Thank you Warren Buffet and Nicolas Sarkozy

Joan of Arc led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War which paved the way for the final victory.

Some times we care around baggage without really knowing it – big heavy bags of anxety laden thoughts, beliefs and imaginary responsibilities.  A common one that most Americans share is our self-appointed role as world savior.  Any time there is an armed conflict, human rights abuse or natural disaster we feel that we should “do something” that is to help or intervene and fix whatever is wrong.  Of course there are situations and places where we do nothing, in fact we barely notice things that don’t fit into our political world-view.  But in general, as Americans we feel some sense of responsibility for the security and health of the world.

In a way, at least for me, it is a lot like worrying about your family; every time something goes wrong in their lives I feel anxiety and start to think about ways to help, to fix whatever has gone wrong.  Of course mostly I do nothing but stress, still I do feel the stress.  It is the same thing on a global scale, when there is a famine in Africa, a civil war in Libya or an earthquake in China we feel stress and think about solutions.  Again, most of us never do anything, but in every case some does do something – the government, non-governmental agencies and private individuals organize and take some action.  During major events the government tries to get other countries to join in our efforts;  as the president did by calling around Europe looking for other countries willing to send troops to Iraq or Afghanistan or the sectrary of state is trying to do now, building a conseus in the United Nations on Libya.  Although it is indirect, in some small way I feel, and I think most Americans feel, some stress; we want the efforts to succeed and we want to fix the situation; we want everyone to be healthy and happy.  But won’t it be a relief to give up that role, to retire from the postion as head-of-the-family, leader-of-the-free-world?

I got a taste of that feeling today; France is recognizing the rebel government in Libya.  It may also establish a non-fly zone on its own and there were even some reports in the European press today that France was considering sending arms and military support.  Wow! Did that feel  good or what?  Suddenly it was not an American problem, the solutions need not concern me or the country.  It would be like discovering that Warren Buffet was really your uncle and going to take care of everything and everybody in the family forever.  Just think of all the things we might do as individuals and as a nation if we were not always worried about everything and everyone else; we would not even have to have a place in our national budget for “foreign aid” or defense.

We could take time off and go to school, concentrate on science, medicine and even entertainment, we could go to work on our own issues with all of that money and human resources  we have devoted to the world for the last century.  Our aging population and their attendant retirement funds and medical insurance threatens to overwhelm our entire society – but if we were free of the stress and cost of being the head of the world’s family – okay, lots of other countries think we are blind egotists, but this is not about reality or what other people think, but what we feel – we could, freed of all of that responsibility go to work on the problems of very old and unproductive population.  President Nicolas Sarkozy has wanted to be a world leader since he day he entered office, a combination of William the Norman Conquer and Joan of Arc,  you go Nicolas! is what I say.

I know nothing has changed by the news of one day, but for a few minutes I relaxed and let France and Buffet take  care of things and I felt great.  Vive La France! and thank you, Warren.


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March 2011
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