Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Leader of the Pack


Dancer with a tail.

I am loving the fact that Barack and Michelle will spend Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the day before the inauguration, volunteering. They've said they wish we Americans would celebrate the day as originally intended, as a day of national service. If the president can do it, we can do it, yes? Oh yeah!!

Homo sapien is a social predator, not unlike canines, for instance. We instinctively look to our leader to show us how to be, how to live. As a species we are in love with royalty, military leaders, chiefs, warriors. Some of us are born to be kings, most of us are more comfortable following. We are in love with the idea of "the best" because "the best" and "the most powerful" people set philosophical and behavioral templates we can follow. Tucked deep into the primal brainstem is the belief that if we do as our leader tells us to do, we will be safe.

Organizing ourselves according to pack hierarchy is human nature, which is why I am so grateful that very soon Obama will be our president. Because he is a decent person, a calm, thoughtful, caring human being. It's a brand new American behavioral template. I believe the coming year will be quite chaotic for a lot of reasons, among them the fact that our new leader is not the dufus we've lived with for the past eight years.

I could get into a whole thing about how evolutionary it is to try to work in more egalitarian forms, how our democracy, for instance, is our attempt to move beyond pack mentality. But just for today, I'm resting easy in my brainstem, grateful and proud that we've elected Obama. May every American become more thoughtful, more decent, more caring. So may it be!


Sidewalk quilt, with shadow.

33 comments:

tut-tut said...

Thoughtful, and so true. Wonderful photos; you are a seer in many senses . . .

Adrianne said...

This is a fabulous post -- amen to everything you say in it! And I love that dancer photo. How blessed you are, with an ear for putting thoughts into words and an eye for capturing wonderful images.

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Hi,
I agree with you. I feel a huge weight has been lifted as we look forward to a new era in the White House.
But I am a terrible worry wart. To some people, Obama is a Paper Tiger, one who has yet to prove himself.
I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed.

Lauren Johnson said...

Quite... stimulating.
I love the way you put the idea into words.
I was originally for McCain... but I am truly glad that we have Obama in office, because I think that he can help our nation.
Keep us safe, if you will.
Keep writing!
:)

True Blue Texan said...

Well said. The idea of pack mentality answers much when we look at the Bush administration. No matter who you think the alpha dog was, Bush or Cheney, we followed and look where it got us.

ArtSparker said...

That opening photo is the very definition of insouciance.

Maria said...

I see the dancer, but my first & strongest impression is of a woman, moving forward, briskly, with her head held high, confident, powerful (oh & having a tale). Love your message, here's to compassion & community!

Reya Mellicker said...

I love the word insouciance.

Yeah look where it got us! Sheesh.

Onwards and upwards, puh-lease!

Squirrel said...

Love the dancer with a tail!

Rose said...

"a brand new American behavioral template" love this. Great post. I love your photos too.

JOY said...

Yes, why not a tail to balance the dance of life?! Your comments are well said and appease me. There IS an energy of hope with new change in the works. Let us all welcome it in and be patient!
(I did get your messages, they all came through - thanks.)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love what you have written, and hope that your new president serves you well.

I was surprised to read in your comments about photos - really glad I spotted the comments, because I cannot see any photos atall on your blog! Hopefully this is a temporary glitch on my computer - I shall visit again later and hope they are all there!

willow said...

Yes, yes...and...yes!

Chlorista Twist's Warped Reality said...

I have often thought about natural shadow photography. It is such an art because you have to think fast or it warps into a completely different image as the sun moves.
Thank you for sharing "Dancer with a tail". I love it!

Bee said...

Follow the Leader!

Reya, excellent post.

crone51 said...

I have always thought that the most important thing a leader can do is to set a tone. Lovely post.

I just found out we have tickets to the inauguration! So, we'll most likely be standing a little bit closer than we thought we would be standing. And freezing. I can't wait! We're so excited!

Lover of Life said...

Well said.

Janelle said...

oh i love this picture. you are So Clever, reya. it must be amazing to be in washington right now...great post. xxx j oh ps. i took a photograph today which reminded me of you. will post it some time...with a dedication of course!

Steve said...

I think you're right. Obama's temperament will hopefully help move us all to a better place.

Reya Mellicker said...

Apparently my thoughts today are dancing in shamanic alignment with the editors of the BBC Website. Click on "the big picture."

Also should say I'm dancing in alignment with meerkats. Who knew?

Carolyn said...

What a wonderful post and I love the Dancer....what a wonderful calm that abides us...

Jeff said...

"May every American become more thoughtful, more decent, more caring."

May every human do the same.

Joanne said...

Beautiful photos. I join you in your wishes for a more thoughtful, caring country. Perfect sentiment.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jeff! So may it be!

deborah said...

Omain

and all my love

janis said...

Ok.. I read this earlier and didn't have a chance to comment. Returning now I have had the opportunity to read all the comments.
Here's what I thought:
1st the photo: silly me, I saw a "peace sign".
2nd Obama & Michelle: yea President & 1st lady! Are they a wonderful representation of our country or what? Volunteering on Monday. What a wonderful idea! I can't believe I had never heard that was the original point of observation of Martin Luther King's birthday! I will definently join in and find something to do volunteer-wise. Although I originally voted and supported Hillary, I am pleased with Barack Obama and he is proving himself more ready and worthy than I originally thought. I am so ready for him to take on this country and help bring life back into it!

Val said...

wonderful wonderful pics and words. so may it be indeed x

Ronda Laveen said...

AND SO IT IS!

Ronda Laveen said...

Apparently, by Meerkat standards, GWB lost us when delivered us not only to food-less but also weapon-less sites.

Lynne said...

I saw a dancer right away. Shadows are so interesting! What a great photo Reya! And what a great post. I think he's going to be so good for this country. I love the fact that his mother-in-law will be living with them.

Reya Mellicker said...

Janis - a peace sign??

Oh yeah!

ArtSparker said...

Wow, just went on the day of service locator (late, I know) and all the events appear to be filled up.

Which is a good thing.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wonderful and thoughtful post...the concept of service is so important, I hope it takes hold not only for monday, but for everyday....

thanks....