Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Funday: There But For Grace...

It's been another long week for us, and there are a dozen more of them ahead this year, between now and the election - something most of our colleagues in politics and the media are also looking at with a mixture of excitement and dread.

The daylight has begun to be noticeably shorter, college and pro football have begun to ramp up, and other signs of the end of summer have also appeared. School's back in session, with all the standard worries and joys that implies, and "Fair season" is back in much of the country too.

It doesn't happen every time there's a change in seasons, but once in a blue moon - one of which happens later this month - the seasonal changeover hits us like a senior tackle who's been itching to give a solid hit all summer long.

Admittedly, we may be feeling the change more this year because of the very job we're doing for you right now.

Just look at what's going on in the news.

A new book by investigative journalist Michael Grunwald proves what many Americans have believed all along - that Republicans in Congress planned from President Obama's very first day in office to obstruct him and drive our federal government to a grinding halt.

Republicans and right-wingers have become dangerously paranoid, including threats of violence and revolution if they don't win this fall - an adult version of a three-year old's temper tantrum. Extremists on the right have not only ramped up voter intimidation techniques, they outright admit they want to prevent some Americans from voting.

Racism seems to be back with a vengeance, and misogyny too - even in the very document that spells out the deepest held beliefs of the Republican Party. None of that even touches on the insanity of some policy proposals promoted by leaders in the current GOP - or as it used to be called, the extreme right.

When the ridiculous nature of things in America right now drags down our spirits, we try to talk a walk, talk with some friends, and count our blessings.

Things could be so much worse. Instead of working longer hours than ever, we could be without jobs. Or we could be living in Syria right now, where a real civil war, being fought with guns and bombs and tanks, is killing real people every day.

We could be one of the 400,000 people still living in tent cities in Haiti, thanks to the earthquake back in 2010. Those people are directly in the path of Hurricane Issac - but most of them didn't even realize there was a hurricane on the way until yesterday.

There are piles and piles of reasons that most of us - and probably most of you too - could look at our lives and be less than thrilled with the challenges facing us over the next few weeks and months.

There's just one reason we shouldn't complain.

Things could be so much worse.
And yet, they're not.

We don't live in Haiti or Syria. We have enough money to pay the bills, keep roofs over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food in our bellies. Our loved ones are generally in good health, and we're not getting sacked by massive college or mortgage debt.

Plus? It's Friday, and we have the weekend to relax and recharge.

Count your blessings and breathe, folks. Eleven weeks to the election.

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