On Princes and Paupers, Grasslands and Buffalo

Buffalo and grasslands, predator and prey, co-dependent, co-evolved, interdependent and independent at the same time. The buffalo and grasslands exist only as part of the 'big picture', the framework we hang our metaphors on. Grasslands and buffalo must have a back story as a frame, to give their song a rhythm. Same for everything, without a frame of reference, events have little meaning.

An individual's frame of reference is constructed from his/her-story, each frame, like its owners experience, is unique and independent. After we reach some conclusion based on our frame of reference, we can exercise our free will in acting, or not, on those conclusions. Princes and paupers depend on the common weal for their dinner, one on his estate, one in his council house, each equally dependent on stability if nothing else. Princes need paupers just as much as the other way around.

We all have hard times in our lives, we all need help getting outta the ditch once in a while. Helping our cousin, and we're all cousins, is empathy in action. The trick is to reach a conclusion where everyone parts as equals holding their head high. Sweat equity can work, everyone gains together. Dependence begets depression which begets poor immune response, inflammation and bad juju. Dependence takes a toll on princes and paupers. Princes can ever know if they are worthy or just born lucky, princes can only know the agony of defeat, that's why so many of them come to foul ends.

In these times of worsening unemployment, rampant foreclosures, tent cities and fear we need "leadership from the bottom" as Wendell Berry says. Jobs based on hard work, on an honest days work for an honest days pay. We need big solutions to big problems. Letting the buffalo roam is a big [at least wide] solution to the wicked problem of emotional and fiscal dependence.

Healthy, successful people are independent. Independent folks exercise their free will with empathy for all, within a framework of the possible. Free will, freedom to chose, freedom to change makes happy people and...Happy people would often choose to eat happy buffalo, who ate happy grass, that lived in happy soil, that helped clean the air, who helped clean the lungs and the thoughts of the previously unhappy people. Change is good, free will is better still.

"The pencil is mightier than the pen"- Robert Pirsig