I'm proud of us!! Memorial Day weekend is suddenly here and some of us are actually making plans for small safe gatherings. With each of our realities -- as individual as our thumbprint -- changing from day to day, we press on.
What's considered "safe" these days? Who knows for certain?
I was fortunate enough to grow up with parents who were ahead of their time and taught me critical thinking skills. They encouraged me to not only ask questions, but to question everything. One of my mother's many mantras which remains indelibly inked in my mind is the statement, "There are two sides to every story."
Well, Dear Hearts, I have learned that isn't always the case. Typically, I find there are many sides to every tale.
My curiosity can be annoying at times, I'll admit. However, I'm Grateful I wasn't raised to be a robot; which is why, after doing my own research, looking at all the so-called "science" about this virus from seemingly reputable sources, my many questions remain. I still don't know the Truth.
And I hate to be the one to break it to you, Dear Hearts, but neither do you.
Please don't misunderstand. I'm all about science. However, scientists are like theologians: they study; experiment; search for a result and / or a solution; want the best for everyone; yet, they cannot agree. And . . .like any other profession, scientists are human and can be owned by politicians, succumb to threats, or be primarily motivated by money.
Along with politicians and the media, scientists quote a lot of statistics. As either my college professor of Statistics . . . or was it Economics? (Don't judge me. It's been a minute.) . . .said way back in the day: "Statistics don't lie. . . but liars use statistics."
Whatever your party preference with regard to this health-crisis-turned-political-football, it doesn't really matter. Each side, please put your thumbs away as I state this claim because both parties have their demons. I would not even begin to defend them. What matters is the Truth . . .something which we are in extremely short supply. A real crisis -- COVID-19 notwithstanding.
In the 1992 movie, "A Few Good Men" -- one of my old favorites -- actor Tom Cruise, playing a fresh young JAG officer who bravely confronted Jack Nicholson's role as an older decorated Marine, made the following quote famous: "You can't handle the truth!"
I'm here to tell you, America's response to this accusation is a resounding "Yes, we can!"
We just need to know what it is.
I'll spare you a history lesson, but discovering the Truth and not backing down is the foundation and continued source of our country's success -- and is the bedrock of genuine freedom.
Even Superman's victory shout was "For Truth, Justice, and the American way!"
Yes, the Truth can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow -- and the seven deadly sins of lust, greed, lies, etc. will typically rear their ugly heads in the process -- but we cannot thrive, much less survive, without knowing the real.
Meanwhile, we press on.
Years ago, when my late husband served in the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Army Reserves during the Iraq War, I learned this new-to-me military term: "Adjust Fire!". As you can guess, it is an order or request to initiate an adjustment of fire in artillery and naval gunfire support. Sounds simple enough, yes? Not exactly. For an entire platoon, or even a gun turret to pull back, move out, and allow for the six elements of a call for fire is not akin to slapping the red "That Was Easy" button advertised by Office Depot.
But we do it.
We've all been doing it long before sheltering-in-place and slow openings. For instance: I cannot imagine what it has taken for restaurants to "adjust fire" -- working at full speed yet with perhaps fifty percent or less staff, meeting new requirements on a dime, not to mention additional safety measures dumped on top of the already-in-place demands -- but they're doing it. For us!
Pandemic or not, businesses, hospitals, clergy, teachers, et al . . .we find a way, Dear Hearts . . .
not to sneak around, but to be aware of everyone's concerns, follow the rules, and still get the job done.
The rest of us grouse about the inconveniences and social isolation (again, put your thumbs away as this Happy Heart Writer wears the mask in public, washes her hands, and remains six feet apart from folks). But when it hits home, we also get creative and come up with the best ways to celebrate. I, for one, hope the drive-by birthday, baby shower, wedding anniversary, and graduation celebrations are a continued time-honored tradition. It's a grand idea, even neighbors love it, and everyone has a blast!!
And speaking of our graduates!! How PROUD are we of the classes of 2020, yes?!
Let's hear it! We howl at various times of the evening for our heroic hospital workers and first responders (another fun activity). Let's scream and shout for these students who have worked tirelessly; are NOT complaining about having their senior year of activities and graduation walk yanked out from under them; and are more concerned about people who are ill, dying, and out of a job than their hard-earned right to march across a stage in cap and gown!! . . .not to mention, prom, senior trips, sports and music scholarships, etc. Be PROUD of them, parents, grandparents, and America!! Dear Hearts, I proclaim this generation as the next "Greatest" one.
So . . .scientists, politicians, media et al: As you work toward figuring things out, conducting research, flushing out solutions, dictating to the masses -- and we find some way this weekend to honor the men and women who have died while defending the perfect formula of Truth Equals Freedom -- please remember that statistics and data are not what has moved this country forward. It is the examples of leadership with heart like that of the aforementioned businesses, helpers, and non-profits that are America's steam engine.
In order to continue to be a "free country", simply tell us the Truth. Even if it means, right now, you don't know what that looks like at the moment.
I am proud to declare . . . We'll handle the rest.
"And you shall know the Truth. And the Truth shall set you free." - John 8:32