God knows I was no angel growing up! I once attempted to chloroform our babysitter, Ms. Larabie, with another wayward friend…so we could party undisturbed. My list of adolescent transgressions is way too long to list here…perhaps the most painful from my parent’s perspective was the time I ran away from a very expensive private school after being discovered by the headmaster, huddled around a huka with my buddies after a Sly & the Family Stone concert! The irony of that horrible memory was that it was my soccer coach from that school who saw something in me that he “believed” in, and it triggered the switch that changed my life…although it would be some years later before the lights would actually come on!
But it wasn’t until the Autumn of my life, when I actually sat down with paper and pen and wrote a long emotionally sincere note to my Mother thanking her for all she and my father had done to try and pass a set of values on to me and my sisters. I have to confess that it was the waking up to our country going down that jolted me to a crystal clear appreciation and awareness of what we are in the process of losing!
You know we’re in trouble when a prestigious New Jersey University pays a character named Snooky $32,000 to “speak” on campus. Or the “Rock Star from Mars” himself, Charlie Sheen (who I’ve unofficially dubbed, The Pope of Pottersville) hauls in how many millions to play Carnegie Hall? Once upon a time you had to practice to get to Carnegie Hall…now you just have to be a train wreck that a broken society cannot resist gaping at!
It’s just plain heart-breaking to see what we’ve allowed ourselves to become! It has become too painful to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news. And the fact of the matter is that we are becoming or have already become numb to it. “It’s just the way things are.” we tell ourselves. Or, our complaining about corrupt career politicians might elicit the response, “So, what else is new?”
Are we destined to the fate of Rome? Our canary in the coal mine clue is not the Charlie Sheen’s and Snooky’s in our midst. That parade stretches way back! The sirens wailing loud enough for most of us to hear are in the numbers of us who actually paid the price of admission!