Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Great Pioneer Culture

           Being selfless means tolerating frustration and absence, accepting that time is
           limited, and recognizing that life goes on without us. I don't think these ideas are
           valued in the USA, and I wonder how this could change. [her words]

In the terms of this conversation, I imagine the great pioneer culture, built up over four centuries, having in its possession a great mass of humanity which was formed by that culture and which cannot be separated from that culture. We are the people for whom patience has not been a virtue, for whom immortality seemed possible, for whom absence could be traded for candy or whiskey. Slow grinding poverty is the fate of humanity almost everywhere else, and it is to America that people come to escape - to try to escape - hopelessness. Americans will not accept hopelessness, and the dark side of their determined optimism is their inability accept modest conditions. That is my thought! To install change in the great American Enterprise, to install deference, thoughtfulness, care, empathy, would seem a reversal of that character. Woe is to the world if we cannot be constrained. And retrained.

No comments: