October 01, 2011

"What Happened?" (An Open Letter)

What Happened? 
October 1, 2011
Anytown, USA
Dear friends,        
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.
Sincerely yours,
John Greenwood


  1. John, you so eloquently speak the desires of many hearts, my own included. This brought a lump to my throat.

    Thank you for sharing this with me. Im honored to have this in FWF. Blessings.

  2. Oh this is so powerfully written and wonderfully true. I feel like this all the time. I'll ride on that bus, John, definitely!!!!! Thank you for writing something so real, so powerfully. I loved every single word.

  3. true stuff...i dont know that we need to turn around, i just have to think there has got to be a better way...

  4. Well put. It seems all accountability for any and everything has been checked at the door. The government's answer to everything is, "raise taxes." You cannot pick up a paper that does not have a daily article about blaming something on someone. Can you recall the last time you heard someone say,"Yep, I messed up...I have no excuses and I own it."

  5. Yes @ Rodney, having been married for 37+ years I say it often. I gave up on making excuses sometime back in the early 90's. Life is much better now...

  6. Interesting. Anything open for discussion?