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Moving the Trim Tab

Mark A. Goldman                                                                    11/28/2013


Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the  Queen Mary--the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.

It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

So I said, call me Trim Tab.

--Buckminster Fuller

I would like to make a couple of adjustments to what some very thoughtful people have been offering, in an effort to change the course of our ship of state.   Many have pointed out correctly that this ship we're on is headed directly into the rocks.   If we don't change course it will crash and sink, and our ship will be lost along with its crew and cargo.   We need to change course, but trying to communicate with the captain and his senior officers has proved nearly impossible and very inefficient.   But we need to do something quickly or there will not be time enough to move this ship before it comes to a dreadful end:

1.       There are those who say that it is not the job of visionaries to seek leadership positions.   I say this idea is pure nonsense.   What we have today is a world turned upside down with our leaders being selected on the basis of their fame or wealth rather than for their wisdom and character.   The best way to communicate with our leaders is not to spend our energies trying to tell them what we want or need, which they have demonstrated by their actions are totally outside their ability to understand or feel.

Rather the best way to communicate what we want, is to spend our time and energies locating individuals among us who have the wisdom and strength of character to already know what we want and need.  

Find these people and support them in applying for the job of public servant.  

What we have now are people who want to rule or exploit rather than to serve.  They need to be replaced if we ever expect our children to one day live in country that is truly striving for universal peace, freedom, and economic security.  

It's true that we can no longer depend on our mainstream media to give such people a voice.   In fact, the system we are now operating under is designed to exclude such people from ever holding office.   But the opportunity is not totally closed.   We've been indoctrinated into believing that the mechanisms for advancing such people into leadership roles no longer exists.   But so far, no government official goes into the voting booth with us when we vote on election day.   That means we still can, if we have the will and the foresight, to vote for whomever we want.  

What I am suggesting is that we stop trying to influence politicians who are not intellectually or morally mature enough to lead, and replace them with people who are.   In other words, stop voting for Democrats or Republicans.   Stop voting for anyone who belongs to a political party.   Instead, find people who you believe have the consciousness, character, and vision to serve rather than to rule or govern.   Stop wasting your time trying to influence an institution that operates as an antithesis to its originally intended purpose.

2.       Stop supporting institutions that don't support you.   When the bus system in Alabama refused to change their practice of making blacks sit in the back of buses, inspired citizens finally figured out that the best way to change the minds of the bus company's management was to stop riding the buses altogether.   It was, to be sure, an inconvenience to walk rather than to ride the bus.   But when the black community stopped riding the buses, the bus company found that it was even more inconvenient for them.  They didn't like losing the income that the black community was providing by using their transportation services.   Their company's income, it turns out, was more important to management and stockholders than their prejudice.

Stop watching or listening to the news that's being offered by the mainstream media.   If we stop using their services they will eventually change.   Stop watching all programs when they are offered, but instead tape them, and watch them later when you can skip over the commercials.   Stop buying the products being advertised.  We don't need all those drugs and processed GMO foods.    

When the government adopts a single payer healthcare system, like Medicare for all, and the news and programming actually supports our dignity as citizens, we can begin to use their services again.   Why should we accept a system that makes people slaves to their employers by forcing us to work for them on their terms in order to retain decent health care for ourselves and our families?  Having decent health care is a basic human right and should not be dependent on our employment or income. Other countries have already proven that universal heath care services can be provided at less cost and with better outcomes than we have.  Why not learn from what others have already accomplished.

Governments and corporations in a democracy are supposed to serve the People, not manage, dominate, or enslave them.    If we have the courage and the fortitude, we can turn things around.    But we must have that courage, fortitude and self respect if we expect to be treated with dignity.   We don't have to fight anyone.   We only have to believe in ourselves, even if it's a bit inconvenient (or maybe even a great sacrifice) for awhile.  If we don't respect ourselves enough to value our own freedom and dignity, we are surely going to lose it all.  And if you're black, you're going to lose it again, which is doubly tragic... (wasn't 250 years enough?).  

Last time, a person could be made a slave simply because of the color of their skin.  This time it will be because our civil rights and dignity will be (like most everything else in our culture) for sale. It's already getting to the point where these are things a lot of us can no longer afford.  

Last time the color of one's skin was only an excuse and strategy. It always was about economics without compassion.

Exploiting other people for personal gain seems to be a flawed state of consciousness which too many of us in this culture find it hard to outgrow.  And as you can see, some of us can remain very numb and cold as we go about taking advantage of other people for what we believe is in our own best interest.  It isn't.

One thing is for sure:  Those who refuse to protect and defend the rights and freedoms of others, are destined to one day lose their own.


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