Our country suffers from growth pangs; all the jabber-jawing we muster, though, cannot alter the survival and inevitability of the fittest policies. We shall endure and move forward to where we are meant to be; civilization evolves fluidly. Let’s relax and enjoy the ride; we need only be kind to one another as we progress. “It’s easy if we try”, sang John Lennon; Nikolai Lenin warbled a different tune. This is America , and we shall always prefer John to Nikolai.
Try speaking these days; vocalized ideas drift down rabbit-holes and ricochet off brick walls. Smile, and the world…thinks you’re a push-over. Listen… to a typical person’s discussion of relationships, e.g. familial, marital, non-marital or ex-marital; Russian novels brim with populations of fewer characters. Jumbled up human interactions compare to rush-hour traffic; linger, race, pass, merge, beep, and keep moving. “My time is (not) your time,” a revisionary Rudee Vallee ought to croon to us in the twenty-first century.
Call ANY established business, whether huge or tiny; prepare to poke numbers ad infinitum on your telephoning device’s keypad to advance to your destination; problem resolution or customer service just eight or nine clicks away. Cut to the chase by selecting an ironic ZERO to connect with a live person! Then, call back tomorrow and revisit the following day finding yourself squatting upon square one of a diabolically imaginary chess board. Hello, anybody there? Check-mate’s elusive when one’s opponent remains a brainless, clueless prompting robot.
Harry Truman’s suggestion to pass not the buck? A distant memory. We shuffle about avoiding responsibilities to others as well as to ourselves claiming, “Busy!” At what stage of life would anyone fail to be pre-occupied with busy-ness, yet still quite capable of finding enough hours for satisfying our own agendas?
Realization eventually sets in, among some of us, that we shared countless moments of our days enjoying, aiding, indulging, sometimes surviving others…and the pay-back never occurs as those we “stopped everything for” seem to be quite booked-up once again. Here’s a new law of physics: Polite courtesy and graciousness assume a back seat to self-serving attitudes of entitlement. “I’m late. I’m late…for a very important date! No time to say , ‘Hello, good-bye…’” My cousin Hugh recently posted a generic cocktail-napkin-type-slogan on Facebook: “Never make someone a priority when he considers you an option.” So true.
Manuals provide suggestions and directions for harmonious home lives, child-raising, bicycle-assemblage, and tax deductions. Life, however, happens AT all of us, flying by with a whooshing sound; some man-made rules succeed while others become more flexible out of necessity. “L-a-o-d-i-c-e-a-n,” haltingly replied this year’s national spelling champion to the panel of judges. Look up its definition. An epiphany if ever there was one. Sherlock Holmes, please return to fiddling around with your violin; step aside for Dagwood Bumstead. Light bulb above head just lit up in the final comic strip panel! Take your precious time to stop to smell the roses, help an old lady across the street, rescue a kitten from the high branch of a tree, and simply enjoy being alive as a Laodicean. Brilliantly sunny light in the sky at the end of a long, long, dark tunnel. Blessed hope for us yet!