My cat Sam always objected to the following cliche’ (but I’m going to use it anyway): You can’t swing a dead cat and not hit bad news.
Of course, my cat Sam really doesn’t mind me saying it anymore. He’s dead (but he was cremated; therefore, it’s hard to swing him) But you get the point. Things are downright depressing these days. Turn on the news and it’s like drinking from the bad-news firehose. Our heroes are liars. Amazing performances are lip-synched. Football players have imaginary girlfriends (or real ones –Dan Marino, I’m looking at you). And our leaders aren’t leading. We have enough unemployed to populate New York City. I’m waiting for the Mideast to explode at any moment. What? You mean it already has?
The news that the company that bought Viking is busy deconstructing all the amazing things that Fred Carl, Jr. did in Greenwood and Mississippi is heartbreaking. Talented and wonderful people are getting laid off and sent to the street. And they aren’t alone. We all know people who have been downsized, rightsized, and capsized. Businesses are cutting like mad. Profits and bonuses for executives are going up like gas prices before a hurricane. And if you haven’t been laid off at your job, you’re hanging on for dear life. Of course, our legislators are busy filing bills to make sure there are no human/animal hybrids running around and trying to establish some kind of 21st century sovereignty commission because they don’t like what the Federal Government is doing. Heck, I don’t like what the Federal Government does half the time either (there is a reason that Congress is more unpopular than bed bugs) but didn’t it occur to someone what a sovereignty commission didn’t work out so hot last time Mississippi tried it? And now Medicaid has become a political football. It’s enough to make your hair hurt. I guess I can sleep better knowing we’ll be safe from “Goat Boy” as the economy sinks further.
OK, end of gloom and doom.
Why, you ask? Aren’t you thinking, “Well, don’t things still, um, suck? Shouldn’t we be worried about the gloom and doom?
Yes we should. But we need to put it all in perspective. Do you honestly think we’re the first human beings ever to look around and say, “Dang, things sure are kind of rotten!” Of course not. I’m sure things weren’t exactly rocking during the Black Plague. The folks in the 1930′s weren’t eating dirt and thinking, “Happy days are here again! Pass the Yazoo Clay, I’m HUNGRY!” But they survived. And a lot of them came out of it (and then World War 2), stronger and wiser. Human beings can be whiney, but we’re resilient creatures. We can survive a lot of stupidity.
After the last decade, it is easy to look around and be completely bitter. That’s the cancer that is eating at a lot of us. I know, trust me. I’ve limped down that path for a while myself. I can give you a few names of people who have stabbed me in the back. But what good would THAT do? What I need to do — and what we all need to do is when you feel like you’ve been stabbed in the back, take the knife out of it and go hunting with it.
It’s time to get busy. It’s time to stop waiting for things to happen on their own.
You will see me post positive things from time to time. Trust me, I’m not doing it because I am some Pollyanna who thinks that positive thinking is a magic pill. I’m doing it because I’ve been on an amazing journey the last two years. It’s a journey of change and forgiveness. Of taking my faults and trying to fix them. On surviving be thrown curveballs and learning to hit them out of the park. Of being the servant who uses his talents and makes the most of life. And I know anger and fear is a losing strategy.
We are being fed a diet of fear by some in the media and some politicians. It’s a way to control us. It’s like we’re eating junk food every single meal –and it’s poisoning us.
I was raised to believe that hard work and grit would lead to success. I know that is slightly naive, but I’m still clinging to it. I’ll be here, trying to make a buck and quietly taking care of my family. It’s time for us as Americans to go back to that. We need to look to the quiet heroes. To the people who do amazing things for the right reasons.
I’ll do my best to find those stories and bring them to you. Hopefully soon you’ll be able to swing a dead cat and hit some good news. Unless “Goat Boy” gets us first.