M.E. Altieri: October 2011 Archives
Time-travel with me, if you will: it's July of 1863, and the Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, USA)--the bloodiest battle in American history--has just taken place. Mass casualties on both sides. The country was hurting--neither the North nor the South was gloating after the enormous loss of life. Uncommon valor and sheer guts were the only things that kept some men alive in the days following, as litters of broken bodies, housing broken souls, were carried off the battlefield.
The emotions of the nation were crushed, as brother fought against brother--many families were divided, and there was no end in sight to the War Between the States.
Gather up your hoop skirts now, board the cart and come with me just one month later, to Saratoga Springs, New York. The city that was founded on spring waters with curative properties was just about to embark on a venture that would eclipse the springs, as a new distraction would be offered to The People...
Oh, all right, it's up to The People to save the world. Most American politicians have no interest in trying. (I can't and won't speak about politicians in countries other than the U.S., my only experience is here.) But if you added up all the politicians in the US and added a dollar--you couldn't buy a decent cup of coffee. Certainly Corporate America isn't interested in doing it--I can't speak for Corporate Anyplace Else.
So once again, it falls upon the shoulders of We, the People, to bring about change.
That's OK, we're pretty good at it.
The change of which I write today seems like an easy one: change in the life of a youth. If we can get horsepeople from every corner of the globe to participate, one year from today we will have touched the lives of 1,000,000 young people.
Think about this concept, if you've not done so before: everything has an expiration date.
Everything. Let's start with the basics: a carton of milk, a can of soup, special offers from your favorite restaurant. These are expiration dates that we see every day: remember the last time you grabbed a big glass of milk, only to discover that the beverage was far beyond its "good by" date? Blech.
Ignoring the expiration date in that case resulted in a less-than-satisfactory experience. And that's just milk.
But everything in Life--in the Universe, in fact--has an expiration date: stars, galaxies, trees, bodies of water. Nothing disappears, of course--it gets "recycled," as it were, into a different form of energy, molecules, etc.
The expiration date relates to the form as we know it: that pretty star that we see in the sky? It was there a billion years ago, and now all we're seeing is leftover Star Shrapnel. The orange leaf on our favorite tree? Will be gone in a few weeks, turned to brown, crunchy, dry mulch.
But in turn that leaf will feed the tree and other plants and microscopic critters in its surrounding environment, and will live again next year, in the form of a bigger, stronger tree and even more-vibrant leaves.
Ah, now we get to the part of the Theory of Expiration Dates that make some people feel uncomfortable. Not one aspect of Life is exempt from the Theory, for the Theory speaks of growth, and of the future's need to clear space. Out with the old, in with the new. Everything expires, whether or not we think we're ready for it: Relationships. Jobs. Living situations. Life, itself, is subject to expiration of one form, in order that another form can be born...
In the next few days, I'll post several articles. I hope you like them all. But tonight I have to dash off a little something, inspired by a video I just saw on Facebook. Don't worry, it won't be long, just pointed.
People who love horses should work with them, or at least get to be around them, somehow.
People who do not love horses should not be allowed to be near them, ever. There's something about the kindness and innocence of the horse that pushes the buttons of people who have the need to dominate another living being. I don't know why: maybe they can't get away with that behavior at home. Maybe they hate their bosses. Whatever the inspiration, some people just plain need to be cruel to a living being.
The natural human response to a horse is the strong desire to defend her or him, to become the horse's protector. People lacking this response should steer clear of equines, or face the wrath of those of us who DO feel compelled to protect and defend...