Right Under Your Nose.

   For months I had been bothered by strange noises coming from outside my upstairs office.   When it was windy out, I would hear  thump, thump, thump  of varying intensity. Listening with the window open gave no clue as to where the sound emanated. Could it be a tree limb banging on the rain barrel or a wire tapping on the roof or garage wall?  I would even stand for several minutes, outside on the deck or drive, hoping to triangulate the direction of the sounds source.  All to no avail.       

Finally, I called in our friendly handyman, Bruce.  He climbed out the window onto the porch roof and said, “Ah ha. Here’s the problem”.  It was a loose section of the eave trough.  He fastened it down with a screw and the problems was solved.  I could have reached out of the window and touched the offending noisemaker.  As my mother used to say, ‘’I don’t know why you couldn’t find it — it was right under your nose.”

     I wonder how many other situations we encounter where  the problem,  and possibly the solution, is right under our nose — if we would just look for them closer to home and not in some far-off more glamorous place. 

     We live in violent times, rightfully appalled by school shootings and other acts of public violence.  Violence is ingrained in our society.  Could it be because our children are subject to visual, graphic violence on TV and in the movies from the first day they are propped up in front of the TV.  A recent study calculated that children viewed about 8,000 murders while watching public media — before they leave elementary school! The report did not include the number of attempted rapes or other acts of personal violence available for viewing..

    When childe, grow up and act violently we look for causes in politically expedient places and ignore the commonplace TV programs and movies that are, figuratively speaking, right under our noses.  

    TV advertisers know how easily we can be influenced by the media, but we ignore the apathetic attitude toward violence it fosters in our society.. 

    Modern agriculture also has some “right under your nose” problems — or in this case, perhaps it would be more accurate to say “right under your toes”.  Much of our once fertile soils have been depleted and contaminated to the point that much of our land no longer produces healthy, life-sustaining crops. 

    “Science” proposes many seemingly innovative solutions — but as Albert Einstein so succinctly put it years ago, “Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”  Most soil scientists realize the main problem is a deficiency of highly carboniferous organic matter (OM) in the soil. Building back OM has many  benefits not the least of which is removal of Carbon from the atmosphere.  This pleased those fascinated with climate change and allows them to promote the process by using the catchy phrase ‘carbon sequestration.’

    In closing, here is another quote from Albert Einstein,  “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”