Good or Grief, Charlie Brown!
Reality can be harsh, particularly when it shatters imagery we’ve valued. There is imagery and perceptions that are aligned with the beliefs we’ve allowed to become paradigms, and those that are aligned with positive values are really important. This week has had a few of those harsh shattering moments. On this Veterans Day, we reflect on the priceless sacrifices that those in uniform have made on our behalf. I’ve always had the belief and imagery that those that perish in the roles of our guardians against harm are treated with sacred respect and their internments are handled with priority and protection. The US Air Force has apparently thought differently or has forgotten who we are and who they are supposed to be. The desecration and obscene treatment of our fallen is criminal, not just incompetent. This obscenity has been going on for a very long time and covered up in the interest of image preservation.
Coincident with this revelation are the discoveries of the criminality against children committed within the halls of what I believed to be one of the most respected and morally driven football programs in the NCAA, Penn State. This obscenity has been going on for a very long time and covered up in the interest of image preservation.
On Wall Street, there are groups of protesters demonstrating outrage at the abuses of many in the corrupt destruction of our economy and millions of lives. Sadly, this obscenity has been going on for a very long time and covered up in the interest of image preservation.
This pattern should not be a surprise, but its current frequency is important. We’re in an age where transparencies will eventually conquer opacity. This age of social media creates real problems for those accustomed to paying off problems and sweeping them under carpets. If we say something here, it becomes viral before we get to say it there. Political candidates in the last few years of election cycles are living and more frequently dying from convenient and inconvenient memory lapses, gaffes and violating the adage from Confucius of “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
This age of transparency is putting lots of light on the bad, but far too much of the good remains in the dark. We savor the salacious and crave for sin and guilt, much like public the hangings that were once a big family event. The despicable deserve the light, much like the roaches or other vermin, hidden, be they church or state, home or work, big or little leagues.
However, these are not who we are as a society, and we can’t get to where we need without the light on the many whom and what that are good and noteworthy. Despite the shameful absence of statesmen and leaders, good and great abound, perhaps right next to us. As this holiday season begins and Thanksgiving nears, let’s identify a good or great each day and give thanks and light to them.