Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?
I don’t remember. Probably not. And that’s all I have to say about today’s rerun prompt.
(to the rerun prompts)
So it got really cold here on Monday, dropped into the low teens on Monday night, and didn’t get much above 25° yesterday. More of the same today. If you live north of PA, or in the Midwest, you’ve already had some snow and cold temps. A friend of mine in Indiana says they got six inches of snow yesterday. She thinks it’s pretty.
I don’t know what has changed in me since last winter, but I find I’m not enjoying the cold, not looking forward to the inevitable sleet, ice, black ice, and wet, slippery snow that characterizes southeastern Pennsylvania. Maybe it’s because I’m 68, edging toward early old age (isn’t it funny the way age is being categorized these days? OLD old age doesn’t hit until you’re about 85) and I just don’t care to deal with all that the winter brings.
I agree that snow is beautiful—for the first day after it falls. After that it just turns dirty and grey and bothersome.
Well, enough complaining. What all this really has brought to mind is how much we Americans take for granted our oil heat, our wood-burning furnaces, our hot water heaters, our hot running water, our warm outdoor winter gear, our heated cars, our heated offices, and most recently my heated mattress pad.
Boy, talk about luxury. I switched it on last night when I got home from work, around 9:30. By the time I crawled into bed, the pad was delightfully warm and soothing. Luxury.
As I drifted off to sleep, I was thinking about people who live on the street, who have no place to go on these frigid nights. Some go to recue missions; others are housed in old, run-down hotels at the government’s expense. Many of them just huddle over a warm grating, or crawl into a makeshift “room” made of cardboard and plastic garbage bags, and they lie there and shiver through the night. Sometimes they die.
It’s not true that all street people want to be street people. When you have nowhere, no one, no money, no possibility of finding work, you’re pretty helpless.
What’s interesting to me is that even as America drifts more and more toward becoming a socialist state where everyone gets an equal share of the wealth, we still have this growing population of the homeless, the hungry, the destitute. Poverty was never eliminated in any socialist country you can name, ever. The theory sounds so righteous and noble: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The trouble is, it’s still up to fallible human beings to decide who gets what, and who has to give up their “wealth.” And who is wealthy? Strangely, it’s the so-called middle class that gets hit the hardest, and many of the members of that layer of society end up becoming impoverished because the government that is so nobly taking care of the poor has taken more of their money, through taxation, than they can afford to lose.
I’ll never understand why anyone still thinks socialism is a good system. It’s true, you hear stories from the European countries of how wonderful it is; medical care is more available, education less expensive, etc. What you don’t hear so much about is the lack of entrepreneurship, the rate of alcoholism, and the spike in suicide.
Another aspect of all this is that socialist states typically leave God out of the equation, so that government becomes the Great Benefactor and arbiter of all that is right or wrong. Why is that a problem? Because government is made up of people: Human beings with the innate desire to advance themselves.
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton, 19th century British historian).
Our American President has once again taken up his pen and his phone and circumvented Congress, issuing more Executive Orders that are not in line with our Constitution. His power is corrupting him, and what truly concerns me is that it seems to be corrupting the American people as well. We just sit here and take it. No one stands up. No one seems to know how to stop him.
Well. This has been a ramble, hasn’t it? See what happens when I ignore the daily prompt?