What we’ve learned from W. | VailDaily.com

What we’ve learned from W.

There exists a positive aspect to every situation, it just takes some digging to find it sometimes. Even the most incredibly perverse and depressing situations have their upsides, and although easily overlooked, they are nevertheless a crucial part of the bigger picture.

The current energy crisis is a case in point. Seven years ago when George W. was sworn into office, our economic status took a major nose-dive. Gas prices skyrocketed while oil consumption continued its climb up the proverbial graph. Huge, petroleum-thirsty land yachts dominated the highways, and prices everywhere shot upwards, from airplane tickets to telemark ski boots.

Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to wake a nation from slumber. Had we not voted this buffoon into office (Twice! I’m still surprised that happened) and allowed him to steal from the people he represents, then America would still be smiling at the gas station, thinking it was a perfectly acceptable form of energy while filling their Hummers up for their solo morning commute.

Nobody would be concerning themselves with the warming of the planet, alternatives to individual modes of transit, the skirmishes in the Middle East, or the world’s dwindling oil supply. Grass roofs would probably not exist, and everyone would continue living in the glass bubble.

I personally want to thank Cheney for demonstrating to our next generation of politicians what a jerk looks and acts like. A plethora of human examples of how not to behave are in the public eye today, and hopefully America can learn from these mistakes.

Locally, this self-created energy crisis has positively impacted our home. Hybrid cars have become chic, recycling is the norm, and eco-friendly products line shelves in every store in the valley. A new breed of forward-thinking entrepreneurs have cropped up to capitalize on saving the planet and to assist the shift in collective consciousness from “me, me, me” to “I wonder how this will affect my grandchildren.” Thank the gods, it is about time we recognized the consequences of our selfish tendencies.

In a society consumed by instant gratification, it is very rewarding to watch more and more people open up like a flower when they break out of their comfort zone to change their lifestyle. Words like “harmony” and “balance” crop up in conversation daily, indicating that we are headed in the right direction. Healthy, organic, non-toxic foods are rejuvenating our bodies and brains, leaving us to wonder what took us so long to figure that one out, and whatever else we can figure out while we’re at it.

So here we are in mid-transition from only being the takers to being both givers and takers, and it is a beautiful process to watch. We owe our inept president a huge thank you for opening our eyes and minds to alternatives that were screaming for acknowledgment before he came along. Without his bad decisions, we would never have thought to questions our present course of travel.

It is never too late to concede an error, especially when it affects everyone around you (or the inhabitants of the entire planet for that matter). We are finally coming together to rectify a problem that is long overdue.

It feels good, doesn’t it?

Dana Jurich of Avon writes a biweekly column for the Daily. Send comments or questions to editor@vaildaily.com.

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