Friday, July 8, 2016

In a World Gone Mad

The news these days is overwhelming and fearful. We watch in horror the war between white and black, police and civilians, men and women, left and right. Religion against religion. Country against country. Human against human, and human against nature.

I wish I could call my dad or my mom and ask them how they managed to get through it all. They lived through World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and so much more. The deaths of both Kennedys and Martin Luther King, the march on Selma, the sexual revolution, the feminist movement, and so much more. The Apollo 1 failure, the landings on the moon, the launch of Skylab, Mir, ISS, and so much more.

Do I feel so helpless because, in such a connected world as we now have, our access to the horrific is instantaneous and unending? Is the world not really so different than it was during the lives of my parents, my grandparents, my ancestors?

That last seems terrifying because, if the world has not really changed that much between their lives and mine, then what is the point?

But I can hear my dad’s voice, my mom’s voice, whispering to me...
Get up every day and do your best. Put on your clothes and go to work. Spend time with, and care for your loved ones. Treat everyone with respect and courtesy, and forgive them each time they prove they don't deserve it. Walk gently on this fine earth, at the beach, in the forest, in the city where you live. Spend your money on that which brings joy to you and those around you. Eat good food, listen to good music, read a good book, watch a good play, movie, or concert.  Research the claims of whomever or whatever ends up on the ballot, and then vote your conscience. Never let fear overtake your heart, nor rule your thoughts. Live every day, through the sunshine and the rain.
Because every day is a gift. Some gifts will bring smiles, and some will bring tears. Some gifts we’ll hold on to forever, while others can be regifted to those who will appreciate them far more than us. And some, we must return to sender.

Regardless, each day is something to learn from, and what we do with that learning is our gift back to the world.

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