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Out of the blue, high voltage stress jolts us into a bout or blind rout before we can shout, "Look out!"
Gasping, red hearts raging, weak-kneed and sweating we stand as living proof that reptilian instincts in our DNA react quicker than thought in a pinch.
Stress keeps on pinching blood vessels until thinking finally catches up, if it ever does. Now that's a terrorizing thought. What are we overlooking here? Hindsight? Insight? Foresight?
What happened anyway?
"Are you okay?"
Will we live to see another day?
Glory be! That's it, isn't it? Why didn't we think of this earlier? Asking questions is how we access the wisdom that also resides in Homo sapiens DNA. Learning and teaching wisdom is our true genius. It is by sharing wisdom that the fittest survive. Wisdom empowers humankind to claw beyond instinct and crawl, walk, run toward family sustainability in five loping steps. Survival is a timed event, so practice mindfully the correct first step:
"Are you okay?" Think airway. Breathe calmly. Inhale. Exhale. Good thinking. We've caught up with the human race, earning ourselves another four minutes to plan for our next breath of fresh air. Thank goodness for the EPA. Whoa. Breath calmly. We need to set long range goals too.
"Do you thirst?" Failure to locate clean drinking water during a normal work week would rudely cancel any weekend plans we may have entertained. Desiccated, after four days without water, sole survivors leadenly weary of burial parties. Often as not, they're also missing canteens.
"What have you had to eat?" An occasional feast must break our famine if we look to survive more than four weeks. Do we work for starvation rats, or can we afford balanced nutrition? It isn't a question of taste so much as genuine food for thought. That's the deal maker right there. The healthy constitution of each and every single diverse citizen is the truest metric of national wealth.
And, speaking of long range goals, "Where are you staying?" At best, there may be four months left in which to secure shelter. In worst case scenarios, such as coping with either hypo or hyperthermia, shelter prompts as urgently as the next breath of air.
While we take a quick breather, let's recount those four wisdom steps on our fingers: Air, Water, Food, and Shelter. Good thinking. Finally, our thumb reminds us of our rule of thumb, which stands for the fifth wisdom step, Purpose. Whew! We made it this far. High five! Everyone! Fistbump! Wow!
As a rule of thumb, on Purpose forever, for the sake of posterity, let's propose that we all memorize by heart the Preamble of the Constitution, which begins, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union..."
Look. Who knows? Can we even envision ambling into 2020 with a stronger constitution? Ask purposefully, "Why would you think otherwise?"
 Lawrence L. Hastings
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