Common sacrifice. Not bailout; not forgiveness for foolishness and especially not for greed. No need to save us from ourselves. Tell us what is needed and why. Persuade us that we are in this together. Maybe inspire us that we can now be part of something larger than ourselves (after all, is this not the genuine promise of America and being Americans?!). Most importantly, ensure that everyone is expected to contribute and to sacrifice and to benefit in the same way. Most important.
As we are a country of pioneers and willing to do things that no one else has tried, we don’t really like group-think and the comfort of crowds. We will calmly land a plane in a river and rapidly organize a successful rescue (I still feel that Flight 93 on 9/11 tells you all that you want to need to know about America where civilians provided the only timely and significant coordinated response on that dreadful day). There will be no survivors of US Air flight 1549 conventions; these people will just go about their businesses of being Americans.
Let’s get a head-start on the promise and expectations of Mr. Obama’s inauguration by reminding ourselves and insisting of our leadership that we are in this together.
Bravo to the United States Air Force Academy and its graduate, the captain of flight 1549, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III. His history of contingency planning, calmness under duress, insurance of the safety of his passengers and crew and the last one to exit the aircraft (naturally) offers example and sets a tone for us all in this prevailing crash-landing of a financial crisis.