Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
I am not sure why the opening lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ are whistling in my ears this morning. Perhaps, like my recent entry, I am thinking about the fallen, their potential successes, how great they might have been had others thought or behaved differently.
Imagine, in ancient times, instead of peoples busy with conquest and power
They focused on collaboration,
Instead of the futility of war,
Of building trenches, they built houses
And just got on.
Our primitive urge to compete for whatever can be fought-for,
Our desire to squabble over the smallest article of land or possession is what leads to our downfall.
Look at my intercontinental ballistic missile – it is bigger than yours;
If Freud could see us now, he would be laughing at the priapic posturing of America, North Korea and most recently Iran.
And so too in the workplace.
Instead of letting others get on getting on,
There are folk whose egos are a point of instability,
Who care more about their tiny patch of land, or office or empire
Than they successful outcome of their people.
Is this inevitable?
If it is, we are doomed.
Yet, in 1962 when the generals were shouting at JFK to drop the bomb,
Admittedly the assassin’s bullet the following year did not spare him, but he spared us.
who opted to ignore the Soviet nuclear missile early warning system
Telling him the Americans were attacking
And who was later vindicated
As it was a glitch,
Sunlight reflecting off satellites that almost caused the end of the world in 1983.
There are folk out there who will sacrifice themselves for the cause,
Who will put the people, humanity before their own fear of extinction.
Let’s celebrate them
And downplay the others.
Photo of Petrov: By Queery-54 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6239402 6
Born In The U.S.A. (Remastered) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC