Sometimes a subject matter insinuates itself into my psyche like a stealth mission. It is not a case of focused attention on a particular subject to achieve a specific task or goal . It seems to me the back channel of my brain is accepting and tabulating data without me giving it much front of the brain recognition.
Often the results of the data load shows up on my awareness scanners when I am sleeping. Sometimes I have what is not really a dream, but a memory replayed which, in some way, illustrates what the back channel is processing. Last night I had a busy brain. I got up around 3 am because the processors did an urgent data transfer to the front brain. So instantly I was awake and somehow still watching the memory movie:
When we lived in SW Florida, Mermaid and I would get up early to watch the beach turn from night to day. We did this often as it was a day starter we both loved. We never played hookey, no matter how wonderful the beach experience, or the mom and daughter experience. We always honored our commitments to school and business. We were often tempted to make the wrong choice but one or the other of us would say with a sigh, " it is never hard to know what is the right choice, it is always the hardest". So we would head homeward to shower, dress, and go forth to accomplish something good.
One early morning at the beach, we were at waters edge exploring what the out going tide had left behind. There were sand dollars, something we did not encounter all that often. In fact, I cannot remember another day when there were so many. Mermaid was about 7, rushing around enthusiastically yelling out each new find. Somewhere in the finding, Mermaid determined she would like to find a sand dollar for every single one of her classmates and her teacher. Her ever generous spirit of giving and sharing enticed this Mamafish to help her accomplish the goal so I was less aware than usual about others on the beach.
Two young men were maybe a hundred yards up the beach. Apparently our postures and enthusiasm telegraphed the message there was something good on the beach and they changed course toward us to see what our excitement was about.
As they got closer I noticed they were holding hands and were being demonstrative with one another. Obviously two young lovers enjoying the morning beach. Both were nearly naked, minimally covered in very abbreviated micro speedos. Really micro, to the point I wondered how they could in fact, pack their equiment in such small confines. None of my business, but I did wish for more fabric to the speedos and perhaps a bit less touchy feely activity.
For a moment I thought they would move on down the beach and explore the waterline there but they headed directly toward Mermaid and called out to engage her in conversation. Mermaid, excitedly called back there were sand dollars!
Like most beachcombers, our postures had been bent with our eyes focused on the treasures in the sand. But as the couple arrived to our location, Mermaid stood with sand dollar in hand to show the treasure to the pair. My chatty daughter stopped in mid sentence, her hands fell to her sides and her smile faded away. Mermaid was tiny, in the 3rd percentile for height and weight for her age group. Which means 97% of all 7 year olds were taller. So when she stood and turned to converse with the boys, her straight ahead gaze was eye level to one of the speedos. That particular speedo was patterned as snakeskin with a rhinestone snakehead at front center bulge with a forked red tongue protruding.
There was a pause, then Mermaid shifted her gaze to the mans eyes and quietly
said, "I don't think little children should see this", then turned and started running up the beach. I was gathering my wits and turning to follow my child when Snakeman hissed out, "You should do something about that rude little C**t you spawned".
Had it been within my skill set, I would have killed Snakeman then and there.
My absolute outrage was so visceral I felt ill. I continued on a few more steps , took a deep breath and struggled with the consuming wrath I was experiencing when Snakeman ran past me toward Mermaid spewing filth out of his mouth.
I am not an athlete, never have been, but fueled with adrenalin I ran past Snakeman, caught up with Mermaid , scooped her up into my arms and fled the beach. We lost most of the sand dollars in our rush to abandon the beach.
Later that morning I was still engaged in a personal struggle to rid myself of the ill feeling from the beach confrontation. It took time for me to sort through my reactions before I finally arrived at my sticking point:
When, did people stop doing the right thing?
So, that morning at the beach was playing in my head this morning around 3am.
What, I asked myself, made me think about this long ago experience? I went outside in the cool night air to find clear skies, a bright moon, stars galore. I sat quietly and tried to discern what was I feeling? The answer came to me. I felt much as I had on that long ago beach morning. Sheer visceral outrage.
I am ill with the recognition that, unlike that isolated incident of the past, now,
right now in this country, it is currently
the norm to not do the right thing!
We are run amuck with lies, greed, graft, diversion, misdirection,doublespeak and a despairing level of worshiping and enacting self interest above all other things.
How did this happen to us? All of us. When did this become acceptable? How did this become acceptable? How did we let evil prevail over good? While I perceive extreme threat for the country I've loved my entire life, I cannot scoop her up and charge up the beach to safety.
There are some who have vetoed alarm over our changing America as just more politics as usual. One party rising, the other party declining and the typical transitional grousing. But this is so much more than a change in the White House. America is changed. Probably forever.
The problem is greater than a staggering debt, greater than bailouts, greater than stimulus/spending, greater than economics, greater than stem cells or infanticide, greater than tax evading "leaders", greater than lousy appointees, greater than illegal immigrants, greater than Fannie or Freddie, greater than job losses, greater than trade deficits, greater than trade agreements, greater than health care availability, greater than guaranteed retirements for unionists while the rest of us lose everything, greater than energy , greater than emissions, greater than the debacles with AIG or GM or Citi or Madoff or any of the other duplicitous thieves in or out of government.
Now, now, now , right damn NOW we are a nation of people who have not just abandoned the idea of doing the "right" thing. Tragically, we have enlarged on that unconscionable transgression to shrugging off government sanctioned policies to reward really bad and extremely vicious behaviors and viciously punishing reliable, responsible, good behaviors.