The War of the Dandelions
by, 01-12-2012 at 01:26 PM (1948 Views)
I wrote this up this morning. Enjoy. Spread if you like it.
The War of the Dandelions
In one neighborhood of small town America, a father of five was terribly distraught at the dandelions overtaking his yard. He sent his children out to pick them all, paying them a small allowance. He was so proud of his yard, that he decided he should send his children out to neighboring yards on a daily basis to help his neighbors with their own dandelion infestation. This proved a daunting task, as his five children no longer had time to play or be at home with their family, but rather were constantly going from yard to yard. They did their best, but the dandelions spread faster than they could manage.
In order to help them, the father opened his wallet. He began paying all of the neighborhood kids to help out, and buying them all the newest and shiniest tools, and celebrated as the dandelion problem began to abate. This strategy went on for years, and even as his neighbors invested their money in such things as new gutters, getting their roof fixed, and painting their house, this father remained diligent, spending his money protecting all of their yards from dandelions. His wife and children became despondent and angry at the state of affairs, watching their own house fall into disrepair.
But the father insisted, for he was a man of virtue: we must defend our neighborhood from dandelions. It is our duty. If I do not protect our neighborhood from dandelions, nobody will.
The next neighborhood over, another father of five was similarly distraught over the dandelions overtaking his yard. He sent his children out to pick them all, paying them a small allowance. He was so proud of his yard, that he invited his neighbors over for a barbecue. The other parents in the neighborhood were impressed at how nice his house and yard looked, and asked him how he accomplished it. Soon, all the parents had their children doing chores, picking dandelions, and cleaning up their own yards.
The father looked out at his neighborhood and was proud. He had known that through providing an example of excellence in his own yard, others would follow in his footsteps.
"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.
She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.
The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force....
She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....
[America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice."
-John Quincy Adams