Americans regularly lament the current state of affairs in our country. I hear about it, and see it written about daily. Their frustration is palpable. The longer it remains unchanged the more people are willing to believe in ambiguous platitudes from politicians like, “Hope and Change,” or “Make America Great Again,” or “Every Man A King.” Meanwhile, nothing changes and people are seeing their country go through death by a thousand cuts.
We want to think our government is supposed to save us from all evil. On public radio recently the shows guest was talking about the sense of hopelessness felt in different groups, and how for the first time in our country’s history, the white man has the greatest sense of hopelessness over all other groups. While I can’t verify this, the program’s guest and interviewer seemed to think that this is something the government should be concerned with, and find a solution to.
Think of our country like a tree. The roots and trunk provide freedom for all those who are native to the trunk or all those who are grafted in. Branches must reach out and send leaves skyward in search of nourishment from the sun. The act of that effort gives strength to the whole tree. It nourishes the branch and the trunk. Much like grafting is done with trees, the sap from this tree is capable of supporting huge numbers of branches, so long as they produce leaves and stretch themselves reaching for the sun; for nourishment.
Now think of every small branch that does not reach and produce; it becomes an insult to the overall health of the tree. Everything that prevents or discourages the branches from doing what they were designed to do is an insult to the overall organism. Every competing tree that shades us, is an insult to our overall health. Every crazy demand on our country from within or otherwise is an insult to our overall health. In today’s world, every branch is told it is entitled to something more than it is. Entitlements, excessive taxes, excessive regulations, laws so long that nobody has ever read them, a government that is no longer answerable to its people, etc. are all cuts in the tree. Cuts are places for the vital sap of the tree to leak out. From my perspective, we are dying a death by a thousand cuts, and it is torturous to watch. We have to stop thinking the government is our source and remember, we are the governments source. It is said that if you aren’t part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. What can we do to do our part?
“Death by a thousand cuts,” originally known as “Ling Chi,” “Leng Tch’e,” “slow slicing,” and various other names was a form of execution used in China from around 900 A.D. until around 1905 when it was banned. It was a form of torture or lingering death reserved for the worst crimes, such as treason, patricide, or matricide. The following links are interesting for reference.
One is a Wiki page on the subject while the other is a “song” by the title “Leng Tch’e.”