Recently, a dear friend’s mother passed away at 93 years of age. More than a lifetime, yet only a moment in time. Where do we go from here? When the light goes out and the smile fades away of another loved one?
Aged and revered. Adored and adulated. Respected and to whatever degree possible, emulated. You have to wonder how you can replace a legacy, an individual with such an enormous history; with another, a light so bright, here today, gone tomorrow.
In years past, there was the love and dedication to one another that reaches far beyond what has become practice today. Our sovereign past was punctuated with marriages that endured 30, 40, 50 years and more. When I say endured, I mean marriages suffered financial hardships far greater than we face today, unborn children, children suffering physical and mental handicaps and many other maladies we no longer face today.
Today, marriage is commonplace if not convenient. The slightest hiccup is grounds for divorce.
Today, whether by a barrage of socio-economic altered DNA or as I would prefer to define it, our progeny are spoiled, people no longer live for one another, unless it is better suited (in our best interest) to do so.
There is a commitment to convenience. Principles are defined by rule of law and politics as opposed to personal ethics and spirituality.
Formal education today has schooled us in cynicism and prejudice against a society built on “sweat equity” and capitalist ideals. Today our future is in hands unsoiled by the earth and unscathed by the tools that built our rails, roads and bridges that made our country great. God help us.
In the book Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, a story unfolds about a man, Louis Zamperini, a WWII hero who endured (there’s that word again), along with thousands of WWII prisoners of war and victims of Japanese imposed terror, torture and genocide, unspeakable crimes against human nature and survived to become a true American hero. If you read his story you will come to realize, the use of the term “hero” today is used at a whole different level.
The book is a best seller. People marvel over the fortitude and unrelenting wilfulness of a man to do what’s right in the face of sheer evil. Louis Zamperini and hundreds of thousands of Americans of his era were doing what they thought was the right things to do. Let’s hope that spirit of America doesn’t die!
I don’t wish to diminish simple acts of bravery, or people doing the right thing when faced with a choice. My problem is it has become unexpected and uncommon to do what’s morally and ethically responsible in the face of popular alternative. And God forbid you’ll get sued!
Now it’s time to get off my soapbox and on my knees. It’s time to give thanks to God for the bright lights and great minds that will outlive the memories of most. God rest your soul.