Today on Facebook someone commented that “most people cannot remember a time when the government worked for us instead of against us.”
I was moved by this idea to write about the concepts of government, perception, optimism, and consciousness. Mostly I wondered, don’t people remember and keep the words of Abraham Lincoln, and the founding fathers? That ours is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people?” And how can people not see all the good things the government does for us?
To me, seeing the good things our government does is a lot like the ability to perceive God. How could someone not see evidence of God everywhere? I see evidence of both a good God and a good government everywhere.
To me, seeing good is like seeing a lot of things that are there, but we’re not aware of. It is a matter of wanting to see something, putting yourself in the right place, at the right time, and tuning your attention appropriately.
For example, we don’t often see bats in the summer, at least in Wisconsin. But there are quite a few around. If I want to really see them, I discovered there’s a roost in an old building next to the Grafton Public library where I used to work. Go to the parking lot at dusk any night all summer long, and see hundreds of bats coming out of their roost at night. It’s quite spectacular. Another example is looking through a microscope to see tiny lifeforms, invisible to the naked eye. Or using a telescope at night to see details on the surface of the moon we just can’t perceive without help.
Or even just becoming aware or conscious of something you never noticed before, can help you see it. For example, before I test drove and then bought a Honda CRV, I had never seen one before. But after I became aware of them—amazingly—I saw them everywhere!
We also have to engage our will to see things, too. We have to want to see things. One can look at a partially-filled glass and call it half empty, or half full. We make such choices. And it is purely a matter of choice.
So for those who say the government does nothing for us, really? Is that true? Or is it that you’re just not perceiving things correctly?
I decided to started a list of things I can see that government does for me. Below are just 10 things I can think of off the top of my head.
- My ability to read, do math, have understanding of lots of subjects—all courtesy of the fine education I received at Wauwatosa Public Schools and the University of Wisconsin system. I had an excellent education in public schools: primary, secondary, and college
- The Internet. Public academic institutions attempting to share information developed the first internet.
- My favorite radio station I listen to daily, which is WUWM-FM. If not for FCC regulations, turning on a radio station would be a mass of noise.
- Traveling safely on the roads. From speed limits to stop signs, rules of the road and police officers, I might have crashed and died long ago
- My ability to worship freely—and in a building exempt from taxes. Our government guarantees my freedom to worship — something we take for granted in this country.
- A clean healthy home and yard thanks to garbage pickup. Imagine if there were no garbage trucks to pick up our waste. It would get pretty smelly and we’d get pretty sick.
- A safe house that doesn’t fall apart on me. Thanks to building codes, permits, licenses, and inspectors—and people cooperating with them all—our homes don’t fall apart in the wind and keep us dry in the rain.
- Mail delivery. Wish it was still the Pony Express sometimes (I just love horses) but I’m very grateful for the ability to send and receive mail.
- Roads kept paved and clean of snow, ice, leaves, trash, and dead animals (imagine the graveyard our highways would be if no one ever picked up roadkill!)
- Laws that make it very easy to start a small business and that reduce my tax overhead. Think we’ve got red tape? You should hear how much harder it is in other countries. A friend from Germany heightened my consciousness to how easy we have it here. Again, half full, or half empty?
Anything you can add to this list, of things government does for us?