Monday, November 27, 2017

The End of the Innocence

I have not felt like blogging for some time.  The current climate in our country is of a big concern to me.  The country is divided right now as it was during The Civil War or the Vietnam era.  So much for progress.

Often when I am feeling uncertain, I turn to music.  My take on the turmoil reminds me of Don Henley's song, The End of the Innocence.  Life continues to change in ways we never thought would happen and I am longing for simpler times when there was more common ground.  Nowadays many Americans have forgotten how to argue civilly.  It seems that we are more divided than ever - mostly along party lines.  We are experiencing a presidency like we've never experienced before - one of an immature, spoiled child who wants to rob Americans of their basic, guaranteed freedom, while looking out for the one percent that really doesn't need help.  So much for "draining the swamp."

But on an even more personal scale, I've noticed that the divisions in our country are running deeper - greatly affecting families and relationships.  A person who was a mentor to me early in my career - a person who worked predominantly with students of color, provided them with hands-on skills and jobs, and even called many students every morning to ensure they made it to school on time seems to have turned to a conservative side that is unfathomable to me.  We used to argue that George W. Bush was the worst president ever (for the record, he later agreed with me that W was awful) - but it was civil discourse.  When he told me Obama was a communist, I listened and respectfully disagreed.  But now... an educated person who spent 40 years as an educator, is buying into the current administration and turning a blind eye to so many things.... I will never understand.

I've always said that I want my children to grow up in a world that treats them equally. That gives them a fair shake.  A world that will never judge you on the color of your skin, but "on the content of your character."  I fear that world is disappearing and can only hope that people come to their senses.  We have seen this happen in other countries; we have seen this happen in our own country - but decent people took a stand.  It's time to take a stand.

The following lyrics from The End of the Innocence resonate with me...

O' beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They're beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king (reference to Reagan)
Armchair warriors often fail
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
Who knows how long this will last
Now we've come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence