Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inferiority Complex

I'm seldom at a loss for words, but I sat down today feeling that I could not say anything adequate to the occasion. I have a feeling there's a lot of that going around. Suddenly, I feel as though perhaps I belong in this country after all. In a heartbeat, the values I share have become essential, celebrated, honored, after decades of scorn and contempt from the arbiters of respectable opinion. My friends and relatives have canceled their plans to move to Canada or dust off that Irish ancestry and head for the Eurozone.

Sure, it's just a fad, and we all know that inside of a month Tweety and Modo and Brian Williams will be back to spewing their usual swill. However, it is not too much to hope that racism will no longer be dispositive in convincing working class people to betray their own interests on election day. It's not too much to hope that Americans will stop viewing war like a football game and confusing arrogant bullying with respectability. It's not too much to hope that God will go home to the chapel and the value of life will be understood as pertaining to the living. It's not too much to hope that we'll behave responsibly toward our progeny and toward each other. It's not too much to hope.


robin andrea said...

We are feeling it too. First came the sense of relief that Bush is really gone, and then the sense of hope. It's not just been these past eight years, but I count all the way back to 1968 when my path and my country's diverged. So now we've had our 40 years of wandering. I expect to be disappointed, but not to be full of despair again.

Cervantes said...

Summer lasted a generation
A generation - and then the winter wind
The bounty harvest that seemed so endless
It seemed so endless until it gave what it could give

Prosperity will have its seasons
Even when it's here, it's going by
And when it's gone we pretend we know the reasons
And all the roots grow deeper when it's dry.

-- D. Wilcox

roger said...

"...God will go home to the chapel..."

i like that. the new guy likes god, but seems to understand that his mandate is from the voters. we walked to the library after the inauguration. the smiles on passersby looked brighter than yesterday.

robin andrea said...

Thank you for that poem, cervantes. It is beautiful.

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