“Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
Just seven words. Seven one-syllable words. Words we’ve heard time and time again in many circumstances. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
For a decade or more, this country has seemed to be “off-course,” drifting aimlessly without direction. Maybe the absence of contemporary “will” has contributed to a national loss of “way.”
Think about it.
In 1941, faced with war on two sides of our circular world, this nation was called to arms by Franklin Roosevelt. He defined a need for national unity and all-out commitment to win two wars. Following that call to arms, we found the “will” and the “way” to win both in less than 48 months. Because the whole nation was focused in a definable undertaking.
In 1961, faced with Soviet successes in space, John Kennedy, following Roosevelt’s path, defined a need for the country, saying this nation would send a man to the moon in the next decade. We found the “will.” And the “way.” Again, national focus.
We did. We found the national “will” to accomplish the seemingly Herculean tasks that had been defined. We got to the moon. And beyond.
When the need was set, the “will” and the “way” followed. Successfully. Orderly. Quickly.
Forget, for a moment, all the national divisions that surround us. Ignore, temporarily, the political battles that have weakened our society. Just consider the American family. How ever it’s constituted in your world.
The pressures of keeping a family together have never been greater. More than half of American families have both parents working. Trying to keep up with the prices of groceries, health care, gas, school needs and dozens of unplanned expenses we all face. Plus, just parenting.
Many of today’s families are in single-parent households. There, those pressures are even greater as one parent tries to take the place of two while dealing with all those demands. Full time. Then some.
Nearly all of us - parents or not - have our heads down, “pedaling” as fast as we can to keep up with ever increasing demands on our time, our treasure and our talents..
At the national level, the picture seems much the same. Most of those in charge seem to have their “heads down,” trying to do everything in these demanding times to “keep up” as a nation.
Except Congress. Congress - such as it is - is hopelessly divided, producing little in ways to make our lives better. That must change.
The President sits atop a government that seems aimless as we lurch from one crisis to another. Whether it’s rampant inflation to a pandemic to national health emergencies to international calamities to gun massacres to gas prices. Trying to clean up the national mess left by the previous administration and the ever-present, day-to-day multiplying of national demands. There’s no time for leading - for setting a national course - for defining a new national goal.
“National will,” if you will.
And, that’s what seems to be missing. Some sort of national undertaking that involves us all, that unifies us working for a common goal, a goal that defines the “will” so we can be bound together finding the “way.”
Nations that lead - that prosper - almost always have some sort of national direction working at a common undertaking. It’s the sort of inspirational “glue” that binds all in a well-defined task. Like winning a war or two. Like setting goals for space achievement.
At the moment, we seem divided one from another in nearly all things. Our eyes are down - not lifted to the horizon of common understanding. We lack the purpose of common “will.”
We need something large and defining to bring us all together in single purpose. Something like ending homelessness in the next decade. It could be done. Undertaking serious work on global warming before it gets completely out-of-hand. It still can be done.
There ARE other huge challenges we face. Challenges we can overcome IF we can end the current divisions wasting precious time. Challenges sapping our strength and our resources.
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Old words. Words from a previous time. Long ago. But, at least in my opinion, words we badly need to listen to. Today.