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  • Betty Girardeau

Lost In The Fog

I wonder how many of us after the happenings in our nation's capital on Wednesday feel lost? What can we believe? Who can we believe? Who can we even trust anymore? Who is in control, or better yet, who should even be in control? As individual Americans we have had a year of being assaulted by a pandemic and politics of the worst sort. We are tired of it all. And yet none of it seems to be getting any better. How do we cope? I certainly don't have that answer, though I wish I did and, if I did, I would certainly share it immediately. But three ideas do come to mind. The first one has to do with taking care of ourselves, both mentally and physically. Physically we can find out as quickly as we can where and how soon we can be vaccinated. I plan to do more about that for myself today. Secondly I think we need to understand our government structure and how it is supposed to work based on the way it was set up by the Constitution. From conversations I have had with some friends as well as what I have heard and read on NPR and as unbiased as I can find newspapers and articles, too many of our citizens don't have a clue about how our government is structured and what powers are given to and denied to each of the three parts that make it up. Obviously, civics has not been taught for a long time. And for those that were taught, many have taken our government for granted and forgotten how it is all supposed to work together for the good of all. Democracy, when it seems to be working more or less correctly, is something so easily taken for granted. But it is actually very fragile. It is our personal obligation as citizens to understand how it works and what WE must do to keep it safe. For most of us what we have thought we had to do was to send our soldiers to far off countries to protect us and our freedoms, never thinking that maybe the enemy could be within and that, in fact, that enemy could be US. In the 1960s comic strip character Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." How true! Have we been too willing to believe unquestionably what we see and hear from friends, media and leaders that seem to support our values? Have we been ruled by our fears that the life and values we have always held dear were being trampled on or were being stolen without first educating ourselves about whether or not those values really might have been questionable anyway or that those we think are not supporting our ideals might not be as far to the right or left as we think they are? Have we somehow gotten lost in the fog of words and emotions that seem to be attacking us on all sides? If so, let us also seriously consider my third idea. Let us pray.

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