The general mess and turmoil we are experiencing in our country today is the result of lack of foresight and balance in how we think and behave, and how we envision and put into place major aspects of our national life.

These include our economic, educational, food and agriculture and religious and political systems and institutions. The knowledgeable and astute among us are correctly saying that things will likely get worse before they get better.

We the people of planet Earth get carried away with greed, materialism, bigness and grandness. We forget that nature is a finely balanced system that we are a part of. The chaos we are presently seeing is the painful rebalancing and restructuring process. Our excessiveness and lopsidedness are being shaken up, down and out.

The pendulum has begun to swing back. Our homes, cars, companies and farms are getting smaller. We see that material abundance does not equal happiness.

Large junk food, soda and tobacco companies and huge farms do not bring abundant nutrition and health to the people. Small food companies that focus on nutrition and small organic farms do. Such a food and agricultural system is also much more difficult to corrupt.

An equitable wage system where everyone who performs honest and useful work earns a sustainable and living wage is much better balanced than our current economic system. Some big and bold efforts to restructure our economic system will pay dividends down the road, but it will take time.

The notion that a university education is the key to a good life is just a notion. There is much work to do in the world, and practical and applied skills are just as valuable as very highly developed skills.

Government and politics in this country have become extremely unbalanced. President Barack Obama is hard at work reining in and correcting former President George Bush's lopsided ideology about power, war, the military and everything for the wealthy.

Extreme and fanatical edges of religion do nothing but twist and distort instead of guide and comfort. As we show the Muslims that we are not the enemy, religious fanaticism should start to fade.

Scientists keep telling us that we are being careless and wasteful in how we use energy and the earth's resources. More and more people are paying attention.

That so many people cannot imagine, and would not know what to do with themselves, in a home without a TV and a whole array of other electronic devices indicates that we don't know, or have forgotten, that there was plenty of life before we had any of these things. Excessive electronics have both brought people together and driven them apart.

These ideas will take many years and a paradigm shift in our thinking and attitudes to implement. We cannot foresee everything that could happen far down the road when conceiving long-term plans, but being mindful of implications and drawing on past experience would be a big step in the right direction.

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