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Today we pause to shake our heads sadly at the woman in Arizona who, saying she was frustrated by the re-election of Barack Obama, tried to drive over her husband because he had neglected to vote. I’m guessing she was expecting him to vote for someone other than Obama.
Think about that for a moment. You live in Arizona, where you knew who had won the election before the last bites of early bird specials had been gobbled at your neighborhood Denny’s, and you are so irate at one vote not cast that you are trying to injure your beloved.
Or maybe he wasn’t such a beloved. Maybe he was an Army general who was tied up sending E-mails to a party planner.
Or maybe he was the head of the CIA, and she found out his involvement with his biographer/lover was going to force him to resign.
Or maybe his name was Cliff and he was bad in fiscal matters.
Has the National Enquirer taken over our world?
Look, I know this fiscal cliff stuff – and I emphasize the word stuff and all its possible synonyms – is important. All of us have lived at one time or another in fear of falling over it – some have fallen – so we should understand that if our nation stumbles into a crevasse of insolvency, then we have much deeper cracks in our future plans.
Of course, you would conceive that the great thinkers who lead our nation would be consumed with solving that problem rather than hurling oral brickbats at one another, but that would be too reasonable.
But now we are consumed with whether we should be concerned that the nation’s No. 1 spook was involved in a cover-up – or perhaps an un-cover-up – with a woman who wrote a book to tell us how great he was – at being a general. Shouldn’t the head of the CIA be more adroit at covert missions?
OK, you may not care about any of that. You didn’t care about Kay Summersby and Ike, so you surely don’t care about Paula Broadwell and Don (not the same ring, huh?).
It’s nearly Thanksgiving, our lights are lit, we already have had a great example of the Christmas spirit, and there are plenty of other projects to embrace. Why does that other stuff matter?
Why does the spirit of the season seem so far away? Why do we all appear so angry at one another and drawing lines of complaint based on another election in the thousands we have had in our nation since 1776?
Why can’t we focus on the good things going on, such as the van that the Hall family received from the wonderful giving spirit of all of you?
Why can’t we marvel at the art that dots our stores and galleries, the music that rings from our schools and the songs that are in the hearts of our children?
Why must we feel like jumping into our proverbial car and running over someone – beloved or not?
It’s about now that you are pointing a finger at me and saying that I’m making all of this worse. You think of me as being a mouthpiece that controls a conversation, and you aren’t happy with the topics.
You want to hear how my grandmother made dressing, how a woman mistook blueberry pie for apple at Thanksgiving or how we used to spend Thanksgiving Day on the farm. You deserve that, but so much of those memories seem drowned by a cacophony of anxiety.
Like the minister who couldn’t hear from his flock that his ministerial work wasn’t doing the job, even when they said so with vacant pews, some of us with a pulpit sometimes can come across as a bully.
So I vow for the next month to put aside my portion of politics and rhetoric and who-did-what-to-whom-and-why and concentrate on being thankful about the things in life that are our blessings.
We all have problems that seem insurmountable. We all have challenges that we don’t want to face. We all have decisions that are difficult to make. We all understand angst, some more gravely than others.
But as a friend posted on Facebook the other day – and I paraphrase – when you are faced with difficulty, God will give you the ability to fly or help you land softly.
Whether or not you are a believer like I am, at least you can embrace the thought that each of us can slice a piece of hope on Thanksgiving Day and unwrap a box of faith for your winter holiday of choice.
That’s where I want to be this holiday season, and that’s what I wish for each of you, that you find the moment to set aside all else and pull together the essentials, whether you join hands and bow heads around a table or simply send an E-mail or text to a loved one who isn’t as near as you would wish.
We have our lights turned on and our celebration alive. The spirit should be in the air, and I, for one, won’t let the noise take away the peace on earth that is the will of this season.
Come along for the ride. Just don’t aim your vehicle at anyone.