Happy New Year?
As we stand on the threshold of a new year, people in my line of work are expected to say something profound.
We often disappoint.
At this time last year, was there any of us who anticipated what we were to face in the Year of Our Lord 2020? Answer: Nope. There was not a Nostradamus among us.
I will crawl out on the limb and say 2021 will be better than 2020. How could it be worse? 2020 was the crappiest year in memory.
Here I am being optimistic. Is that warranted, or is pessimism a more accurate flavor? How do you feel about the coming year?
I do have one idea.
When we get the all clear, that the sonofabitch virus is contained, the day we get to take off our masks becomes a national holiday — Masks Off Day that we celebrate annually.
No, not a legal holiday, just a happy one. Maybe we drag our masks out of the closet and show them to friends and family. Maybe a competition for the most colorful, or funny, or appropriate mask.
Just a thought.
In 2021 we will more appreciate being with friends and family, and even being in a crowd of strangers without fear of infection. Dining in a restaurant will be a treat again, along with sporting events, the theater and concerts. All of life’s little pleasures we had taken for granted.
Do you suppose some hidden hand behind this offered this as a lesson?
We’ve been put through the ringer this year. Some of us responded heroically — I am thinking mostly of doctors and nurses who exposed themselves to death — but to a lesser degree so did anyone connected with the supermarkets and drug stores that kept us fed and supplied, and first responders. But it also exposed those cowards who hoarded, or gouged, or conducted themselves… dishonorably.
Can we discuss honor, or is that too incredibly old fashioned to find service in the 21st Century?
If someone today said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” they would be laughed out of the room by progressives as some sort of an authoritarian fascist. Along with honor, sacrifice seems to be a word, a concept, out of step with the self-centered times.
For Christmas, out of the blue, a friend gave me a copy of “The Last American Hero,” a biography of astronaut-turned-senator John Glenn, written by Alice L. George, who was the managing editor of the Philadelphia Daily News for a short time during my long internment there.
The recurring words in the bio were patriotic, family, small town, curiosity, loyalty, religious, humility, brave, service, humorous. . . The embodiment of what he was a member of — the Greatest Generation.
That term was not an empty bouquet. These were the men — and women — who survived the Great Depression, set the world free from the Axis, then returned home to build the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen, even while helping our Allies — and our enemies — to get to their feet. America won the war and owned the peace.
That is one of the reasons we are an exceptional nation.
Not a perfect nation, but an exceptional one.
And if that is true, and we have come off the canvas before to win the bout, how can I not believe that in 2021 we will begin to turn this mess around?
As I tell my short-of-faith friends, don’t bet against America.