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A Return To Bondage (No! Not That Kind Of Bondage)

Nov 20, 2007
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage." --Sir Alex Fraser Tyler (1742-1813) Scottish jurist and historian

This quote really impacted me and I wanted to share it with you. Are we doomed to repeat this progression? And if this is the actual progression of great civilizations, where are we in the process?

As a society, it seems we have move past bondage and spiritual faith as concepts that define us, and I hazard to say that we have also moved past courage and liberty though politicians still like us to suggest we are in the midst of it, despite some wanting to take away our civil liberties (NSA wiretapping?).

Clearly, we were once an abundant nation and if the recent reports on our country's obesity epidemic are an indication, we are at the very least physically quite abundant still.

My fear is that the masses have moved into selfishness and complacency, and really nearing, if not already totally on board with, apathy. How else have our bridges begun to collapse? How else have our civil liberties begun to erode dramatically? How else have we allowed New Orleans, an American city, to become scarier than a third world country, totally abandoned and forgotten only two years later?

We are already dependent. We outsource all of our jobs to India and China so that we can have cheap foreign labor. We build cars in Mexico for the same reason. Our trucking industry appears to be heading over to Mexican companies.

With all the hubbub about illegal immigrants, it seems we are watching all of the jobs that used to be good, middle/working class careers which used to provide for a family a living wage, health insurance, the ability to buy a house and two cars, put your kids through college, and have a pension for retirement. . . we want those jobs to be performed somewhere else for a fraction of the price and with no safety or environmental restrictions.

And if that wasn't enough dependence, how about that dependence on foreign oil? To quote my children during long road trips, "Are we there yet?" Are we on borrowed time as far as the imminent return to bondage is concerned? We've gone over the 200 years by 31 years now. China? I'm looking at you.

Phew! Boy. . . take a deep breath. What does this do to you to think we're living on borrowed time? Who out there is raging mad with what I've just written? How can you reframe it to tell me where I'm wrong? And who out there agrees and thinks I haven't taken it far enough? I'm trying to poke at you all here. Poke me back.
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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