Today I think back the December’s past when I was a boy. It was a few years after the war. Everything from luxuries to Christmas decorations were still in short supply. Most kids like us didn’t even realize we were poor when compared to city standards, we had each other and we made our own entertainment. Our television was a radio – all the major programs were on radio, TV hadn’t broken out of the city, In some parts of the country power lilnes were a recent addition. Oh there were background noises on the news about some war in a place called Korea but kids didn’t pay much attention.
Stores even the little general store decorated for Christmas, and we called it Christmas. We went up into the mountain and got our Christmas tree and dragged it home. My mother I am sure considered some of our trees lacked shape so much so a few times my dad drilled into the truck and added a branch or two. All of us had a close community connection. We were in the spirit of the season.
So what is so different today? People ask “How are you today?” and you know damn well they could care less. In our time even though things were tight, there was an anticipation in the air it would get better all we had to do was wait for our ship to come in. Today we have a new world, post truth, post ethics, the icons are falling like flies in accusations of sexual impropriety and we are critical of our neighbor in some cases neighbors we don’t know. We are obsessed with having heros and being in a state of mourning. Instead of being in mourning when an event is fresh, we drag it up every year for decades until another one comes along. For years it was Pearl Harbour until nine eleven. We have been obsessed with saving taxes to the point where we can’t afford to fund programs that are essential to society. Our kids will not be as well off as our generation. People don’t have the same dedication to their profession, no work ethic, and in many cases they don’t have that either but I am talking about dedication. What is the difference? A work ethic is about doing a job, putting in the time to get the job done regardless of the level of difficulty. Dedication is about doing a first class job every time without shirking responsibility and dedication is about not bitching when the going gets tough. People are not as loyal as they once were either but that is for another time.
There is an uncertainty in the air. A nervous tension knowing we are on the head of a pin with a bunch of people playing the role of leaders, without a bloody clue as to how dangerous a game they are playing. This is more than just about Trump, its about the entire leadership in America. Its about the lack of leadership almost everywhere in the world.
Have you noticed every leader has a solution to a problem but no vision as to how we could avoid some of our mistakes instead they appeal to the lowest common denominator. In the days of my childhood people had the feeling they didn’t need to know every detail. Why? They trusted police, soldiers, politicians ad nd the clergy. Today we don’t trust any of them. Even worse we have lost respect for most of them. It comes down to this when you know something is about to happen and you trust there is anticipation. When there is a lack of trust, a sense of frustration, and a burning anger that the system isn’t fair, there is a sense of fear. I don’t usually subscribe to the fear angle its stressful. However the world has a mad man at the helm and a chorus of fools singing his praises. We have people under this situation that believe God is going to save them. He’s not, because even God knows you can’t fix stupid. He has seen humans at work before and he didn’t save them either.
This isn’t about going back to a simpler time either, remember you are living in someone else s simpler time.
What this is about is giving our collective head a shake and understanding if we don’t do something to change our lot no one else will the Christmas season tests our level of good will and charity and New Year is to think with sober reflection and dedication to be better in the New Year.
We have a long way to go.
Fred Steele © 2017