October 1, 2011
As I sit here, quietly, protected and safe in my own home, in a prosperous community within the Empire State, my mind races with fear. The world and it’s people are rolling backwards like a brake failed auto. We send our pets to camp while our children live homeless and hungry. Here I sit, warm and full, while mad-men set off bombs and weak ones in masks kill neighbors. Our cars have heated seats, a half-dozen cupholders, and Disney movies. Our water is infused with imitation fruit flavor and sugar substitutes. Our priority is, ‘us’, not them, ‘me’, not you. We want to look good and feel good no matter how much it hurts. Stop the madness. Stop pushing, start praising. Pull the wheels off bandwagons of hatred and fill the bus with optimism and community spirit. As a child I was encouraged to be polite and respectful. Polite, respectful children are now a rarity. What happened? Didn’t we pay attention? Paying dues doesn’t always involve a $20. Putting in your time shouldn’t simply involve a union contract. Looking out for others must be more than a Defensive Driving maneuver. It’s easy to put words on paper. It’s harder to send a child to war or to show up once a week at the firehouse for drill night. I’m all pen and little product. I simply felt a need to say it. We all complain, like this, daily. We do it on-line, on-air, and at the office.
It’s not all going backwards. There are growing pockets of acceptance for people of different differences. There are young people embracing change, governments opening doors, people kicking habits and patting backs; it’s just not enough. Cooperation and support needs to be cool again. Self-indulgence and ‘me’ needs to come full circle. We must look back at what got us this far. Somewhere along the way we lost the map. We took a wrong turn. We could ask for directions or we could go back to the intersection we turned at. Whichever route we take, we must do it now. I’m not getting any younger and the achy parts only ache more deeply when I watch the news. I don’t want to turn it off. I would rather change the channel.