Imagination, Optimism, and Tolerance

The importance of having bold and imaginative people in leadership positions is defined, not by the lowest common denominator, but by the inspirational power to achieve.

Continuing along the “1969” theme ……

“Tolerance,” explained Mrs. Hartsfield, “Means you don’t kill someone just because they believe differently than you.” She was speaking specifically about the news of the day to her 9th Grade Social Studies class, of which I was but one of thirty youngsters who had the privilege of receiving an excellent public education from an excellent public school teacher.

The daily discussions of current events were lively enough to hold at bay the distractions of Spring, which usually seemed to explode around the third week of March, and although expected, always seemed to catch us by surprise. The discussion of “tolerance” came on the heels of renewed animus in Ulster, the usual suspects wearing a religious facade. I could not comprehend how the two could have deep hatred for each other, my own life experience with Catholics limited to the family living across the street, Jimmy, the youngest, my best friend. That relationship went much deeper than mere tolerance, and was so natural that the thought of seeming enmity between us was limited to those competitive occasions involving sports, and later, cars, and girlfriends. Jimmy, as I recall, was the first to recognize the immutable correlation between the serving of turnip greens at the school cafeteria immediately following grass-cutting day.

A year or so later, my big brother would give me a book called Future Shock which I enjoyed much less than the hours spent examining his secret stash of rock albums, reading the sleeves, the production notes, learning the musicians’ names, and spending hours memorizing the words to the songs. I think, if pressed, I could still do the whole album-side version of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre, with full orchestration, and four-part harmony …” I don’t think even Toffler realized how right he was in Future Shock. Change, and the accelerating rate of change has exploded on the scene, and caught us unprepared to manage our expectations.

If shock and alarm imply fear, then that’s where Toffler might have it wrong, I think. Technology changes, knowledge increases, but people are still people, all knowing the basic differences between right and wrong. And, although Ms. Hollman would tell me some years later in Sociology class that making this conclusion was “imposing a value judgment on others,” I can’t help but think that wondering about the future, and believing in the fundamental decency of people go hand in hand. That is less a limitation, and more a jumping off point, so to speak. A natural yearning to live and let live is the essence of tolerance.

The pace and the scope of expansionist technology increases with each new discovery, and one’s ability to adapt and utilize are limited only by imagination. I saw a commercial recently and blogged about it, “Web 3.0 is closer than you think.” In fact, I think web 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 will flow seamlessly into each other until the day when they are no longer differentiated by generational markers.  As technological change becomes accepted and intertwined in the way we communicate and conduct our daily lives, the importance of having bold and imaginative people in leadership positions is defined, not by the lowest common denominator, but by the inspirational power to achieve.

Imagination, optimism, and tolerance are the reasons that I am politically conservative.

They are the reasons that I blog.

I believe they are also, the reasons that this unique American experiment will thrive.

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Weekend Linkage:
“Whatever works” doesn’t; Market’s Last Gasp; Health care myths; When Identity Politics Collide; Caption This!; Your tax dollars at work; So, McNamara and Cronkite gone; While you were away …… ; The 10 things he hates about us; Obama vs Obama; The Wolf who cried boy; Peter Singer Expands on Healthcare Rationing Argument; Iraqi govt endangers US troops ; The Rule of Law, or the Rule of Man; Buy Ted Kennedy’s Book. Get Free Booze!; More BBC “ignorant crap”; Conservatives Behaving Badly; Pravda can’t help but notice Obama’s Czars; Take Joe Biden. Please.; D.W.S.F.I.; Tunes from the smoke-filled back-room; Why most things do not matter; Institutionalized Ignorance; The road to illness; Quote of the day ; Where have all the suicide bombers gone?; Saturday Link Love

Update: Why didn’t I think of this as a way to drive up the traffic count? I’ll bet this would even be better than running nekkid photos of Britany Spears (not that I would know anything about googling for nekkid photos of Britany Spears, mind you).

Update 2: Good Grief — Charles Johnson piles on.

The Big 4-0; Summer of ’69

The Summer of 1969.

I was 14 years old, and didn’t care much for anything except football, baseball, and basketball. Naturally, their relative importance varied with the calendar.

You would think that the Summer automatically meant baseball was numero uno. Not necessarily.

League ball was over by July 4. And, especially in the South, that meant the football season was just around the corner.

I think back to the Summer of 1969 and several events come to mind:

First, the Preacher dismissing church service early on Sunday evening so we could all go home and watch Apollo 11 land on the moon.

Second, a few weeks later, when the Preacher dismissed evening church service early AGAIN, so everyone could go home and hunker down for the hurricane that was about to roll in. At the time, nobody guessed that we would remember that particular Sunday as being the day the Category 5 storm named Camille would obliterate the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The last thing I distinctly remember about 1969 happened in the Fall. Ole Miss – Alabama, Archie Manning, and the total excitement of watching live college football on national TV. Sitting there in my aunt’s living room with my cousins, alternately cheering, then groaning as the two teams marched up and down Legion field in a game that exemplified Dixie’s passion for college football, the game is like a flashing star across the backdrop of my boyhood memory.

Oh, BTW, it’s only 50 days till my Mississippi State Bulldogs take the field in their season opener.

Still, when I think back to the Summer of ’69, one story that seems out of place is the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Although the images of Teddy in a neck brace are strong in my recollection, for some reason or another, I’ve never associated that event with 1969. Maybe it’s because it got buried in the news cycle of Apollo 11. I dunno. Strange.

Friday linkage:

Walter Cronkite 1916 – 2009, Liberal – islamist alliance, 40 years later, Kennedy’s story still stinks, the fall of capitalism and the rise of islam, moon rocks are still relevant, Financial crisis morphing … again , and last but not least, Tieki says “Get busy, Y’all” (Tieki is from Wyoming, and she didn’t actually say, “Y’all,” but we can file that under a blogger’s creative license, mkay?).

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This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. A free speech zone. Track-backs welcome.

WFFOT:
A thread, a blog, a way of life.

WFFOT: Friday Freak

Really don’t mind if you sit this one out

Thick as a Brick…. (All 43 minutes). Google video must be the best kept secret on the internet.

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. Linkage welcome.

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Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Shadowscope, Cao’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, Conservative Cat, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, third world county, Political Byline, Allie is Wired, DragonLady’s World, , The Pink Flamingo, , Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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