A big part of parenting is assurance to your children, beginning at young ages, that things will be okay; there are no monsters under the bed, you’ll find friends in your new school, keep your head on straight and your wits about you in your new job.
As you know, your assurances continue into their adulthood. The horrific events in Paris were yet another time for parenting to calm the waters and lend your older perspective to an uneven, uncertain world. The monsters have changed from the harmless childhood variety to the chilling persona of pure evil.
Our answers become a little more complex but are assurance nonetheless. Our children may be older now but the truism for their parents is that parenting never stops.
November 17, 2015
Ellen/Reid: Ellen, as to your question ‘… is the world going to end?’ given the horrific Paris massacre, my answer tilts toward ‘no.’ The murderous ISIS thugs might be propagating a new generation of insanity but the world has been down this road before. I think it’s a question each generation asks itself when the world seems headed toward certain ruin: ‘What is going to happen to us?’ Your grandparents in the 1940s asked it of the Nazis. In the 1950s we wondered if the hair-trigger nuclear standoff with the Soviets would be the end of us. The solution has been a world that stands united rather than divided and arrives at a strategy to end the evil. I suspect that is what will happen this time around but likely not before more pain is inflicted. What ISIS is successful at is promoting fear. Granted, there aren’t many direct parallels between times long ago and now, but President Roosevelt told Americans at the onset of World War II that the only thing we had to fear “was fear itself.” We have to have calmer, sensible heads come to the head of the table. It’s interesting to me that the focal point of this strife, this woe, touches on religion. How is it that religion excuses such killing in the name of its God? The temptation, as the late Air Force General Curtis LeMay promoted, was to nuclear bomb our enemies “back to the Stone Age.” No doubt we’ll have to match ISIS force with force – but not to their level of brutality – yet my uneducated guess is the strategy has to be much broader at several different levels; diplomacy, a consistent unity between nations, a smack down of the caliphate and its rogue mullahs by moderate Muslims, etc. It will take time, but we can’t just use air power or boots on the ground. My take is that the Syrian refugee situation is a good chance for us to show the rest of the Muslim world that we are true to our founding principles, principles some Republicans seem to forget. Granted, no one – no Democrat, no Republican – can guarantee we can stop every threat, but that’s what America was founded on, an acceptance of those fleeing religious and political tyranny and persecution – and death.
So now that takes us to Thanksgiving. Reid, I’ve been stocking up on just about everything that we’ll need. Most food, including a number of bottles of nice wine, is already in boxes to make the trip to Hilton Head. The menu is decided. It’ll be pretty much a stock Thanksgiving meal. The wild card meal and perhaps fitting since we’ll be in the low country, and perhaps for Wednesday evening, is a low country boil. It’s shrimp, sausage, red potatoes, onions, corn on the cob (seasoned by plenty of Old Bay) and that could be right tasty before we head into the T-Day meal. I’m counting on you to help me cook. Sondra is a great cook (particularly Italian) but she’s just coming off back surgery last week and I’m loathe to have her stand around and help. I told her she could advise from a safe distance while she drinks wine. She seems okay with that. Our friends Christie and Doug come down late on Thanksgiving day. They’ll likely golf on Friday with Jody while Sondra rides along. You and I might hit the ocean in kayaks to fish since Miss Emma will make the trip, too.
Not much real news on the retirement front. Still wrestling with Medicare but there’s a sliver of hope on that score. Hopefully it will be decided sooner than later. Had ‘the talk’ with John and knock on wood, things seem in okay shape. I’ve still got through mid-March to move things along. I’m trying to downsize the household budget and I might pick your brain, Reid, on a few tech items that might make things simpler and cheaper for me. But we can talk about that on the long ride back to Charlotte. Oh, and in case you forgot, we’ll head to Mac’s on Saturday or Sunday night. It wouldn’t be an official visit without paying homage to that place.