We may all be able to agree on one thing - we need to see the upside of our lives and appreciate that there is one. We all know Wonderland had a downside but let's look at where we are going rather than where we've been.
I had a vacation last month, invited to spend time with old friends in Florida. One couple live on Vero Beach where we were able to view the space shuttle launch less than 100 miles north. We went down on the boardwalk where people congregated in clusters, all facing north in anticipation. It was exciting to gather there and became thrilling as we watched the launch at dusk, one spectacular streak skyward. But the real highlight came from the assemblage of onlookers.
Clapping and cheering, a ripple of pride went through this crowd that could almost be physically grasped. We were proud to be Americans, watching an event that underlined how great a country we have. We are ingenious, ambitious. We look to the heavens, believing there is nothing we cannot do, nowhere we dare not venture.
We all know Wonderland had a downside
but let's look at where
we are going rather than where we've been.
While few among us are worth what we at least thought we were worth a year ago, are we not, if anything, smarter than we were, more appreciative of what we still have, willing to work harder? Perhaps we are a kinder, gentler country, even while we gather and count our marbles.
We are more determined, less lazy, more grateful,
less greedy, more
compassionate, less detached than in a long, long time.
Do we not see our values more clearly? Aren't we the country where any child knows he - or she - can grow up to be president? Aren't we making it crystal clear to our children that we do indeed care deeply how they make their fortune, and not necessarily that they make a fortune.
We are still here. We are more determined, less lazy, more grateful, less greedy, more compassionate, less detached than in a long, long time. We have always been very, very good at picking ourselves up after a fall and rising higher than before.
And this time, we may even know where and how we want to go. Let's get on with it.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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