I wonder sometimes if our national consciousness is driven by reality, or by what we hear in the media. Do people sit around and worry about not having enough money to spend on what they want, like that new “Ipad” or a new car, or do we worry more about protecting what we have and keeping it operating? Lately, living here in New England, I am amazed at the lightness of our winter this year. People complain about temperatures below freezing when we usually are looking at temperatures below zero. We complain about ice when we could be looking at dozens of inches of snow. I think that if we want to really move forward and build a strong future, we have to keep it all in perspective, that what we have now is precious, and temporary, whether it is good or bad.

With this amazing winter this year, while I do celebrate being able to walk with less fear of falling, I worry about nature in the long run. Will we get bitter cold after an early “bud up,” in the fruit trees? Will the rain comes when the flowers need pollenating? Will there be enough water to make it through a long dry summer if people have shallow wells? What will the farmers face with little “poor man’s fertilizer,” as the saying goes regarding snow. This winter, whether it is mild one here in the north east, or the hefty one in Alaska, or the stormy one in the southeast, brings blessings and curses down the road. Isn’t that always the way?

As I write this I’m listening to the news explain that the President will present his budget to the Congress today, and expecting trouble in its reception. I worry about the perspective of people in Washington, D.C. if they can’t remember that their jobs are temporary, and if they want to keep them, they need to remember that their decisions have long term consequences. Our roads and bridges take lives every year, if they aren’t maintained at a premium level. Saving money in the short term will spend more money in the long run, whether it’s from road repairs, medical bills, or God forbid, funeral costs. Keeping our roads in good condition keeps mufflers on cars, which keeps our air cleaner and our ears safer from engine noise. Reducing potholes saves money in clean up from shredded tires, and broken glass. That’s just the easy cost to understand. There are other costs that I am sure I am missing.

But while these politicians worry about keeping their jobs, they need to remember that they hold the nation’s future in their hands. Not just its roads or its schools, but its very existing. If they can’t learn to work together for the best national future, they teach our children that their behavior should be modeled. Can our future stand to be divided in that way? Is it better to “be right” in the argument if “the correct” thing loses in the long run?

We have become so wrapped up in temporary personal satisfaction we seem to have forgotten that it is individual sacrifice in building a greater good that built this nation to its current status. We need to keep all of this in perspective, from a personal to a national level. Hopefully, if we do that we all have a better tomorrow to look forward to.