Yesterday I got lost, literally and figuratively, walking the aisles of a sprawling antique mall. Rodeo boots, old records and photos, hats, salt and pepper shakers of every kind..it was a trip through time and more than anything a stark reminder of how much America has changed.
When I flopped into the car with my loot, (I bought a large metal candlestick that I am going to use as a base for a small accent table) I couldn’t help but feel a palpable sense of loss. There was a talk show host on the radio ironically discussing this very same thing. His main focus was a man involved with the Clinton E-mail deletion mess who had just that day ignored a subpoena to appear before congress.
No one ignores a subpoena..or at least no one used to.
But today life is different. The host went on to discuss the football players refusing to stand for the National Anthem and other examples of the eroding respect for our legal system, duties, morals, values, traditions and for each other. There’s a self centered energy in the air that is tinged with a distinct note of self-righteous anarchy. Heck, look at the folks running for President and their loose relationships with the law & truth!
Ask any teacher, cop, doctor, waitress or council member if they have noticed the change.
Most disturbing is the justification and normalization of this behavior. It makes me think of my old neighbors in Florida, one of whom is the Principal at a private school, who simply stopped paying their mortgage to get out from under the collapsing value of their home. It took Wells Fargo two years to catch up to them, and when they finally did.. our neighbors simply moved out in the middle of the night. He’s still working at the same school and his wife started her own business in town, no doubt with all the money they saved not paying their mortgage. I bumped into them once at Paneras’ a few months after they left without saying goodbye.. they engaged in small talk as if nothing had happened… as if dumping their home didn’t ultimately affect the value of ours.
And what about Wells Fargo? Well, this week it was revealed that over 5,000 of their employees were involved in a scheme to open up credit cards without authorization so they could meet quotas and rake in their commissions. 5,000 people! I guess it’s hard to point the finger at deadbeat customers like my neighbors when you’re busy filling out thousands of fake credit card applications.
All of which brings me back to this…
Scattered amongst the silver platters and dusty, old barbies at the antique mall were religious artifacts of every imaginable kind. Crosses and statues, stars of David and prayer beads..symbols of a belief in something far greater than ourselves.
It is this belief in God that guides me daily and gives me hope in the midst of despair. My faith is my compass in a directionless world, the bright light that illuminates even the darkest corners, the one constant in an existence that keeps changing. My faith is a refuge, a sanctuary, an outlet for recharging my battery. My faith is a lifeline and a life preserver; an affirmation that there is good news and to share it with all who will receive it.
This world will never live up to my utopian vision, but thankfully my hope doesn’t rest in the world..
..or the results of this upcoming election.