Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Don't Even Know What To Title This

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~FDR

The fact that someone already made these words famous means that our countries, our world has seen frightening, nerve-wracking times before. And, lived to tell about it. But, the fact that these words could apply just as equally to our time as to the one that spurred those words does not make me feel any better.

In fact, I am truly resentful and actually confused by how I feel about everything. I only know that I think it is absolutely unnecessary and wonder how we can continue to allow things to spiral so out of control.

You know I'm not an alarmist by nature. I pretty much face a day with the notion of "Sufficient unto a day it's own troubles..." I don't go borrowing angst and worry. As much as I'm pretty calm in the face of crazy, my brother Glenn, is even more calm. There are times when you want to check to make sure he has a pulse!

Last night we're on the telephone catching up and he asks, "Did you see the news story on CBS Evening News about the new community of tunnel/under bridge dwellers that has formed in Las Vegas of all places?" When I said I hadn't, he started to tell me some of the details.

It seems that so many have lost their homes, their jobs, their stuff, that they've formed communities under bridges and in tunnels for shelter. They showed a guy taking a shower by standing under the run off that comes from above when it rains. How disgusting is that? He says to me with incredulity, "What the hell is wrong with the people who are supposed to be in charge of the United States that they would let this country come to this!?"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I was shocked by that story. Not because I'm clueless about the homeless people in our country. I did, after all, grow up in a major metropolitan city. Yes, homeless people are part of the background of life and an ongoing problem. But, in Las Vegas? Really?! "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," now takes on a completely new and disturbing aspect!

I countered with the Atlanta story that has me concerned, where so many people waited in a parking lot just to get the APPLICATIONS for Section 8 Housing, that the crowd turned violent. There were people waiting in that parking lot who had traveled from Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee! REALLY? Just for the application, just to get the paper work, to HOPE that they might end up with a place to live. Getting into fights over the hopes of living in shit-box Section 8 Housing!!!

This is another one of my open ended blogs. Because, first of all, I can't get my head around the desperate measures and times we are finding ourselves. It's not just the U.S.; it's almost a global epidemic! And, secondly, because I have absolutely no idea how this is going to turn out or what can be done to course correct. I want to do something about this but I don't have a clue as to what that might be...

For me, what has my mind chasing in circles is the extremes of the spectrum I keep reading about. The increasingly clear differences between the haves and the 'sucks to be yous'. It's not the facts of any of these stories per se, it's more about what I'm afraid they're illustrating.

For instance, as far as I'm concerned, it's not about the First Lady recently taking a plane to SPAIN that we payed for as tax payers...a plane holding all the Secret Service etc, that must go with her when she travels. She has a right to vacation and take her daughter there. She has the right to have her friends all stay in the suites she reserved in the luxury hotel of her choosing.

She and her husband are millionaires. Did you know that? Yeah. They are. They don't breathe the same air as the majority of us. She doesn't have to. And, because she has that sort of money and life style, she has the privilege to spend her vacation as she wants. Where she wants. With whom she wishes to share it. But, can she really be that insensitive and uncaring? Or, am I expecting too much of her?

Someone in an OpEd compared her behavior to that of Marie Antoinette. And, I say shame on them! Because Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake," when the French peasants were starving. No, that was the Queen two queens before her, the wife of Louis the XIV who said such a inflammatory thing. Marie was actually a pretty caring Queen and did a great deal of good works...her major flaw was she didn't have me as her PR person.

Even though Marie didn't say that line, it's pretty clear what the writer meant by that comparison. I can't say that I can argue against it. Sure, she paid for the vacation, but the very steep transportation to SPAIN, (did I tell you she spent her money in SPAIN?) Well, that we didn't need to take on right now...

I point that story out because it's almost like something from Dickens...isn't it? It was the best of times; it was the worst of times... A 21st century version of a Tale of Two Cities.

The divide between all of us as individuals seems to be turning into a chasm that is likely to swallow up the world as we know it. I'm not sure that it can survive if it keeps on this path. Actually, with each day that passes, I'm becoming more certain that it won't survive.

The First Lady of the United States, aka Michelle Obama, went to Spain with friends on her vacation, while a man in Las Vegas stands in the run off from the road above to keep clean. And, my head can't make those two extremes come into focus as being acceptable.

I am generally hopeful and trust in the rightness of things as they are in the moment that they are...but I swear to you...I feel trouble, cataclysmic trouble heading our way. And, I don't know what we can do to stop it before it slams into us. Indeed it is the best of times and the worst of times. Only to get worse and worse before it can ever get better.

That's all I got for now.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Afraid


Sarah said...

