Commentary: America, be gracious

By Joseph Stine

2020: What a year and it’s only half over!

Let me ramble on. It’s like we woke up from a bad dream to find out that the dream wasn’t as bad as reality. I am feeling nudged to share my take on everything for relief from this emotional hurt as an earthling.

Mixed feelings! Strong feelings! Hey, somebody fix this world! Terrible, terrible things have happened that should not happen … it’s 2020!

We’ve been to the moon and are going to Mars. Gee, people on the International Space Station seem to get along OK. There are African American astronauts and scientists. Everyone should know that … it’s 2020!

But not everyone with feet on the ground will become famous scientists, doctors, lawyers, sports legends or presidents. Most people on Earth, of all varieties, will just try to do the common things people do: go to school, find love, get a job, buy a house, start a family. Technology keeps changing, and it seems people stay the same. But that technology can cause problems, too, if bad things get out of the lab! But we boldly go forward … it’s 2020!

Star wars await us. Oh, no! It’s exciting, all the entertainment and gadgets we enjoy. They empower us, maybe too much. We want to be. We want to do. Thousands of ideas, images, opinions, flash past us daily. Let’s see … how can I get ahead, make my mark, make it big, get rich or, sadly, at least feel important for 15 minutes by killing somebody?

A lesson for children on the CNN/“Sesame Street” reaction to the George Floyd incident (why do people do those things?) is that hurt people hurt people. This is a gracious answer to children. So, if life and people would just stop hurting us, people should be better in generations to come. But isn’t that what we thought back in the ’60s with the peace and love generation? Somebody didn’t get it, learn it and pass it on! So, here we are … its 2020!

How come we learn how to build computers and get to Mars, but not how to get along with all peoples? In the long run (still rambling here) we are just spirits enclosed in a human shell (of many varieties). The shell lasts 75 years or so. Whatever your beliefs are (mine are Christian ‒ my gracious God rocks!) your story as an earthling is all you did. Famous or average, rich or poor, free or in prison, your story ends. There are no do-overs, and the choices you make, you own! You can’t blame anyone ‒ personal responsibility matters whatever your life is like.

So, if you hurt, there is help available, even online. It’s 2020, you should know that!

All of what is happening right now in the news will pass away. Let’s not forget what we have learned. Think of others. Be better than great, America, be gracious (like Big G up above)! Let that be the new normal! Forget the Dow Jones and your credit score. Earthlings: We are all in all of this ‒ together ‒ for all time!

Joseph Stine lives in Smyrna.