Floods. Fires. Famine. Heatstroke. A man attacks the husband of the Speaker of the House with a hammer. And the response from some of the nation’s Republican leaders is to hint at a possible justification. Conspiracy theories. The polarization continues, because instead of looking for common ground, places to find mutual agreement, the emphasis is on I’m right and they’re wrong.
Wars and a pandemic have shattered many economies around the world. In the United States the cost of basic groceries keep increasing. The politicians, those seeking to overturn the current administration, blame it on The President. They claim they can fix it.
I don’t think so.
What I worry about is a loss of democracy. A loss of women’s basic rights to make their own medical decisions. A mixing of the church and state, when the United States was founded on the principles of a separation between church and state.
We’re losing our ability to listen to one another as we shut ourselves off in our own individual little worlds. To counterbalance my sadness, I spend more time outside trying to focus on the beauty of colorful leaves, the autumn harvest and sounds of the birds and the breeze as I walk. One positive affect the Pandemic had on many, was they spent more time hiking, bicycling, and boating because so much of commerce was shut down.
Unfortunately, the earth in its current state is dying. A ray of hope is that Bolsonaro, who was encouraging the destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest, was not re-elected as the President of Brazil. However, he has yet to concede to Lula Da Silva at the time of writing this blog and I can only hope for a peaceful transition of power. Certainly, the United States did not set a good example to follow.
As this is my opportunity to rant a little, I also note my disappointment with the press coverage of the senate race between John Fetterman and Dr. Oz. The inability to access certain words, ie aphasia, is a disability not an indication of diminished intellectual competence. By asking the question of whether Fetterman is still “fit to lead,” the press is perpetuating the myth that difficulty accessing words means the individual doesn’t understand those words. This is completely false. We’ve all forgotten someone’s name at some time in our lives but still remember who they are and their significance in our lives. Of course, this is right in line with the myth that because someone stutters, they are lower in intelligence or going senile. Stuttering is another misunderstood disability, that has been exploited to criticize our current President, Joe Biden.
In earlier times, the phrase “Deaf and Dumb” was in common use and referred to someone unable to hear or speak. But by association, this derogatory phrase implied the person was defective and stupid. Communication skills are important tools, but we now have the technology and the knowledge to level the playing field. We should elect politicians with empathy who listen to us and to each other.
In my head I’m hearing the Joni Mitchell song about the big parking lot in paradise, “Big Yellow Taxi.” The refrain includes that wonderful line, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” That song was written in 1970, fifty-two years ago. What we’ve taken for granted is going away fast, so take the time to vote in the mid-terms on November 8th and remind someone else you know to do the same. We need more green space, not more parking lots.
Writing prompt for writers: think of a song that best captures the mood you’re feeling today and begin writing a scene where one of your characters hear’s that song. How does the song make them feel? Does it compel them to take some type of action? Is there another character that responds differently to the same song? Have fun writing about what ensues.
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