I cannot begin to imagine what the squirrels must be thinking on Main Street about all the corporate greed on Wall Street, the dissension on Independence Avenue, the money laundering on Constitution Avenue, and the calamitous attacks on Mother Nature.
Allow me to define “inhibition” for you. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, inhibition is something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses. We, as an American people, have enabled inhibitions to run carelessly amuck along the countryside. It is when we turn a blind eye to the fragile politics of dancing that emboldens corporate leadership to steer our lives and ultimately our fates.
I have said, “Never allow criminal corporations to own your emotions — that’s how they’ve gotten away with so many immoral acts.” While it is necessary to have rules and regulations for safety and overall productivity, it is equally important to be able to stand up on your own two feet every now and then to point out any issues that may be hindering progress, counterproductive to a brand’s image, or most importantly, the reckless endangerment of lives and livelihood.
Years ago I had worked at a large retail outlet. I won’t mention Wally World, but there was a long, drawn-out “evaluation test” that assessed your mental and emotional capacity to perform as simple a job as cashiering and stocking. The majority of the online questionnaire was a bureaucratic dichotomy, which would determine the sheeple from the shepherds. Individuals were to rate their answers from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Anyone with half a brain could understand the exact answers that the retail chain was seeking: Are you a conformist or a non-conformist? The half-wit queries as to whether or not you would steal from the company were just tossed in for good measure. It is, after all, a psychological assessment as to whether or not you might become a trouble maker, a whistle blower, or a tattle tale. Every now and then, an intelligible individual gets through the arduous “test” because believe it or not, people have to put a roof over their heads and feed their families. The irony, of course is that the shepherds who pass the proverbial entry gates to employment must swallow their guts and sense of integrity just to do so.
The same holds true for large corporations like BP, AT&T, Toyota, Goldman Sachs, etc. It is an unwritten oath that many who enter the business world take in order to advance themselves to a higher professional standing. I cannot comprehend how we can unintentionally or intentionally bring harm to our fellow workers, economic infrastructure; or as in the case of BP, Transocean and Halliburton, the destruction of the Gulf region’s ecosystem. But we do. We — with our inhibitions, who have so, solemnly swore to ourselves to be conformists and not “rock the boat” of the professional seascape have in due course crafted and sealed our own fates. Who is steering your ship…your conscience, your life?
I don’t believe in anarchy for willfully ignorant reasons. I do, however, believe that we as a people must always stand up for what is morally and ethically sane. I refuse to say “right” because there really aren’t any “wrongs” or “rights” — just logical, empathetic choices. Are you working for an ideology of one? Are you working toward a larger, common good, mutually beneficial to your coworkers, your business, your community, your environment?
It is our inhibitions that prevent us from bringing good people together for a greater foundation. It is our inhibitions that halt us from stretching our hands across the aisle to make friendships. It is much easier to look the other way and avoid the potential of productive and progressive relationships. It is our inhibitions…our fears, our worries that encumber us from following the logical sense of responsibilities to ourselves, our families, our communities, our country, our world.
The squirrels know all too well what it means to be a community. They work together, saving nuts and other rations throughout the warm months to endure during the cold season. They follow a sense of communal responsibility for each other. And if you have ever had the rare opportunity to see them in action, you’ll notice that they take time to enjoy nature. They frolic and play with each other just like children do on the playground. What makes this tiny rodent species so special is that it has evolved nicely over the past 36 million years and continues to do so to meet the changing tides of time. They are not conformists. They have no inhibitions. They do, however, adapt to the changing climate and environment. They work together for a greater, common cause: survival of the species. Perhaps the human race could learn a thing or two from these little kernel munchers.
OPED: Inhibition drives me nuts!