Friday, September 5, 2014

Beaten Swain

Can anyone drive a tandem? You derive the term “drive” from whipping a team of horses forward. Indeed, they speak of a pair of horses as a tandem team. Motorists drive an engine’s horsepower for all its worth. You cannot drive a bicycle, because it conveys an individual and presents neither horsepower nor team. But you might drive a tandem bicycle, since it could be manned by both captain and stoker. Pelaton teams are driven by ambition to beat rivals. Cowboys drive cattle to slaughter. Congestion and construction drive commuters to behave badly as they blow schedules.

Driving evokes images of someone fuming with impatience to get going at someone else’s acquiescence. They’d leave vulnerable road users to own devices. Slave drivers whip their chattel into submission. Among all countries worldwide about 25 million people fall into categories of bonded, child, domestic, forced or sexual servitude either to repay debts or without pay. Meanwhile, Congress debates a hike in minimum wage in a selfish attempt to raise revenue and thus squeeze a bit more from business owners, who practically pay no taxes. Worse, they expect interns to work for experience in lieu of paid benefits and compensation, as if a knight’s swain. Medieval nonsense! Should be illegal. If you’re repaying an underwater mortgage, you’re a wage slave. Banks loaning bucks still create serfs and thralls. But sudden hikes in prices of key commodities trigger recessions that enslave millions and take years to recover from.

Humans are driven by self preservation, yet contribute to society since they recognize that’s the only way to defuse and survive threats. Labann often ponders whether this inherent corruption is worth overlooking, but realizes speaking of it fosters reluctance. Delays only harm those currently deprived. You don’t become incorruptible without burning bridges to each desert island upon which you can’t live alone, so corruption will persist, and you can only partially resist.“What you resist persists,” has been suggested, but would ignoring malfeasance and stupidity result in improvement? Probably not. Incarceration separates criminals from partnerships. But is your drive to improve anything more than badgering from which only you profit?

Who has earned the right to be free? Shouldn’t it be inalienable? Never signed on for nonstop loyalty. Promises of commitment have expiration dates, not necessarily preprogrammed renewals. Experiments are worthless unless they gather disciples, none of whom may follow if what you’ve done doesn’t embrace them. Nobody wants to hear a drummer going solo. Only a chorus of voices engages. You must want what everyone else wants for delivery system to work. Then again, why live in fear of acceptance, convenience or rejection? You’re entitled to march to your own drum in that great street carnival [stills from video]. Beating spirit from a swain won’t result in anyone’s gain. Curing those who greet you then do you harm could be mighty satisfying in itself, but takes considerable effort, loss endurance, patience, and risk tolerance.

Believe the answer is in choosing well and doing proactively, not planning retroactively and waiting for conditions you've set. To be able to imagine what you want then reach for it with success requires that the needs of others also be met. Mutually beneficial outcomes preserve civilization. Yet you can’t convince Big Oil CEOs, drug lords, or those who worship them that greed deprives everyone including self. Only teams that share responsibilities in tandem secure rewards worth achieving. Choose wisely.

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