We are all a product of our times. I refer to myself as being part of the Sesame Street generation. People growing up in the 70’s received the best that America had to offer, in many ways. We grew up with high expectations of ourselves and our nation.

– Post-WWII, those lessons learned were still strongly remembered.
– Children of a nuclear world, we were strongly cautioned against reactive decision-making.
– The first generation to be born into a post-Civil Rights America, the idea of a pluralistic nation, with power arising from the people, was endlessly impressed upon us as the best way forward.

Now, I watch movies and television shows, filled with “leaders” taking charge, “global protectors” ensuring our safety, and the people are pushed further and further into the background. Mere pawns in the story of life. Uninformed. Unimportant. Disrespected. Disempowered. Disenfranchised. 

YET…only because we, the people, accept this narrative. Both in movies and stories and in our own real lives. This must change, and here’s why:

Human beings are imperfect. The concentration of power into the hands of a few is, therefore, always a bad idea. If 10,000 people share power, and 100 of them go mad….they can only do so much damage. If 1,000 people share power, and 100 of them go mad…the damage increases 10 fold.

You see? Spreading power out, amongst the many, is a strategy that ensures that when stupid, dangerous, mentally ill or simply greedy and narcissistic individuals act out, they have a minimal effect.

A crazy person with a knife can kill a couple people.
A crazy person with a gun, can kill a dozen.
A crazy person with a many guns, can injure/kill hundreds.
A crazy person in the White House? MILLIONS CAN DIE.

We must, all of us…begin to work toward a system of “Shared Responsibility.” This means, each of us must step up and take ENOUGH power to become a meaningful part of the solution to our shared problems.

As best I can tell, from looking back on our shared human history, it is this, or death. I’ve made my choice. What’s yours?