Look back, then think forward
TBO.com"Hindsight is 20/20" is usually spoken from a defensive position, but gleaning the good from hindsight yields more positive foresight. December, the in-between month, not only winds down a calendar year but also offers renewal for the next if …
Published: November 23, 2012
Published: November 23, 2012
… We stop wasting time and energy on blame — of ourselves, of religion, of the media, of government etc. "It is what it is" ought to stir us to make "it" what we want it to be. By now, blame surrounds the world like the thousands of pieces of space trash.
The day before the presidential election, an Associated Press article said that "job woes, debt, and war await the winner." Those things are overwhelming; but the telltale quandary wraps itself around the AP's thinking: "It will be the job of the next president of the United States, ultimately, to handle everything."
That's a job description no one can fill, especially encircled by blame-game players. Six days after the election, Democrats and Republicans bickered over the rules of filibustering, something the AP says can "trigger all-out partisan battling." Meanwhile: Romney blamed President Obama's re-election on "gifts" to blacks, Hispanics, and young voters; Republicans blamed Romney for not being "specific and aggressive enough"; and, to top it all off, some are petitioning for secession from the United States.
December offers renewal if …
… We simplify — Things are not as they were. Even if the economy improves in 2013, a scenario not to be counted on, unbridled greed needs to go the way of "Dynasty," "Dallas" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Even home decorating's latest trend reflects the times — "transitional style." Decorator Kathryn Weber says this style leans toward neutrals for a "cleaner, leaner, lighter-feeling room."
December is a transition month. It offers renewal if …
… We practice compassion. To look around at those who don't is to see why the poet Alfred Tennyson said that "time is a maniac scattering dust."
Caught in the dust are millions who cannot help themselves: the children, the frail elderly, the poor and the sick.
Caught in the dust are not only those who lose their jobs, but also those left to do more work with fewer people.
Caught in the dust are those hiding from bombs lobbed by governments over which they have no control.
Caught in the dust are those who believe there is no way out except to self-destruct. The U.S. Army tells us more soldiers are committing suicide, not just those reacting to combat stress, but many never deployed. Perhaps they expected being in the military to relieve them of other pressures — marital, financial, or health problems — only to find we cannot hide but must face our common enemies.
The world throbs with blame, complexity and cruelty. December offers a brief, in-between moment to steer toward a better legacy. When the apostle John thought back to the good Jesus did, he said: " … If they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (21:25).
Finding truth requires the right starting point. That is the quest of this column. If we seek simple truth, we can find it together—side-by-side.
Linda M. Downing is a freelance writer. Contact her at lindadowning.com.