Butterflies

Society as a whole doesn’t take enough responsibility for our actions. Take the environment. Couldn’t we all do a bit better about conservation? What else could you do that would make a difference, even if ever-so-small. Last night walked by my son’s room and noticed the little lights on his DVD and TV glowing in the dark. He is grown, hasn’t lived in our house for years, but still, we had the TV and DVD ready for him to walk in any minute to use. That’s small potatoes in the whole energy conservation realm, but I unplugged them. I probably won’t save enough money from those two little LEDs to buy a pack of gum, but maybe if enough of us do that, we can save a bit of the rain forest, or the coastline, or some such thing.

Not that we’ll ever know what that little action does for our planet, but wouldn’t it be cool to imagine the possibilities. They call that the butterfly effect, which essentially says that a small change in one place can have significant effects in another. The theory goes that the air displaced by the butterfly’s wings could set off a chain of events that could eventually change the path of a tornado or some such wind disturbance. Interesting thought.

Couldn’t we all be a bit more insistent that our corporations be more responsible – environmentally, socially, internationally? And how about making sure our government leaders hold them accountable? Not when it’s politically advantageous, but all the time. If enough butterflies were out there flapping like mad, just think of the effect we could have.

(I want to be a swallowtail, please.)

In times like these . . .

Just like many people around the nation, I am getting fed up with all the negativity, political one-up-manship, and – to use a phrase we have heard a lot this week – vitriol.  We don’t need people from the left blaming the right for the acts of a madman. We don’t need the right inflaming the left by labeling their agenda or leaders as job-killing, anti-American, or socialist.

What we need is a statesman – or several of them. It might seem odd to quote Mikhail Gorbachev in a post about what we need in the U.S. but he summed it up  quite well. He said, ” A statesman does what he believes is best for his country, a politician does what best gets him re-elected.”

We need our political leaders to view the country’s problems according to what is best for its citizens rather than what is best for their party or what is most likely to get them re-elected.  Sometimes leaders have to make unpopular, but wise, decisions that are simply the right thing to do.  Even if it hurts their friends (or contributors). Even if it gives their opponents good fodder for the next election cycle.

We’ve been talking a lot about corporate social responsibility in the last few years, and are doing a much better job of holding businesses responsible for being good citizens. Corporations are talking about being more environmentally friendly, more animal friendly, more socially conscious about the workers. We still need to do better with this, but we’ve come a long way.

Now if we could just get our politicians to do the same. Congress is talking about requiring all bills to have the constitutional reference included.  What about the socially conscious references?  What will their bill do to the health and well being of our citizens, our natural resources, our grandchildren?  And not just their friends, either. They need to be thinking about the people on “the other side of the track,” too.  What about them? Those invisible Americans that have no voice but who need one now more than ever.

Where are all the statesmen?

Snow!

I love snow. But I don’t like the mess it creates in my life – getting the 25 miles to and from work, dealing with canceled appointments or events, whiny babies who are afraid of a little snow on the roads. Since I live in Kentucky, people have problems with snow. People here just act stupid when it snows. Period. Predict snow and watch the crazy people clean out the grocery shelves.  Why someone needs to buy 20 cans of corn and beans for a 2 inch snow is a mystery to me.

Birds waiting their turn to devour the seed in our feeders during one of last winter's snow storms.

I like snow the most is when it snows on a Friday night, after I’ve gotten home for the weekend.  I can watch it show from the comfort of my kitchen, see the birds eat us out of house and home, and admire the beauty all while staying off the roads and out of the grocery stores.

I also like it when it is not too cold so I can go out and play in it a bit.  I love taking snow pictures, but just will not do it if it is cold and windy.  I’m a woos. But I also love to come back inside and curl up near the fire with an adult beverage of some sort.  Mighty fine.

Snow days are great for cooking, too. I love to spend the day in the kitchen cooking and eating bunches of new things that I don’t typically have time for. One snow storm a few years ago, when they actually shut down the Interstates, I cooked so many new things,. That winter, I developed an entire  bunch of new “standards” that we still enjoy regularly.

Bring on the snow! But wait till Friday night, please.