Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"A return to the America I grew up in"

I hear that on TV a lot, from people who seem to be longing for a return to some bucolic Mayberry existence, complete with trips to the fishing hole with Andy and Opie.

That's not the America I grew up in. The most vivid memories of my youth include assassinations and the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention and four dead in Ohio.

I fear we have returned to the America I grew up in, and it breaks my heart.

Look at these faces and please, remember to think before you speak. Remind others that words have meaning and actions have often escalating reactions. I do not understand why this is threatening to some people -- why accepting even a portion of the responsibility for the tortured zeitgeist of our time and trying to improve it is an anathema. I have always tried, and must try harder, to acknowledge the humanity of those I disagree with. I must redouble my efforts.

I don't want my niece and nephew to grow up in the America I grew up in. I want them to have a better country, the one I know it can be.


  1. Well said. You have captured my thoughts quite nicely. I also grew up in the America you describe.