My question is “If the US falls, but no one tunes in to view it, did it really happen?” Is your life really in decline? Ok, let’s agree that there are people who are suffering dramatically. But, can we really do something about it? Beginning 45 years ago, as a Catholic school student, my classmates and I collected money for people starving in Africa on a yearly basis. We did this as a plaid uniformed army filled with compassion along with millions of children like us across the globe. Every year, we went door to door, bar to bar, store to store, collecting money in little red boxes decorated with photos of starving children. We believed we were doing good. Yet, I noticed on the news the other day that people are still starving in Africa.
My husband and I spent a combined 60 years trying to bring change to education at the local level. When I look back at our school, things are pretty much the same. Yet, I do vaguely recall transforming the lives of individual students. Is it possible that we will all have the most meaningful and dramatic impact on the universe if every individual worked hard to positively impact those we come across daily in our own little worlds? If everybody turned out from the “global connection” and tuned into the actual human beings that are right in front of us, will we make a difference? What if we really cared about the people we know and shared ourselves and our resources with them? Could this have a ripple effect on the universe?
I’m going to tune out and try it. I’m going to buck the trend and stay far away from Facebook, Twitter and blogs and give my attention to persons. I will begin by reminding my own little circle that things in my country are better than ever in so many ways that I can’t even count. In my lifetime, women were offered limited career choices. Many stayed in loveless marriages for decades because they had no choice. Minorities were excluded from opportunities and gays were routinely shunned and beaten. Meanwhile, children with handicaps were institutionalized in filthy places, like one called Willowbrook. When I was in 7th grade, an exceptional journalist named Geraldo Rivera kicked the door down and exposed this disgrace. He was my hero.
Okay, quality has declined in some areas and of course our politicians are scumbags and clowns…but they always were. In my school uniform, I was also taught to pledge allegiance to a President called Kennedy who was the face of Catholic values. We all know how that turned out. But guess what? Our peeps are still of the highest caliber. On the left and right of me are exceptional persons. Meanwhile, if I turn my head away, just six goddamn inches from the television or computer screen, life is freaking fantastic!
I’m signing off and stepping out where the sun, not a computer screen, forces me to squint. I 'd rather shield my eyes from blessed light, than from the burn of electronic visions of pathetic losers, child molesters, and greedy thieves that will no longer enter my home and my mind.
Putting my head in the sand? Better than putting it in shit! Real life is just outside your door.