Published by Chapster on 2001/1/15 (7908 reads)
As we begin the new year, it may be a worthy task to shore up the things we regard as most important around us. This article, written back in 2002, aimed toward that end - to support our readers in realizing the development of strength and meaning in their lives. It begins with the poem, Ozymandias.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1782-1822)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

This nasty little word - bandied about by politicians in search of re-election and bureaucrats in search of job justification - is really an otherwise harmless word.

Indeed, this word has become one of my favorites. I'm not sure when I began to enjoy saying infrastructure, quietly to myself (and never in a public place!), but however long it has been, I've always felt better for it. Seriously, if no one's around give it a shot. In-fra-struck-sure. Doesn't the word make your tongue happy? Now, while it may sound a trifle hoity-toity, and should perhaps not be used in public conversation, it IS still a very meaningful word.The day I fell in love with this humble little word, while I was baking wafers for Nutty Bars at Little Debbie Bakery, I realized that this word meant much more.

Most of the aforementioned bureaucrats and pols, along with people in general, think infrastructure means roads, buildings, bridges, things like that. It really means nothing of the sort. Here's the definition, courtesy,


1. An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system.
2. The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices, and prisons.

That's what I mean when I talk about infrastructure. It's those foundational elements that we have to have in order to function, to survive, indeed, to prosper.
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