Getting back on the horse (goose, goose, lemming, goose)

In trying to get back on the horse I’ve decided to cut back on my editing habits That said, please forgive items in the following that would have been corrected in the normal editing process.

sorry, and thank  you.
One day early in the morning, I walked to the beach on Lake Tahoe to Trumpet in the sunrise. As I topped a little rise I startled a mass of sleeping geese. The whole bunch, as one, took to the air in a roar that changed everything. What had been a peaceful and serene setting was suddenly a cacophony of activity, with everything directed at the urgency of putting air between one’s self and whatever was suddenly attacking the group.

Lemmings probably don’t behave anything like they are reputed to do, but here’s the story as I was taught it: Periodically they mass at the top of a cliff overlooking the sea and then jump to their deaths as one.

I’ve also heard they march single file into the sea.

Inexplicable stories each.

If I were a lemming, gathered to watch a beautiful sunset into the ocean from a bluff overlooking the surf pounding against the cliff below, jumping to my death at the slightest provocation would not be on my mind. Yet, if spooked as a group, that’s exactly what might happen.

Nine–eleven was just like that, except all Americans felt like the flock–or the herd, as the case may be. So, I’m sure was Pearl Harbor, and, perhaps, the Lusitania.

Things happen that may, or may not, be a threat to the whole, but which the whole interprets as being precisely that.

Sometimes the interpretation is right on. Sometimes not. Sometimes the actions taken in response are appropriate. Sometimes not so much.

I suppose an argument for taking drastic steps initially to avoid the potential threat can be made, but some consideration for irrevocability should factor in. Taking to the air, for a goose, seems very different than for a lemming. Assuming either reconsiders after launch, of course.

Reconsideration still remains pending for most Americans following 9/11, I think.

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One Response to Getting back on the horse (goose, goose, lemming, goose)

  1. Barbara says:

    It’s too bad that critical thinking and crisis response aren’t taught earlier in life. I’m always amused by–and despairing of–the tendency for instant response, aka, retaliation. One only needs to look at the thousands of years of the practice of retaliation to see how poorly it works to seeking real solutions.

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