Underneath our everyday energy and our cheerful demeanors we are carrying around the sorrows of our world. We have sluggish bands of thick oil rolling around in our guts, in our hearts are our soldiers who risk their lives everyday for all of us and for America. In our heads run images of Haitians, and Africans, and North Koreans, and Iranians and all the places where one group of humans oppresses another group of humans. This underlying sense of dread makes it difficult to enjoy our lives. It makes us feel guilt at the way we continue to pursue a prosperous and happy life.
I have come to believe, however, that holding out the example of people who get to pursue a “good” and happy life is important for all the people who are in the midst of living with these demoralizing conditions. When America experiences problems with economics, with squabbling, we add to the sorrows of the world by removing hope. It seems counterintuitive, but if we keep America strong and hopeful, leading satisfying, productive lives it makes the whole world feel more stable. It is also the best thing we can do for our soldiers. It must be more difficult to defend a country that seems to be slipping. I would think it gives our soldiers strength when they see that they will get to come home to a healthy America.
Therefore, it seems, it is our patriotic duty to solve our current problems, to clean up the awful oil spill somehow, to get our economy moving again and to heal the rancor between the various segments of our population. If we can’t solve all of this right now, we can at least put on an optimistic face. I guess we just have to live with the dichotomy. We can’t ignore the valleys, but we still need to look forward to the peaks.