HARD QUESTIONS, THEN WE GET SUBLIME
TRYING TO FIND BALANCE
The aftermath of the violence in Arizona forces us to ask difficult questions, where the lines of right and wrong are not easily drawn. There is no clean edge, though the issues are sharp.
People question why a young man with a history of his sort is permitted to buy a gun. One would reason that a person in the grips of mental illness should not have a weapon. But what of stigmatizing those who suffer, or who have suffered, a mental disease? If a patient, past or present, is automatically denied the right, does that not establish a second class status? Is that not anathema to our sense of liberty and freedom? How will those who are adamant about the right to bear arms respond to limiting such freedom?
Does a person who has been treated for depression, or bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia deserve a lesser sense of citizenship? Should they be considered in a class with criminals?
Hard questions, and exceedingly sensitive now.
More important than the posing of these questions is how will we respond?
There are easy victims of our anger- those to whom we might ascribe a debt of guilt. Easy to get gun laws, the hyperbolic gas merchants, those who inflame emotion for pay or political gain, those who ignore what is happening to a nation where polarization, short attention spans, an even shorter sense of history are rampant, political mechanics who would rather use a crisis than to honestly feel a sense of pain or suffering or try to plumb the depths of despair. Add to that list all who have taken the gift of a democratic republic for granted.
Making our form of self governance work requires that we pay attention, be aware of the fault lines that can shake stability and be willing to work for the greater common good. This last elements forces us into an act of civility, being willing to listen to even those with whom we disagree and being willing to win only while also letting the other side win. Leaving something on the table is not a bad thing.
A winner take all attitude works in in sport, but in living in modern America, that mindset will undermine our bedrock values. Everyone has a seat at the table, everyone has a voice, everyone deserves respect as long as they act respectfully.
It is a hard trail, it requires vigilance, it forces us to surmount obstacles, it demands intelligence in larger quantity, and may ask of us to leave emotion behind. Facing hard questions is for the brave, but it can keep us free.
NOW HERE IS HAPPY, MAYBE EVEN BLISS
The happy man is Michael T. John Griffin-veteran broadcaster, personality and racing team player. Grif defines mellow. He is a world class "super person." He is also a great friend, as the Monarch butterfly on his shoulder will attest.
Most of the 17 to 50 thousand Monarchs who populate the famed Pismo Beach Grove each year are content to stay in the trees and draw the attention of long lenses and telescopes.
But of all of the thousands of beautiful winged creatures, one independent thinker chose to leave the trees and instead of fluttering like his or her cousins in the California sunshine, he or she decided to land on the shoulder of one of the crowd in the grove.
Left to his or her own design, it chose probably the nicest guy in the grove, and made a friend and created an event that became a mini paparazzi drama. Let's hear it for independence and good choice. And maybe you saw this one coming BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE!
ONE MORE DROP OF NICENESS BEFORE WE PART....
Thanks to our music director Moto Groove, here is something sweet and light--