It’s August 15, 2016, and it’s the first day of the new school year. I couldn’t help but notice on Facebook early this morning the many posts displaying smiling faces of young ones dressed and ready for the first day of school. There were pictures of happy faces from kindergarten to high school seniors. I took the time to offer up a short prayer for them all, including the teachers, bus drivers and all support staff who will be working hard to provide a successful year for them all. And I didn’t forget the parents, who’ll be relieved from the responsibility of providing entertainment during the summer months, but who’ll also be concerned about their precious ones while they’re out of sight for most of each day over the next nine months.
As much as I hate to think about it, I couldn’t help but give thoughts to the darkness that looms unwelcome in the corners of our society. There are the deranged among us who will seek opportunities to do harm to our most precious commodity, our hope for the future. I can’t forget Sandy Hook, Columbine and other places of learning that were unexpectedly assaulted by sick individuals who sought to do harm to innocence. It’s a strange world in which we live today, where security measures are not only in place at our prisons, but also at our schools. Schools are places where the pursuit of learning and social development should take place without fear of violence. Unfortunately, all of our institutions, e.g., family, religion, education, and government, purposed for development and safety, are required to be on alert for reasons which have nothing to do with their charge.
Though I pray and have some degree of fear for our children, who are off each day to their places of education, I’m still hopeful that the vast majority of them will emerge from their educational journeys as beacons of light, ready to serve society. Our charge for now is to love them, pray for them, and keep an eye on them, to ensure that they can live and develop to their fullest potential without fear of harm.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
In recent months and weeks, I’ve heard countless opinions expressed about Donald Trump and his disrespectful comments made about Mexicans, Muslims and many others. It has become somewhat of a hobby to see who he’ll insult today. I have developed certain opinions about Mr. Trump, and they are not complimentary even the least bit. However, I’ve been giving some serious thought to Mr. Trump and his opinions about a lot of things, and it’s clear to me that he shouldn’t be attributed the blame for his rise. Isn’t it obvious that he wouldn’t be enjoying the amount of popularity he now revels in, if it weren’t for the opinions of many Americans? Many of our fellow citizens have harbored racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic attitudes for years. Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency has given these pitiful Americans an opportunity to demonstrate their sickness publicly; he’s put a stamp of approval on how they feel. It’s legitimate now to be who thy so dearly want to be.
I’ve seen my country go through the turmoil of the sixties, when the civil rights movement came to adulthood, with people marching in the streets, making their voices heard with demands for justice, freedom and the so-called American way. I’ve also seen much advancement in the workplace, with women and minorities achieving heights never imagined in the first half of the twentieth century. With all of the good things that we’ve achieved in America, there was always the suspicion that institutional racism, sexism, as well as all other kinds of social injustice would keep a tap on the dream that Martin Luther King had. That dream is alive and well, but unfortunately it’s still a dream in many ways. The actions of a few and the attitude exhibited by many of the Donald Trump followers make it abundantly clear that the dream is still blanketed by a cloud of darkness.
Though I’m still hopeful for our country and its citizens, along with the millions of invited guests that come to experience all that we hold sacred, I’m fully aware that full social and political justice want come in my life time. There always seems to be something lying just beneath the surface which keeps so many from realizing the American dream as their reality. I’m a believer in God, and as such I believe there will come a time when all who identifies completely with Him will live in complete harmony. I also believe God wants us to carve out a heavenly example for our existence here on earth. Unfortunately, that example will never reach mass proportion. Therefore, we look to the good in so many of us to keep the bad in too many of us from causing all of us to careen down a hill into oblivion. I’m trusting in the good to keep Mr. Trump out of the White House in November.