General Comments About Life
By: Bill Schoettler
May 12, 2022
Many things bother me these days, rising crime rates, scarcity of available foods, fears of war over Ukraine, a porous southern border, rising gas prices (and rising other costs of living), political turmoil over everything, increasing homeless, and regularly depressing news.
I suppose one answer is to ignore radio and television news. Take a deep breath, look at pretty skies, nice sunsets, and take naps. After all, it has been said that in his infinite wisdom the Good Lord does not present us with problems with which we are unable to cope.
So I ask, how am I to cope with regular assaults on my core beliefs in the benevolence of my government, the brotherhood of humanity, the friendliness of my neighbors, and the belief in the goodness of people?
As a youngster, I was taught and learned through experience that children were protected and loved by adults. School taught me respect for authority, that the police were there to help me, and that everywhere there were safeguards in life that would care for me in times of danger. My future welfare would be the product of my energies and my personal obligation was to absorb the education being provided and to ultimately go forth on my own and produce a family and children who would repeat the process.
Today I can look back upon a life that proceeded along those lines…at least in general terms. I absorbed my education, became a productive member of society, married and raised a family, and am now retired and living with the results of my accomplishments. My children have themselves followed a similar pattern, are raising their own families, and are preparing for their retirement. Their children, my grandchildren, are moving into a world where the values and goals and cultural imperatives that guided me (and mostly guided my children) have changed, perhaps evolved but certainly altered in almost unrecognizable ways to what today passes for a “lifestyle” that is unrecognizable [to me, at least].
I was a product of the last great generation that was born before WWII and lived through the great years that saw black-and-white movies become colorized, saw black-and-white television become colorized, witnessed the jet plane turn into rocket ships and put a man on the moon, invent cell phones and home computers and…and now learn that nation-wide-lockdowns for the flu are required, racial differences are not merely significant but important, that equity refers to outcomes and disparity is a sin, that membership in political parties is a condition of social acceptance and disagreement with the government is not merely socially unacceptable it is terrorism and a serious threat to democracy.
If today’s education programs, what is actually in place and being taught to the current generation of grade-school-through-college students, were even hinted at when I attended school, the hue and cry of communism and black arts and degeneracy and devil-worship would have been deafening.
What happened? What happened to the kids of today who no longer play in the yards of their neighbors, chase balls, and jump over cans to hide and seek each other in the nooks and crannies of local buildings? Where was it written that possessing a cell phone and the infinite variety of games and communication/broadcast opportunities and social exposure of personal daily lives was more important than running about the neighborhood and actually playing outdoors was unimportant?
Yes, there are more cars in the streets, they travel faster and pay less attention to playing children. Yes, the world has become a busier place with more people having more things to do and less time available. Life isn’t as much fun and if you doubt that just ask your local neighborhood shrink. New diseases have been invented along with new emotional and mental disabilities and the number of people devoted to telling us what is wrong… with everything, has increased. Everything is much more complicated today, just ask any politician.
So where is it one can find peace and quiet, comfort and satisfaction? How can one learn to deal with the complexities of daily life, with the regular challenges that arise at every turn of experience? How to find love and companionship when disruption and contention are the watchwords instead of the inspirations?
God no longer exists, relegated to the ruins of a history that also has been placed on the back burner. The new Supreme Being is the Government whose benevolence and tolerance and guidance is unrecognizable through yesterday’s eyes but available to all whose lives are being taught by the new learnings. Pronouns and genders have been expanded and re-defined, racism is more discussed than religion and victimization is more popular than heroism. Symbolism is the watchword…but only if the government’s symbolic pronouncements are fully accepted. Disagreement with the government has become a capital sin and social banishment is a punishment regularly applied by the new cognoscenti whose education or genuine credentials are less important than their celebrity status.
Will the planet continue to rotate on its axis, the sun regularly shine, rain fall and wind blow? Will the universe provide whatever inspiration may yet be available to those who yearn for intelligent direction and some vestige of peace and stability? Of course! If the continued order and symmetry to be found in all life, the beautiful pattern of the stars remains and the operation of whatever form of divinity may continue to function, then there is hope for all of us.
If you do not take an interest
in the affairs of your government,
then you are doomed to live under
the rule of fools.