Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Glass Half Full: One of my friends whom I consider a very intelligent man in addition to being one of the nicest sent a very positive email to me about one of my opinions. We share many of the same values but I am sure few of his opinions are as pessimistic as mine. Really, you say? No kidding. In my defense there are reasons for everything. I digress.

In response to one of my diatribes perhaps the one loathing Bain Romney -- or as another friend humorously calls him Mitten or Ron Mitney and whom I call Willard, his first name, -- sorry I digress again with a bit of humor, my friend sent a more positive note. Whatever opinion of mine it was that prompted his response, truthfully, my words are often not happy ones. Admittedly they are words of anger, pessimism and are a cynic's view of our nation.

I would like to quote what he said below to present a different view from the bridge. He is quite right if one takes a broader look at US history one can see the positive changes that have occurred despite great opposition mounted to defeat them. The late Howard Zinn, my favorite historian, used to say to me that change comes from the bottom up and that it is created by millions of people who push for that change sometimes risking their own lives advocating for it.

The always-wise Zinn said it does not matter who is IN the White House but who is in FRONT of it that counts. It is up to us, to hold our leaders accountable and secure those rights our Constitutional contract, I believe, can be interpreted to say, we rightfully deserve. It is the beauty of our American system that has honed a way, over centuries of conflict, to do so. We must utilize maximally our Constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and free press and never give up.

In keeping with that thought I offer a more positive view that my friend quite correctly stated. He said:

I share your frustration with the nation, but am reminded of Martin Luther King's comment: "The arc of history is long, but it tends toward justice."

There is still plenty of craziness out there, and we can't let down our guard, but slowly we're making progress. We have finally elected a black man president, and after his second term, maybe a woman; Don't ask don't tell has been repealed and LGBT people are accepted enough to show up in TV shows without causing riots; the Arab Spring is a tinderbox, but could also spread the flame of democracy; occupy is finally challenging tea party; the economy still needs help, but it's not in free fall, in spite of Republicans' efforts to derail everything the president has tried; so there is hope.

I know there IS hope and that it springs eternal. Thank you, my friend, for forcing me to see a glass half full and by that making it a better day!

No comments: