Another crane collapsed in the Upper East Side. So far, 2008 has been a half-year of trying news. Gas prices up. Foreclosures up. Natural disasters up. Crime up. Dollar down. Jobs down. Public funding down. Spending down. Confidence down. Democrats divided. KERPLUNK. An acorn (or two, three, four) has fallen on our collective heads. And the sky seems to be falling indeed.
In one of several versions of the Chicken Little story, Chicken Little and her fearful posse run to tell the king. Along the way, they run into wicked Foxy Woxy who tries to eat them. The king’s troops rescue the group and drive Foxy out. After, the king gives the chicken an umbrella to keep her safe from future acorns.
In another version, the king does nothing at all and simply says: “You see it was only a little pebble and not part of the sky at all,” said the King. “Go home in peace and do not fear because the sky cannot fall; only rain falls from the sky.”
What’s my point? Unfortunately, we don’t have a leader we can trust (although we certainly have one who thinks he’s a king). And our government is so crippled by debt that we (particularly those of us who need it the most) probably won’t be getting an umbrella anytime soon.
But we might consider the story of Chicken Little as a humble reminder that fear can cloud our good judgement and sabotage rational solutions to our current crises of overbuying, overspending, and overdramatizing.
Yes, an old world order is falling away. This does not mean: Doomsday Apocalypse. It just means a new world order is on its way. (Now, we may no longer be the center of that universe, but that’s another post…)