Preparedness

Author: admin

When I was a young man, doing the things young men do, I’d often wonder what lay ahead in life. What would old age feel like? What memories would I have? What travels would I undertake? Where would I go? What lay ahead?

Now, with more than 85 years behind me, I can answer those questions and the dozens of others that came to mind along the way.

As a youngster on the ranch, I learned – regardless of years – work came early and would define much of life. Not overwork. Ranch kid labors such as feeding the animals or driving a tractor or picking up fallen fruit in the orchards at the same age. Learning the value – and sometimes pain – of work.

We lived through World War II, then Korea, then Viet Nam, then Desert Storm, then Iraq and Afghanistan. Seemed war – somewhere in the world involving our country’s young folks – was a constant presence. We learned to live with it. More than that, we served some years in uniform ourselves. It’s what you did.

We learned about recessions the hard way. We lived them. Things got tight, then scarce. We learned sacrifice – not getting things we thought we had to have – not getting them because times were tight.

These were all part of the American way of life.

We also enjoyed the rights and privileges of such a life – the freedoms that seemed to always be there. Growing up, there were good times to offset the occasional bad ones. We had families, traveled, enjoyed some success at various occupations and always had enough to pay the bills. It all seemed natural. As if we deserved everything that came our way. The “American way.”

But, some of the things that “came our way” in recent years we weren’t prepared for. National anger. Divisions costing us friends and sometimes causing even the loss of the company of family members. Armed people in the streets challenging authority and posing threats to our security. Political strife. And a Congress mired in division and under attack.

Most of all, we weren’t prepared for a President of these United States to be at the root of efforts to overturn our government and our way of life. We didn’t see the depth of deception. We weren’t really aware how close we came to losing control of our Republic. And still are.

We’d likely still never have learned of the real dangers were it not for various investigative efforts by responsible holders of offices at different levels of government – State and Federal.

During the four year presidency of Donald Trump, enough Americans learned of his unsuitability to hold office that he was defeated when he tried to be re-elected. Since that time, some 18 months ago, we’ve been made painfully aware of his political depravity and criminal lengths to which he’d go to retain the power of that presidency.

We now know Trump deliberately turned an armed mob on our nation’s Capitol and even reportedly made an attempt to join them. We now know he was aware of the weapons in the crowd and even tried to make it possible to keep them hidden. We now know, when there were chants of “hang Mike Pence,” he agreed with the crowd if his Vice President did not void a national election.

This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. The events of January, 2021 are not the events we’ve always associated with the legitimate change of administrations of duly elected officials. The mostly corroborated, stunning testimony of a young White House aide regarding the words and actions of Trump during that time have shocked and saddened us. Those are not the “words and actions” we expect of the head of our national government.

Now, we face the early stages of a national recession. International companies are gouging us with high prices while consciously producing record profits. We have ever-increasing gas prices. Airline travel has become a mess of cancelled flights. We are experiencing national divisions in society, politics and business. We have a Congress reduced to inaction. And a U.S. Supreme Court legislating from the highest bench in the land.

Unlike the expected normalcy of American life, we are being buffeted by events – confounded by new disclosures of Trumps treachery – feeling untoward economic pressures – trying to understand daily economic and political changes rocking society.

As someone who’s four score plus, I’ve must admit, the times we’re living in are not the times I expected in my later years. At this juncture in life, you’re supposed to be relaxing, doing a bit of traveling, enjoying family. Not experiencing gas prices hobbling those travel plans. Not having to cut back because of corporate greed. Not watching daily unfolding of new facts about a former president trying to undermine our government.

I remember my Dad talking of how experiences of early youth growing up on a farm helped prepare him for the long life he lived. My own early years, so much like his, did not produce the same preparedness.

How could they?
 

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