Promises, Promises.  Oh, Hollow Promises.
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Promises, Promises. Oh, Hollow Promises. • Posted: Dec 31, 2017 20:07:27Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Earlier this year I sat on a veranda overlooking Sebasco Harbor on the coast of Maine. I couldn’t help noticing a young father and his son who had climbed out onto the rocks to sit and watch the sun set over the waters. The child did not leave his father’s side. He did not run to the edge of the rocks to touch the water. He did not thrill to the seagulls landing close by. He did ask of his father the nature of the sailboats moored in the bay. And he did point to a skiff bobbing on gentle waves bringing a family of sailors back toward shore. But, the father did not look up. He was glued to his phone, presumably reading the unsettling news of the day. Neither were fully engaged with each other, nor with the landscape before them.

Such social disconnect has been commented upon before by many. What has me thinking now, though, is the tentativeness of their demeanor, both of the son and of the father. The seagulls beside them on the rocks showed more self-assuredness. I ask now, what makes the timid so timid? Who has pulled the rug out from under them so many times that they have grown so afraid of nearly everything?

I am reminded of an attempt at humor offered me long ago when my son was the age of that young boy. The interlocutor asserted that all children should be encouraged to leap into their parent’s arms only to have the parent withdraw their arms, leaving the child to fall on their face. “A good lesson on life,” the interlocutor said to me, and smiled.

Yeah, well . . . I cannot say that I agree, then or now. But life certainly does offer quite frequent instances of betrayal. Too many instances for too many, if you ask me.

And what happens to society if no one can trust anyone to follow through on what they have promised? Lending will stop. Investment will stop. Hoarding will ensue. Grabbing and scratching and panic will set in. Fortresses will be erected. Weapons will be raised. Nothing and no one will be safe from rape and plunder and sneering fearful vengeful hate.

Is that the kind of world we want for ourselves? Really? Is that what we want to see happen, to ourselves? To our children? To the world that supports us so benevolently with air and water and food?

I have to say, that is not the world I wish to leave behind when my life is through. What about you?

May the new year bring enlightenment, as well as fair and purposeful and fulfilling resolution, to more and more and more of us.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
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