Is that what we think? Do we say to ourselves and our peers, ‘I’m going to lead by example in this case?’
Like, the other times, when we did something and hoped no-one would see it as an example: yesterday, that thing I did? Don’t do that. Do as I say, not as I do. But today, today, I’m leading by example. This I do want you to emulate.
Like that is up to us.
I’ve enjoyed this form of literary masturbation in the past, the binocular peep show I will call the two-pronged blog, so I’ll try it again. Part One – the Middle East.
Let’s start with a harmless fantasy. How about we just get the Hell out of the ME, completely? America’s oil production is up, Alberta is already destroyed anyway, might as well milk the plateau that starts at the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains for all it’s worth, plus there’s still the Gulf. We’ve got oil here. I say we offer the Israelis some plot of land about the size of the one they have now, say Richard Gere’s place or something . . . and just walk away. Leave the various clans of Islam to sort it out among themselves. And in doing so . . .
Lead by example. We should leave them a letter or something, like –
“Dear Arabs, we’re sorry we took your oil and your blood for so long, but we’re stopping now. I don’t know why we did it, we were such pricks. All we can say is, we’re sorry. We wish we could explain it somehow, try to make some sense of it, but no, we just suck, and we’re sorry. We know that isn’t very satisfying. Of course you’re still pissed. All we can say is that we’re trying to change, and maybe, if we can be better for a few decades, maybe future generations of our peoples can have some sort of normal relationship. We acknowledge we’re leaving you in a terrible mess, but we think if there is one thing we can agree on, it must be that our efforts to clean it up only ever make it worse.
and then we concentrate on getting our own house in order, see if we can’t establish something, a form of life and government that may be recognizable as an attempt to establish the Christian dream of Heaven on Earth . . . you know. Lead by example.
Because what do they see of the West over there? Conquest, war, dominance, that’s what we show Islam, and we hope that they don’t see that as an example. We don’t get to do that, we don’t get to say ‘don’t follow our example yesterday, follow it today.’ That’s not how the world works. People are watching us all the time. Everything we do is an example, we aren’t invisible until we say ‘see me now!’
Of course, part of this conversation must always be, action speaks louder than words. The world is always watching, but it is rarely listening, rightly so, of course. A great deal of what we do is far more important stuff we only say.
And so for the macro-view, geopolitics. Of course, the fractal seed, the base unit for this, is parenting. It doesn’t matter what moral lesson you are trying to teach your child if you teach it with any sort of negative stimulus, literal pain, loss of a loved object, loss of personal freedom, whatever.
Say what you will, you’re making your child’s life worse.
And your child will see it.