Yeah...I understand how you feel Holly...but then again you knew I would. Being from the just have crawled out of the hole of poverty and ever teetering on the edge of falling in again..I can imagine what that poor man is doing..I too have used public showers( but thankfully not runoff water)..cause we didn't have one...sold everything I owned for one more month of rent..dug in the couch for milk money...I get it. Thankfully I never was homeless..very close..but managed to stay out of that pit.
As for our First Lady..I for one was disappointed that she didn't pay for it all herself. It seemed foolishly insensitive to be so lavish in the midst of all of this poverty spreading like a disease across the country. It kinda reminded me of when the black plaque invaded cities of old and the rich folks went to the country, leaving the poor to die.
K..just my thoughts here!!
Hugs to you hon, Sarah

Cinner said...

It really seems so unfair, I notice things here too, Unnecessary trips being taken, or meetings costing thousands of dollars, programs being cut all over. They just cut a program in regards to domestic violence, put it in place and then take it away, etc. gangs are getting worse, and more and more common, life still goes forward for those with money. I worry too about the outcome, that is why I still try to do what I can with the limited funds I have. Since I got sick I have felt that we are all 2 or 3 paychecks away from being homeless if your on that lower income scale. Just my thoughts, reminds me how blessed I still am, at least for now....and that is why I focus on today....hugs, c

Robyn said...

Hi Holly...
It is never easy to see other people suffering or hear of it.
My understanding of what is happening in the USA is a result of a community of very greedy people that led to the suffering of many and is continuing to do so.

This as we all know isn't anything new as there are large numbers of people at any one time in our world going without basic human needs, as a direct result of others greed.

We are very fortunate here in Australia as it has not yet impacted us and doesn't appear that it will to the degree that it is in your corner of the world.
I'm sure our turn will come.

This is a very passionate and well written post Holly and one that I hope many people will read.

I hope you will consider sending this to your local newspaper.

best wishes for a life filled with love for us all
x Robyn

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

And we are all stuck in the middle. I was not impressed when our President encouraged us to all vacation in the Gulf because they needed the help and then he turned around and went to Maine!! It's definitely a two sided coin.

Thank you for putting it out there for us so eloquently!

Eileen said...

Well Holly, in ways I do see what your message is trying to convey, but then again you'll just have to lump my daughter in with that critique ... she too went to Spain for her vacation a month ago and spent a great deal of money to do so and spent her money IN Spain! And I do not think that any of us feels good about anyone living under a bridge. And I, too, think that things seem to be getting scarier. BUT my daughter spends her work-a-day life caring for those that are among the "have-nots", giving all that she can to make a difference. MO has been given much media coverage on her efforts to help the less fortunate. I can no more hold it against MO that she and her husband have worked their way into a life of economic success than I can hold it against my own daughter. NOT taking their trips to Spain would not have changed much, but their work to keep us all mindful of helping those that need us along the way should count for a laudable way to stay in touch with humankind in these difficult times. I think your post should cause each of us to look inside ... at our own efforts in to make that difference ... I can say that I know I could do better myself.

Holly said...

I'm with you on this one...I truly meant what I wrote about The First Lady taking her vacation where she chooses. She has the money and the right to do that. I'm questioning the part of doing it when it meant that the tax payers had to fund her transportation because she can't go as a private citizen.

Your daughter who works very hard, also deserves to spend her vacation where she wishes. I don't have to help her with the transportation. She did that on her own. Therein lies the difference.

I think all of us have the right to do what we think is in our best interests. I'm questioning the timing. I'm questioning the perceived lack of public relations in some of the choices.

I'm chaffing against the, "Do as I say, don't do as I do..." coming from many of our leaders.

Your daughter is not one of those people. I know this about her completely.

I think you've missed my point here by even putting K in the comparison position.

Love to You and K!

Eileen said...

Holly, practically speaking, I think we cannot ask our elected presidents and vice-presidents to forego overseas travel when "times are tough", because there are ALWAYS a portion of the population in great need. And our presidents and vice-presidents in office, and even after they leave office, travel with secret service and cost the taxpayers for some portion of their vacations. I, personally, think that the amazing sacrifice those people and their families make for us to serve the good of the nation is so extraordinary, I often wonder why anyone wants the job. So to think that traveling overseas is "off limits" is too much to ask no matter what party holds the office. If a trip to Spain works for my daughter, then it works for MO for me too ... I see my taxes spent on much worse.

I still say the more important question from your blog ought to be "what are we, your readers, doing to help out in our little part of the world?"

Cinner said...

Holly happy birthday to your father in love, I read your comment over at Sarahs. Please know I am praying for the best and strength for you all. hugs.

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