We live in crazy times, friends.
If I may, I’d like your permission to set aside politics, labels of R’s and D’s, conservatives and liberals and all the rest for just a minute. Why? Because it seems that in today’s world the “facts” depend on whose eyes we look through. So if we could simply consider:
• Our president – yes, if you are an American he’s yours, too – routinely acts like an arrogant ass in a way no president before has.
• We The People treat our “friends” and neighbors so badly that hateful name-calling and spiteful back-stabbing are commonplace on social media.
• The idea that we are “entitled” to things we didn’t work for or legitimately earn is now the norm, not the exception.
• Along those lines, We The People depend on government to provide for us more than at any time since the Great Depression.
• Perhaps because of that, trust in our government has reached epic lows.
• And that may be caused by the fact that too many decisions are made in government as a result of what party is in power and not what’s best for We The People.
The press, what used to be respectfully regarded as the Fourth Estate, isn’t free and clear of responsibility for this mess either. I was watching ESPN the other day and saw a reporter say to a pro player something along the lines of, “So and so said this about you. What’s your reaction?” Really? How many of us grew up hearing our mothers’ admonition, don’t pay attention to gossip, and for heaven’s sake, don’t repeat it? But it’s now accepted fodder for a story. Then there are reporters who let personal opinions seep into their coverage. No wonder trust in the media is down there with the politicians.
It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.
Yet this is intended to be a column about giving thanks.
Sure, there is much wrong with the world today. Just like there was much wrong with the world in 1957 when people were so scared of nuclear war they were building bomb shelters in their backyards. Just like there was so much wrong in 1861 that our country split in half and went to war, brother against brother. Just like there was so much wrong in 1965 when Alabama State Police beat Americans because they were black. Just like there was so much wrong in 1838 when Native Americans were forced on what turned into a death march called the Trail of Tears. Just like there was so much wrong in 1970 when four young people were shot to death by our own U.S. National Guard for protesting at Kent State. Just like there was so much wrong in 1942 when Americans who happened to be of Oriental descent were taken from their homes and placed in what were called internment camps . . .
This could go on.
Throughout history, American and otherwise, there are always negatives. Today feels like it’s worse because we’re living it. But if we could ask the folks above, do you think they would say it’s worse now?
Life ain’t perfect my friends. But for all the idiots on social media and the lazy free-loaders with their hands out and the politicians more interested in power than service there are good people. Good people who don’t seek the limelight. Good people with values and morals; who believe strongly in right and wrong and walk the walk.
Some folks say our country is at a tipping point, maybe even the world. Are they right? Way above my pay grade. But I do know this, just because we find a lot of bad things staring us in the face every day doesn’t mean there’s not good – and lots of it.
Maybe it’s on each of us then to push back, to not let the negative and the naysayers win. Sure, we’re not going to change everything, but maybe we don’t have to. Maybe we can just change our little place in the world. Maybe that’s enough.
I’m thankful for the opportunity and hoping it is.
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.