Two solid and meaningful addresses by our president – from kindergarten to Congress – and in “quiet desperation” all the right-wing can do is criticize. I’m a tender-hearted person, and all I can feel is pity for they are being used.
All complaints, no solutions.
But, hey, it’s Friday, so let’s lighten up.
That was how I began the TGIF fluff piece I had written for today. Then, I remembered the date.
Perhaps that date – September 11, 2001 – was the last day we all pulled together as Americans.
Suddenly, like some long ago Movietone newsreel, images began to move through my mind.
That second plane hitting the second tower and our collective realization at that moment that something was unfolding – something many of us had not experienced in our lifetime.
More images. Captives sitting in chairs while masked heathens threatened to behead them. Carnage from car bombs.
Nancy Reagan touching her husband’s coffin.
Post-apocalyptic images in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A black worker describing how he had to rake bodies away from one of New Orleans’ pumps so it could remove water from the city’s flooded streets. CNN’s Anderson Cooper telling Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to can the crap as she praised officials, because he had just seen rats eating the body of an old lady on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Horror drawn along the lines of race and poverty.
Disgusting photos from a place called Abu Ghraib.
Still, the images stream by. The chilling video of the poor sick mind behind the massacre at Virginia Tech.
Soon thereafter I could no longer distinguish images on TV, but nothing can block these from my mind's eye.
We didn’t lose our collective heart on 9/11, that was already taking place. We had moments that day and in the days that followed when we still felt its beat. But, somewhere along the way, during the last eight years, America has contracted a social disease, which, if left unchecked, will rot this nation from within.
So, take a quiet moment today to take measure.
MARY STEWART’S “COLLECT (1904)”
Keep us, oh God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding
And leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
And meet each other face to face,
Without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
And always be generous.
Let us take time for all things;
Make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
Straight-forward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize
It is the little things that create differences;
That in the big things of life we are at one.
And, may we strive to touch and to know
The great, common human heart of us all.
And, oh, Lord God,
Let us forget not to be kind.