OUR TOWN IN TROUBLED TIMES


OUR TOWN IN TROUBLED TIMES



Whether you're looking out your window or watching the TV you see troubling things. As I turned 67 on the fourteenth I am speaking as someone who has personally experienced the Cuban missile crisis, the Watergate hearings, the 9/11 and the Iraq war and the rise of the crack cocaine and opioid crisis as well as the loss of jobs overseas and hope at home, with all the accompanying sadness of the ability of individuals to set communities on fire with machine guns and trucks used as battering rams to drive the message of their nihilism home. There are almost certainly rough waters just ahead. There will be shocks and a new normal in high uncertainty. But listen to me as neighbors in my community please.


There's an old saying that rather than covering the world with leather it is better to wrap your feet in leather, and likewise for troubled times the best shoes to put on in the morning is goodwill towards all.


It is not the time to spend every cent you make or can borrow on toys or vacations. It is not the time to take on more financial obligations. It is the time to be sober and be clear about just how much you need to make it from week to week and month to month. It is good to imagine you are preparing for an earthquake here in Oregon. To have batteries to last you for a few months? Rice and beans in screwtop plastic garbage cans? You have large rubber containers that you can fill with water from the garden hose and some iodine, a few drops in each? Do you know your next-door neighbors? It's time to quietly prepare for an earthquake seriously. It is a time to set money aside with the idea in mind you might go 3 months in a row without any checks in the mail. Just as an exercise. It is a good time to realize that angry men come to blows over the most ridiculous of reasons, and remember that all human beings have the same feelings and failings.


It is a good time not to wear your heart on the sleeve and it is a good time to start watching your tongue. In troubled times the best shoes to put on are goodwill to all.  


Leo Rivers, CGOR


391 words

 © Leo Rivers 2016