The hand, as far as the article is concerned, is governance (local, state, national and territorial). The cradle is the entire spectrum of commerce and industry that represents the economy of a community of people, commonly known as a nation. Rocking the cradle, barring some horror movie contexts, represents part of the parental nurturing process of offspring. Offspring within the context of this article represents all those productive elements of a nation’s economy. Those productive elements include all the citizens of that national entity.  Governance is, of course, all the above when we think about democratic societies, and this immediately imposes a web of interactions and reactions that affect management.

Considering the complexity of the above cradle-rocking process, it is no wonder that there is often more than one hand on the cradle and that each hand has fingers in which each finger represents an array of nurture elements. So let’s look at nurture within the context we have created for this article.

Nurturing with respect to parenting involves a host of efforts from early life sustenance to the process of enabling the growth and development of the offspring. This includes behavioral adjustments, physical enrichment, education, and, in many ways, moral integrity. Multiply the offspring by a population mix of citizens, businesses, educational institutions (at all levels), and a host of governmental agencies (also at all levels) and rocking the cradle is no easy task. Most critically, the hands doing the rocking are equally required to have been nurtured to the same rigorous standards. As history has informed us, repeatedly, it does not always come out successfully; quite often in the area of moral integrity.

So what can happen?

The focus must be on the hands and fingers, in other words all aspects of governance, but especially the hands. The hands are the choice of the people who jointly and cooperatively decide exactly which hands are best to help rock the cradle. This is good and has served democratic nations well and successfully until the hands come under the influence of special interests (groups, industries, financial). When this happens the cradle gets jiggled more than rocked and the hands become impaired because they no longer respond to the people. Obviously the fingers, become confused, and often dysfunctional. When all this comes together, the cradle is no longer rocked, much less jiggled. It is abandoned!

Inside the cradle are all the operations and policies that insure a nation is safe, economically strong, progressive and dedicated to the enrichment of all life, including the environment. Obviously, when the cradle is only jiggled or, worse, abandoned the entire nation suffers. This can have dreadful, long-range effects that can retard the nation’s global standing which in turn has serious economic impact. The nation struggles and shrinks, the crippled hands are overpowered by special interests and democracy becomes just a tattered label.

What to do? What to do?

Well here are five steps that can help restore the hands and fingers and repopulate the cradle with all the important policies and practices that will help nurture the nation back into a strong, progressive and democratic country.

  1. Completely revise the electoral process to insure that the people select the hands.

  2. Insure that the fingers are carefully controlled to serve the well-being of the nation and its citizens.

  3. Respect the presence of special interests, but only within the framework of the will of the people. Special interests must gain approval from the people, not the hands.

  4. Governance is a mutual process that involves people, hands, fingers and the cradle. This must be sustained and never allowed to weaken. This means the people need to be alert, committed, and active in support of rocking the cradle.

  5. Progress is non-political. It is the joint activity of all elements of governance that move the nation forward. Rocking the cradle is the summary of that process and represents the continual nurturing of democracy.

Right now, the cradle is nearly empty, the hands twisted and manacled by special interests and the people all have either turned away or turned on each other.  We better hurry before there is no cradle to rock.

IMAGE CREDIT: The Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia) courtesy of faculty.polytechnic.org

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