Saturday, March 2, 2013

Political Problems; Hiking the Mountains

had lunch this week with a businessman and local politician. He has written a book. In it  he details his experiences and frustrations in politics. 

His observations are keen. He says money plays the dominant role in who gets elected. "Without money you can't get elected. And money put up against you will defeat you."

Three days later I was hiking in a state park.  I was stilling thinking about what my friend said. 

The tower at Hanging Rock
The other problem is indifference. Except at election time few people pay attention to the issues, he says.

The combination of money and indifference works to  benefit those in power. 

Rockingham County, NC, he believes, is a microcosm for the nation. Political power gets auctioned off. Those with power seek short-term gains at the expense of long-term goals —  fracking; clear-cutting; environment degradation; deficit spending. Our children will suffer

Looking west toward Pilot Mountain
We agree that in these terms the future looks kind of grim. 

But at a certain point we part company. He believes we are wedded to the old way of thinking. I don't.

I've lived in a small world too long not to know the world we live in is what we make it.

You can stop the music at any time and get off.

It is beautiful in the mountains where I an hiking. Low clouds hang over a landscape of soft blue, a quilt of rolling hills, farmland and forest stretching to the horizon. All is quiet.  On the trail I come upon fresh coyote scat. There is wind in the pines and hemlocks. In the distance, geese. It is a place to think.

Pilot Mtn Knob 2.JPG
The monadnock atop
Pilot Mountain 
Across the way is Pilot Mountain, part of the  Sauratown mountain chain named for the Saura Indians who once lived here centuries ago.

The timeless perspective assures me nothing important changes. The rocks, trees and skies remain.  So too the rains, plants and animals. 

Human nature is good even if the system that we function under isn't.

We are on a journey together, you and I. And it's a heck of a lot of fun. We don't have to be part of the grim.

For VW bus fans who have not seen the Oscar winning movie, Argo, check out this VW bus clip.