Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Garden Revival

If you live anywhere near the Philadelphia area, you are probably sick of winter by now, especially the recent cycle of precipitation, frigid cold, slight warming trend then back to precipitation again. As a respite, my wife and I went to Longwood Gardens this week. What a great way to get refreshed and be reminded that spring will come. Whether you know an orchid from a palm tree, a few hours amidst the flowers and plants, is a soothing salve for winter's doldrums. From the moment one enters the main conservatory, you experience a constant influx of scents, colors, and textures. How amazing is it that nature includes such an abundant variety of flora. (Perhaps there is a lesson there in man's tendency to fear and isolate those that are different rather than relishing those difference). I highly recommend a visit. And, if you don't have the time or resources to visit a place such as Longwood Gardens, even a trip to a flower shop or nursery might help. Anything to help change your perspective and attitude.

Speaking of attitude, this past week marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan. I have read a few articles about him in the last few days, both pro and con. First, to be honest, I was not a fan of President Reagan; didn't vote for him either time. The articles I read that agreed with my opinion, reminded the reader that he raised taxes multiple times, doubled the national debt, and began the trend called supply side economics (also called the trickle down theory) which I believe started the middle class's road to its current stagnating standard of living. Those articles that extolled his Presidency focused on his winning the cold war, but mostly emphasized the change of attitude that he brought to a country that was in dire need of uplifting.

It makes me wonder if that, ultimately, is how we currenly elect our presidents. Who will make us feel more positive about today and the days ahead? Clearly, President Obama won that battle hands down over John McCain in 2008. Obama was younger, with fresh ideas and the energy of youth while McCain clearly represented the past in both his views and his age. So, where Reagan, to me, communicated a simplistic view of the world where good and evil were clearly defined, he also gave us an outlook that gave us hope for the future. In effect, Reagan was a successful president in one major area; the country felt better about itself and therefore began to move forward. Attitude!!

Don't get me wrong, we need more from our leaders than a smile and a happy face. But perhaps a little "the cup is half full", might be enough to energize our citizens to spend some money and our business community to hire some new employees. We need to get the cycle going again and perhaps a Reaganesque attitude will help prime the process.

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