If you don’t get the irony in the following, well…
A customer comes to our frame shop to get a cross stitch of a verse framed. For whatever reason, she decides while colors are being chosen to lay into the myriad and obvious issues with the current POTUS. Not just politically, but you know, the same old same old, he’s the anti-Christ foreign-born socialist garbage.
The verse? proverbs 21:23. He who Guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
So, really, What WOULD Jesus Do?
I was a child in the 70’s, living in a house with one black and white TV (perfectly typical for the time) a TV with channels 2,4,5,7,9,11, and 13, and a very limited window in which we were allowed to even turn the thing on. The news was not a thing force-fed from the dining room of every restaurant or doctors waiting room, indeed the news was not even a constant show. You needed to wait till 6, 10 or 11 pm to watch the news. My family got the news from the three newspapers we took in— The New York Times and The Daily News in the mornings, and the Staten Island Advance in the afternoon.
The papers didn’t have full color images. The TV didn’t offer full-color, real time opportunities to be bombarded with reality.
The first news event I recall was the landing on the moon; that I did see on TV in 1969. The next two news events of my life were in 1974— Patty Hearst, of which I understood little, but attempted to follow because her name was the same as mine. (That’s how kids minds work.) I remember where I was when it was announced that Nixon resigned; I was at Ben Becker’s Camp Nassau fishing with a counselor named Bridget. I didn’t understand fully the significance of the hostages in ‘80 but we always watched the Presidential debates, States of the Union and of course, the World Series.
Today, children (and adults) are bombarded 24/7 with news. Every utterance or flicker of movement by whomever or whatever it is that has the media’s fancy at the moment is immortalized. We see and hear EVERYTHING. Little ears and eyes pick up information that they can’t possibly categorize or understand. They see things that they have no ability to separate from the fantasy of movies, TV shows or video games.
Bin Laden’s death is just one more in a series of overwhelming pieces of information. The perfect parent monitors what their child watches. So many children have access to the remote control and a TV in their bedroom, and let’s be blunt, less than perfect parents. But even the perfect parent would be hard pressed to keep the notion of cheering when the bad guy takes a bullet in the eye as being acceptable. (Don’t we ask children to learn empathy?) Do we need to possibly allow for them to SEE it, too?
Look, I am relieved to know that he is gone. I wish in a way it had been in a hail of bullets, that he was shooting first, (but had poor aim; I understand the other side, that of having it be justified in that fashion could have meant causalities for our SEALS and that is not at all what I am suggesting.) I also understand how utterly evil he was.
The people who are determined to not believe he is dead are not going to be shut up by photos. I can manipulate a photo, so can others. I am happy for the closure, however little it gives. I was there in New York, I watched the towers fall, (live in person) I cried at funerals and smelled the smoky air for weeks. I get it.
Never discuss politics or religion, right? Isn’t that how it goes? So, how about that weather? Tsunamis and earthquakes and floods and tornadoes, videos of death and destruction day after day ..…More things to worry the small child, who can’t understand if they are safe. Who don’t know how to ask, but may wake with nightmares they can’t explain.
So, let’s all just accept that if we see Bin Laden with his eye blown out we can’t unsee it, let’s believe the man is dead; let’s believe the president didn’t become president by some major fluke but has the intelligence to do the job, let’s believe the hundreds of thousands of people will have a safe home and a warm blanket tonight. Reality sucks, and so many are hurting.
Now that we are about to become grandparents, the smaller and smaller window of innocence provided to children these days really kind of hits you, and it is truly sad.
Happy Mother’s Day to you if you have ever taken part in helping a child grow!