On the other side

Bill Miles

Perhaps the headline atop this story needs disclaiming. While no one knows the future, we must remain hopeful. So, it’s not in the vein that my former legislative colleague Steve ‘Undertaker’ Holland means when he announces that someone has “crossed over” alluding to the Biblical River Jordan into eternity. I’m using the terminology as a metaphor for when we get on the other side of this virus crisis. In my opinion the world population has come as close to collectively encountering a ‘near death experience’ as possible. Too many have actually been victims. I’m not qualified scientifically to analyze what ‘might have been’. But I’ve been thinking about when this matter is behind us. While attempting to ‘social distance’ and seeing how hard that is to achieve, I’ve become reflective. Morning sun ups have more beauty. A sunset is a piece of art. Birds scurrying about to form new families are fascinating. Sitting in the sunshine is beneficial. What am I learning about all this? It’s emotionally disturbing to admit helplessness. For any whose heritage has impacted a determination to help make things better for successive family generations, it’s a daunting emotion. But we as a people will survive. I expect our culture will be in shock. We have few sociologists who will be willing to put their reputations on the line to predict how history will record our acts. For some time I have been 'leary' of folks using the vilest of their instincts to advance their own positions. This has become, as I say, in my opinion, common place in just about every level of humanity. Politicians have learned they can attract sentiment by battering actual and perceived opponents. Lies are now cloaked as something ‘o. k.’ Used to we’d simply call a person spouting obvious disparaging falsehoods a ‘liar’ and go on to the next topic. Retribution has destroyed independent service. On the other side I commit that I’ll hug members of my family of three successive generations more. I’ll attempt to be more tolerant of views different from mine. I’ll vow not to support a demagogue who tries to turn me against my neighbor just because we have a different philosophy. When a ‘loud mouthed know-it-all’ tries to dominate a conversation which I think validates the old saying, “it’s better to keep quiet and appear a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”, I’ll seek to have an important assignment elsewhere. Maybe we ought to consider a personal decorum and insist that those with whom we have influence will agree to do the same. I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of seeing TV shows chase audience ratings by covering obvious public relations shenanigans to promote a sad position. In a recent column I revealed that I am ‘unfriending’ some on Facebook because of posts they apparently like and accept. As in any situation, we encounter what I call ‘fair weather friends’. They’re here today and gone tomorrow. I am looking for a degree of stability. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I have a right not to hear or see it. Even with its calamity I’ve personally been impressed with New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo and his ‘updates’ about the virus in the Empire State. His command of words, the ability to articulate a message and identify with normal humans has caught the eye of many Americans. I was a fan of his father, a long time governor of New York himself. Mario Cuomo toyed with the idea of running for president in 1992. I determined to support him if he did. He did not. Two years later he was defeated in Newt Gingrich’s ‘Contract with America’ theme that resulted in a republican landslide nation-wide. The morning after his defeat, Mario Cuomo was asked by a TV commentator to reflect on why he lost. “It’s simple,” he said. “The Republicans have not had the opportunity to disappoint the American Public lately.” He was right. No politician can live up to his constituents’ total expectation. I found that out in my own public service. Upon assuming my legislative position, I realized that I began to disappoint because I could not do everything voters wanted and that even I aspired to achieve. Let’s look forward to getting to the other side together.

If you would like to contact Bill Miles you can email him at bill.t.miles@gmail.com

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