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Short term / Long term

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A couple of weeks ago, my daughter came to me and asked, "How do you cope?"

"With?"

"You know – Iraq, 911, Detainee Bill, Racism, stem cell research, gay rights, Chaney, Bush, Neocons, taxes, death, the Red Sox not being in the playoffs – you know, stuff."

"The Sox just had too many injuries all at the wrong time."

Long pause, and that don't-bullshit-me-dad look.

"Well, I've always leaned more toward Evolution than Revolution. Things just don't happen all at once. It takes time. Make a change in yourself and pass it on. You change, then maybe you get a couple people to think about things they hadn't thought about before, and maybe they change and do the same. In time. . ."

"Doesn't seem to be working, does it."

"Nope." Long pause.

" Back in the 60's, or as you guys call it 'back in the day', we didn't do a very good job of it. Way too 'in your face' to really make a change, so it resulted in a backlash. Hair too long. Beards. Young nubile ladies running around without bras. Drugs, Sex & Rock 'n Roll. Hendrix and Janis OD-ing didn't help. Burned some flags and protested against all the evils of the time. Folks couldn't handle that and we weren't bright enough to realize it.

"Long and short of it is we forgot our roots, or if we didn't forget, we sure didn't give them much respect. My folks were first generation Americans. They were born pre-Depression, went through wars and hard times. They came here not speaking English, and they learned. I don't speak Italian because it wasn't allowed in the house.

"When I was a kid, there were still wagons being pulled by horses, my grandpa swapped some bootlegged wine for cuts from some farmer's calf or a dozen fresh eggs, and by the time I was in college we'd taken that 'one small step for man'.

"Things moved real fast. Maybe too fast. And it kept speeding. I had a typewriter and slide rule. You have a computer that fits on your lap. You carry more songs around in your hip pocket than I had on 45's and LP's."

"You're talking around it"

"Yea, 'cause I ain't coping real well."

So, that gets me to the meat of this. There's way too much going down to deal with all of it. I don't think it can be done, and maybe that's the notion behind it– keep them occupied and they can't really accomplish anything.

Well, besides "Evolution not Revolution", my other firm belief is, "let's boil the water off, get down to the salt of things, and work from there".

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I've never claimed to have all of the answers, but refuse to sacrifice my right to ask all of the questions and expect answers in return. One needs to have a lot of ideas in order to stumble across a few good ones.
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