Mother Nature has some great ideas—for free!—for a political platform, if only we would listen, according to Thomas Friedman’s latest book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.
In a world encountering a faster speed of change than ever before, Friedman writes that our ability to keep up is understandably lagging—for reasons he explains in the book. Toward the end, in a chapter called “Mother Nature as Political Mentor,” he offers an optimistic agenda for thriving that is inspired by the 3.8-billion year-old woman herself.
Mother Nature’s “killer aps,” he writes, include adaptability, lifelong learning, relentless entrepreneurship, diversity, rootedness, sustainability, and patience.
Friedman goes on to lay out an amazing political platform inspired by Mother Nature’s example. What we need, he says, is “an entrepreneurial mind-set, a willingness to approach politics and problem-solving with an utterly hybrid, heterodox, and nondogmatic mixing and matching of ideas, without regard to traditional left-right catechism—letting all kinds of ideas coevolve, just as plants and animals coevolve in nature.”
An example of something on Mother Nature’s platform from the left, according to Friedman: “She would favor a single-payer universal health care system funded by a progressive value-added consumption tax (except on groceries and other necessities).”
For the right: “She would appoint an independent commission to review the Dodd-Frank financial reforms and the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting regulations to determine which—if any—of their provisions are needlessly making it harder for entrepreneurs to raise capital or start businesses. We need to make sure we’re preventing recklessness—not risk-taking.”
I wish this book, or at least this chapter, or at least the platform ideas on pages 328-336, could be required reading for everyone! Maybe it could help us bridge our wide gaps between left and right.
Why not let our Mother be our guide??