I’m remembering a time when we were taught to despise the Red Menace, to fear nuclear war and fallout, and to take pride in ‘Made In the USA”. There was a sense of community, from local to national. School was hard and awards were earned. And then a sense of entitlement was born. Acquiring material things, through borrowing, replaced hard work. We, the West, grew both in weight and debt. And then we lost our identity, exporting our exceptionalism, selling our wealth to the highest foreign bidder. Instead, we chose to redefine our melting pot as winners-one-and-all with political correctness overkill. Rather than taking pride in our nation, we bled out its character into globalization. We are now less unique as our history becomes more blurred with each new radical voice of condemnation. Where ’tis the season?
I’m remembering that whole Arab/Jewish problem from way back when, during a time when we would all sit back, watching the evening news, and remark how they’ll never get along, just as they never have for the past 5,000 years. And now we’re living with similar threats of violence from day to day, not wondering if, but rather wondering when. Not a history buff, but I’m guessing we placed a target on our back as we watched Europe help the Arabs defeat the Ottoman Empire, during WW1, not for the sake of the Arabs, but for the sake of oil. From our want and dependence we helped a region of the world remain medieval in its beliefs and culture, and modernized them only in a way that would eventually make them a force to contend with down the road. The end of the road has arrived. When ’tis the season?
I’m remembering things so recent and so long ago, mixing like oil and water. Shades of the past, made up of pride, discipline and responsibility, all three as outdated as fresh milk, wall calendars and rotary telephones. Insulation and isolation. Snow forts and sugar-dusted cookies. The smell of wet dog and burning wood. A proposal on bended knee. A crisp, new dollar bill. Both play and a hard day’s work – energy before and exhausted after. And then, suddenly, the world feels small, constructed, anew, of endless ideas and inalienable demands. God is a sideliner, more so now than ever, enjoying our varying celebrations in His name. He is as patient as a cat. He understands us, and weeps there from. Such comedy and tragedy. Until ’tis the season again.