Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

Lofty Hopes, Dreams Shattered By Politics, Terrorism, Economy, Other Realities

December 5, 2008

The news today is pretty grim on many fronts.  As I made my coffee I wondered if we might have to cut back on sugar and milk.

My Vietnamese family commented at dinner last night that after the Communists took over in Saigon in 1975, food became scarce.

“This amount of pork we have here for four people would have fed 24 in 1976 in Saigon,” my 90 year old “Ba” or grandmother said.

My wife said, “We cooked for the smell, mostly.”

Well, America is a long way from that.  But as Ronald Reagan once said, “If your neighbor lost his job it’s a recession.  When you lose your job its a depression.”

So, as we round second base between Thanksgiving and Cristmas, many Americans, on a very personal level, feel the bad news turning into a sometimes miserable (or at least a less wealthy) reality.

Globally, I am reminded of  “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

In a nation of  “control freaks,” we are having a stark reminder of how little we really do control….

George W. Bush certainly never dreamed that his life and his place in history would take a terrible turn on September 11, 2001, as he sat with children in a school.

Bush, while in a school, learns of the September 11 attacks from chief of staff Andy Card…

Dick Cheney probably never dreamed he’d shoot a lawer in the face — and wake up knowing many and perhaps most Americans would do that to him if he came within range.

So we all must martial on.  We must face reality and overcome — using whatever tools we have.  This might involve the strength of prayer and certainly the sustanence of hope.

And we see great examples of  hope every day.

Barack Obama is the poster child of hope in America.  And with each decision and appointment we are reminded of renewal, hope and the dreams of the future.

President-elect Barack Obama speaks as he presents his choices ...

Cetainly, just about a week ago, many in India and Pakistan had more hope than they have today.  But mismanagement and terrorists took some away at Mumbai.

But not all.

Hope sustains us.  Hope fortifies and nourishes.  Without hope, sometimes, we gravitate toward despair.

But tomorrow is often better and Christmas is nearing.  Even though we have few (or fewer)  material gifts to give this year, perhaps we will give each other more real love and hope.

And our gift can be based in reality and eternity at the same time.

Job fair 
Americans look for jobs.  But, for the most part, all are well fed and well clothed.  Photo by the Associated Press


A FRIEND sent us this by email:

Underlying all of this, at bottom, is a structrual realignment–what King called the “arc of the moral universe” –in America–jobs, education, heathcare, and a less than prosperous future–that is consisent with the cycical rise and fall of nations. The signs are there to read.
The liars and soothsayers–indeed, the people responsble for what Caesar called “bread and circus”–are obfuscating realities about what we call an American econony within the larger context of nations that are rising and, in fact, challenging America’s hegemony in the world.

I read an article yesterday that indicated that this nation is moving back to a time where most Americans will not be able to afford a college education.

This is striking and, therefore, suggests that a violent socio-economic mitosis is now underway. Simply stated, that means we are moving towards a society of folks who abolsutely have and those who don’t and may not be able to charge a loaf of bread on their Visa cards.

President-Elect Obama is, in fact, a poster child for change; however, change will have to take on tangible meaning or he will soon become the focal point of rage and blame by rank and file Americans who still do not see the handwriting on the wall.