It’s December 4th and the annual holiday improvement in kindness, generosity and all-around goodness is more and more apparent. Well, maybe. Haven’t noticed any of that in the political world. And it doesn’t seem to be happening in our shopping places. The folks on the roads are certainly not making strides in any of those areas. Social media does show an occasional sign of good will. But that sign is usually followed by eight or nine posts of name calling vitriol.
Of course, when it comes to politics there is no middle ground. My kind hearted liberal friends think they’re fighting evil incarnate. My well intentioned conservative acquaintances think they’re being unjustly vilified and demeaned by, yes you guessed it, evil incarnate. The issues are pretty big, I guess. That tax bill is important. The immigration questions are still questions, no resolution there. Foreign affairs seem to be pretty much bogged down in wars both ongoing and up-coming. While the economy seems to be rebounding a little, there’s still a pretty big crowd of homeless folks here at the public library every day. And I know lots of older people who are just getting by. And, of course, that health insurance problem is not getting fixed by any of our intelligent, caring legislators. Some of my acquaintances who rely on the new government sourced plans have been hit with premiums so high that they are just planning on taking their chances with no insurance.
When I read yesterday’s newspapers I saw lots of space dedicated to the increasing scourge of heroin and other opioid use. A bunch of money is going towards that problem but the good results of those programs are not too apparent. Another pile of articles was dedicated to sex assault cases of prominent politicians and entertainers. I grabbed the comics just to get a little relief. Then I did a crossword puzzle. Then I read the advertising flyers. After the eighth page of the Boscov’s ad I finally calmed down enough to start drinking.
What’s my point? Hell if I know. Kindness? I know in “one on one” situations most folks are kind. And pretty much all of my friends are generous with their time and money as they support charities, causes and churches. But that underlying current of hatred for people who hold opposing opinions is pretty apparent. It’s kind of like one of those quiet cancers that swims around in the bloodstream and then suddenly bursts to the surface of the body in a terrible lesion. And there are a mess of lesions popping up everywhere and often. Quick treatments are applied and the sores subside but the main disease is still cruising around. Who knows when the cancer will be too big to contain?
I’m done worrying today. I might not resume my pose of cynical indifference for now. I might adopt a new pose of holiday cheerfulness, kindness and goodwill. Even though it’s not totally sincere it might catch on. Gotta make the effort anyway. You’re welcome to join me. And have a fine day.