When "Chicken Little" Grows Up

Our current day confrontation with worldwide terrorism is replete with grandiose judgment errors which appear to resist correction. What is worse, the errors in judgment are reinforced to the point that they become engraved in stone, and then are called "government policy".

Daryl Temkin,

Daryl Temkin
Daryl Temkin
Arutz 7
Few American children miss the experience of being read the classic story of "Chicken Little." This was the chicken who was hit on the head by a falling acorn and interpreted the incident to mean that the sky was falling. Whereupon the life purpose of the Chicken Little character became to warn the world of this imminent disaster?until it was discovered that an acorn was not the sky.

This American classic children's story perhaps has a charm effect upon a child's mind but when read by an adult, the story contains a very deep, dramatic, and powerful lesson about life.

This is a story of how a "rational" misperception may forever plague the adult mind. How many times have we interpreted a situation and made a serious judgment call only to discover later that our evaluation of the circumstance was false? Tragically many adults after discovering that their original judgment or conclusion was wrong still refuse to correct their errors and stand by their original position in spite of how wrong and misguided.

No matter how intelligent, how wise, or how brilliant we may be, we occasionally make what appears to be "rational" conclusions which, after further consideration or investigation, turn out to be misinterpretations. The challenge appears when we discover that we are, as the phrase goes, "barking up the wrong tree." Admitting that one is wrong is often difficult. It is even more difficult for those who are considered "experts" with high academic credentials or those who hold high political positions. Too often these people would rather be wrong and claim they are right than to admit that they made a significant mistake in judgment.

The key turning point in the Chicken Little fable occurs when undeniable proof that the sky is not falling is presented and realized.

The lesson of this story is that one can make a total change as to how one perceives the world when a "rational" misperception is revealed. Initially one might ask, "What's so brilliant about that?" Then one realizes that few people are willing to change their mindsets even in the face of revelations which totally challenge and negate their previously held conclusion. The need to be right even when one is wrong is what needs to be overcome and dismissed.

Few children when reading this story are mature enough to understand the painstaking task that is often involved in the reevaluation of a strongly held position. Adults considering this issue realize that it can be a perplexing if not an arduous task to correct a mistaken perception yet alone a mistaken conclusion.

As one gains life experience it becomes apparent that many people who are considered bright and successful, when presented contradictory information refuse to accept it and resist modification of their conclusions regardless of the facts. The annals of human history reveal that clinging to theories which have never worked, holding to ideas that constantly fail, supporting positions that are clearly untenable, standing by actions that can only lead to dead ends, and retesting plans that in the past have only led to disasters, is a shockingly repeated scenario.

Our current day confrontation with worldwide terrorism is replete with grandiose judgment errors which appear to resist correction. What is worse, the errors in judgment are reinforced to the point that they become engraved in stone, and then are called "government policy".

For mysterious reasons America is now supplying arms as well as financial aid to its own enemy terrorists. To the disbelief of all concerned, the Israeli army has been forced into the position of transferring American weapons to the Palestinian factions which will be attempting to kill the very soldiers supplying them with these weapons. The Israeli army is appalled that it has to do this, but it cannot question the operation since it is United States' policy.

America which has been portrayed as a friend of Israel, is now not only supplying weapons to an enemy sworn to the total destruction of Israel, but even actively training the Palestinian soldiers in fighting techniques.

To make sure that there are no mistaken notions surrounding this hard-to-swallow abominable situation, the Palestinian military leaders and participants in the Palestinian-American training camps have freely and publicly declared that Israel will be the victim of the American supplied warfare training and weaponry.

America which once appeared to be caring for the State of Israel has had a long history of expecting Israel to sacrifice itself for American interests. The list is extensive and includes major issues such as Jonathan Pollard being imprisoned for life; the meaningless two state solution peace plan; the requirement that Israel not respond to the thirty-nine Iraqi scud missiles that landed on the Tel Aviv in the first Gulf War; the demand that there be no Israeli supervision of the Egyptian-Gaza crossing where now millions of pounds of explosives, major weapons, and ammunition freely flow into the hands of terrorists; as well as forcing Israel to pull out of Lebanon leaving its kidnapped soldiers behind.

And likely, soon, Israel will be required to relinquish more land and terrorist prisoners in order to establish a false and failed peace which will only empower every known terrorist organization to achieve its next ultimate victory.

And what does Israel do? It supplies America with reams of military and security intelligence which American dollars could never buy.

"Land-for-Peace" is a failed and disastrous policy which is still being promoted as if it is a wonderful idea. A "two state" solutions is an unworkable situation which is still being upheld as a panacea to Middle East peace.

The belief that a sworn enemy can quietly reside adjacent to its most hated nemesis and that life will be fine, is a total misjudgment. And yet the United States as well as the European Union continue to "pound the pavement" preaching this clearly foolish and impossible ideal.

America, believing the fantasy that the competing Palestinian factions will only fight and kill each other, is arming the preferred faction even though both are vehemently calling for the destruction of Israel and America?this is terrifying and tragic.

Furthermore, all this is happening under the shadow of America's proclamation that it will not prevent the continuation and completion of the Iranian nuclear reactors. Yet for all the talk, it is clearly known that soon these reactors will produce high grade plutonium, the essential ingredient for a nuclear weapon.

Chicken Little was screaming to all she could find that the sky was falling. At that time, she was wrong; she had made a major misperception. But at least when enlightened, she was able to understand that her actions were wrong and without letting her pride get in the way, she proceeded to revise and correct her interpretation. Her pride and personal image did not prevent her from admitting to the world that she was wrong. This is not happening today with our world leaders.

If Chicken Little grew up today and made it her purpose to scream to the world that the sky is falling, she would be right. She would be right to say, "Why didn't you learn from me? My story was telling you that humankind must not be stubborn and intransigent when it comes to recognizing a mistake and rectifying it?"

The life of the world is at stake, it?s time to stop acting as if only an acorn has fallen.

Daryl Temkin, Ph.D. is the director of the Israel Education Institute which is devoted to teaching history and contemporary issues of Israel to Jews and Non-Jews.