Kasai declaring their independence from the Congo Democratic Republic in 1960, my mind jumps ahead to vague knowledge of many splinterings of countries in my lifetime into "independent" states. More recently, in the interest of political correctness, we have seen a splintering of self-identification into ever-narrower categories - eschewing the identification of "human" for one increasingly narrow - "Native American," "Polish-American," etc. I really don't want to be bothered to enumerate. In our own tiny area of rural Wisconsin, we have yet another splintering of the local Lutherans. This seems to be something of a tradition with them.

Whatever happened to associating with those with whom we differ - or even those with whom we VARY. Likes clumping together with likes allows our skills of tolerance to atrophy from disuse -- a cultural/global disaster in the making.

I like life to be comfortable - but I'm afraid of creating a non-challenging environment for myself as it leads to a dependency on non-challenge. If I loose the skills to cope with variables that surprise me and are beyond my control, then I will need, eventually, to annihilate (in one way or another) those factors that don't fit my norm.

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