Oh Lord, Where Do I Begin?

August 21, 2014

Oh Lord, where do I begin? The world may be more effed up right now than it has been in my almost 57 years on G-d’s green earth. We have wars or near wars in Ukraine, Syria, Gaza/Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, and places in Africa I’m ashamed to admit I can’t readily identify on a map. One in seven American families need food assistance from a food pantry or shelter. We have American companies which have discovered the “inversion” tax scam, where they merge with a foreign company to get a new domicile as a tax dodge, while they still expect to do “business as usual” here at home. (Thanks to Walgreens—my daughter’s employer—for passing on this charade!) The world is too warm and Florida Governor Rick Scott, who was smart enough to run a major health care organization, can spare 30 minutes to listen to several scientists explain why climate change is real, man-made, and a big problem for low-lying Florida. Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum! (Yes, I have left out many, many other serious problems, and the issues I raised are in no particular order, or any more or less problematic than those I failed to mention.)

What to do? Well, Garrison Keillor might tell us this would be a good time for a piece of Bebop-a-rebop Rhubarb Pie! (My friend Elliot Glicksman was pitching the blueberry pie diet earlier today on Facebook; no sale, apparently!) Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m Downer Dude, a term I’m pretty sure someone labeled me with, but I think our problems have significantly eclipsed our present capacity to come together and solve them. Painful it is to offer that statement, for I do think—Downer Dude appellation aside—that I’m a pretty hopeful, optimistic guy.

Certainly, government in the USA has proven itself ill-equipped to deal with any big problems in a creative, problem-solving, “let’s come together and fix this” way. No, we’ve got a broken model, designed to not work!

I have no answers, truly. If I did, they would require people to share, and to recognize that we started digging the holes we’re in at least 30+ years ago, and in many instances far longer ago than that. (Racial problems in the United States of America can be traced back, with a straight edge and a pencil with lots of lead, at least 10 times as long.) I don’t know much about digging holes, for I work indoors, but I’m pretty sure filling them up takes at least a significant portion of the time it took to dig them, and that filling them requires a single-mindedness, for a long period of time, not seen often in any group, much less a group of 300,000,000+ people.

Yet … yet, in all of this mess, people get themselves educated, they get jobs and start businesses, they marry and have babies, and they try new things:  in short, they live! They’re a testament to the human spirit! And I do place great faith in the Millennials. Those I know, and those who I read about, should have all of us who are older believing that, if the world can survive what we and those before us have created, all will be well in about 50 years.

I’m sure I now have very few readers, and I will have to put up a new pizza pic very soon to save this blog from oblivion. (I did warn you in the first sentence, and I do promise bagels again this weekend, and pizza!) For those who are still with me, thanks, and sorry for the rant. If you’ve got something to share, please comment. (And for those two or three readers who worry about me, I’m fine, truly!)

[Update:  I should have closed with these wise words from the late Rev. Forrest Church:  “Want what you have; do what you can; be who you are.”]

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