This week one of the residents in the facility, Mr. Irwin, caught a news segment about the violence taking place across the world, following by a blurb about an ebola patient in Texas. Even though his dementia, he recognized how the world has changed, for the worse.
“Back in my day, you didn’t see all those kinds of things. I am glad I am old and no longer out there.”
Wow, what a profound truth. The world has become a much more scary place than the Roaring Twenties, or even the Fabulous Fifties ……instead we migrated to Terrifying Two-Thousands. We have reached a place in our society where we live with drive by shootings instead of rival fist fights. We no longer walk away from a job, angry at our employer; but rather we whip out a Uzi and shoot them. We no longer simply divorce a spouse,; we hire a hit man to eliminate them. Our worst nightmares have become the reality in which we live.
As I walk through the facility, I see residents who have lived through so much. They battled some of the greatest wars ever fought, and came home heroes. They fought for our freedom, defending the Nation that once was “Under God.” Today, I am not sure what we are ” under”. It is my belief that the day the President proclaimed that we were ” no longer a Christian nation…”, we were doomed. Back in the 20s, Islam may have existed, but it was not the faith of our Founding Fathers. Back in the 30’s, I am sure no one could define “Muslim”. I don’t think there was ever a “school massacre” in the 50’s. Even in the 60’s and 70’s, the psychedelic generations, no one knew what a ” terrorist attack”, was all about………. In the 80’s, we did not fear for our lives every time we stepped out of our front door. We didn’t worry about being beheaded or catching a disease that has no cure…..
Last weekend, I was at Washington Dulles Airport. I was caught off guard what I saw the police officers patrolling with dogs and machine guns. Machine guns. I looked around to see what was going on; assessing to see if we were under attack…hoping they would get the bad guy …but no, rather, this is the new normal.
I do not like the new normal. It was bad enough living in the Washington DC area when the Beltway Sniper roamed about shooting at, and killing people for sport. The entire Tri- State area was on full alert. Gas stations placed tarps around the gas pumps so we could hide behind them as we filled up our cars. People ran for safety as they parked in grocery store parking lots; hoping to not be shot by the snipers. We truly lived in fear during that time. We all hoped and prayed that law enforcement would “catch the guy” who was terrorizing us. Once they captured the pair of shooters, all of DC went back to normal. The tarps came down; playgrounds were filled with kids playing and laughing and parks became overcrowded……we had returned to our normal lives.
Now with the possibility of random killings, beheadings, drive by shootings, flag burnings and “cell groups” laying in wait for their prey……I guess the police do need to carry machine guns….. I think the days of feeling safe anywhere….are over.
I remember starting the school day with the Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. I attended Sunday School and memorized the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and Psalm 23. I was taught to say ” please, thank you, no ma’am and no sir.” I bowed my head and said “grace” before every meal. Before I went to bed, I knelt on my knees and prayed… ” Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die, before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take, amen”.
Now, the Ten Commandments are no longer allowed in Government buildings because they are “offensive and violate the freedom of religion”. Whose religion?????? Not mine. Children can not stand and say the Lord’s Prayer because ” it violates the rights of others”. Whose rights? Not mine. We live in world that is now more worried about the rights of others that we no longer have rights. We worry about violating other’s freedoms to the point where we have no freedom. We are no longer a ” Nation Under God”. We replaced our Fearless attitude with that of being fearful…..
Mr. Irwin forgot what the news anchor reported and the images he saw shortly after seeing them. He shuffled on down the hall to bingo without a care in the world…………oh how I wish I could do the same.