I am constantly reminded of a radio quiz question many years ago which asked: If one link of a chain can support 30 lbs, a second one 50 lbs, and a third 70 lbs, what is the total weight that the chain can support? Choosing the heaviest amount, the call-in contestant answered incorrectly. The right answer is the lightest weight as the old adage never changes: “No chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
Are we fast forgetters or do we simply refuse to accept the truth that doesn’t conform to some preconceived and often emotional misconception? Prejudice, for example, has been accurately defined as “an emotional commitment to a falsehood which no amount of evidence will alter.”
In mankind’s infancy, it was easier to understand our interdependency upon one another as individual communities and villages varied very little in composition or affluence. Far from today’s high-tech society, which spans the globe within a few short hours, incorporating a multiplicity of professional knowledge and opportunities unfathomed in prior centuries thus easily creating the illusion that there are many chains that operate independently of the other. How rude the awakening when the perceived “haves” finds themselves slipping through the ever-widening cracks to the level of “have nots.” In denial of the reality that all segments of our society constitute links of one chain, the societal malignancies created through increased benign neglect of any single part, continue to weaken the whole and with its inevitable snap, the ones at the top have the farthest to drop.
Among the ever-weakening links, we find: *Failure to adequately educate all children–in whose hands we (and the world) so quickly fall; *Failure to provide adequate, affordable health care for our nation’s citizens as a whole; *Dual legal and judicial systems which modify the crime according to the criminal; and most detrimental of all, *Perpetual promotion and glorification of competition as opposed to cooperation encouraged only in times of disaster.
Remember the often repeated thought of Thomas Jordan: “Our God and soldier we alike adore, just the brink of ruin, not before; The danger passed, both are alike requited; God is forgotten and our soldier slighted.”
In our present-day fast-paced, high-tech society, The first requisite for change must be an attitude of gratitude–of who we are and in what radiant era we exist, did we but realize it. In this new day, there must be changing supplies to meet drastically changing demands as well as a change of attitudes, offering new incentives and new challenges with higher expectations. The results will be a happier, healthier, more respectful, and more productive world economy in which all will prosper from the strengthening of the weak links of society’s chain.