The Deep End

Does it seem like things are out of control? It could be because they are. Emotions rule many decisions on a national and state level. To be sure, most people are still thoughtful and take enough time to consider the facts before deciding to take down, move, dig up, censure, and act as if we just noticed it. We cannot relegate a civil war to something other than what it was. Those old history books just keep popping up. There aren’t enough fires to burn them all.

The Civil War happened. We didn’t live through it. Our forebears did. Hardly a family in this country remained untouched in a personal way, whether life, property, livelihood, or the general scars of a fight no one wanted. Erasing all the signs of a war is almost a guarantee it will happen again. Why is the holocaust museum valuable? So we won’t allow the same thing to happen to a group of people again.

Perhaps it has not occurred to those who demand things be changed immediately that they will hear objections in the same tone and intensity. If the demands are strong and loud, so will be the objections. The physics law applies: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What we need is responses, not reactions. A few days is hardly time to respond. Being offended has become the national pastime, and the competition is fierce. Even normally level-headed people are caught up in it. From one day to the next, a flag or statue that has flown or stood for decades is suddenly a bad thing and must be removed. Oh, if the government red tape could vanish so quickly more often!

If we have not learned to think before acting, we will find ourselves forgetting that a battle flag was used in battle. I would think remembering that would be a good way to remind ourselves people died under that flag, and re-commit ourselves to avoiding such a conflict. Maybe we will.

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