A couple of weeks ago Kathy shot 90 on a rather difficult golf course for women. It occurred to me that for some that is a fabulous accomplishment. For others it was a lousy round.That night there was a stunning sunset and the day’s last rays lit up the sky with pastels and hues that would challenge Monet’s pallet. For some the day was partly sunny and for others it was cloudy with a chance of rain.
Now this all would cause one to wonder if an afternoon thunder burst is ruinous to your picnic or a welcome relief for parched fields? Is there shocking beauty in a tropical storm as it pounds a coast or a curse on Mother Nature for economically destroying one of those very lucrative weeks of the summer? Last week a fellow joined us for a scotch and cigar at Churchill’s and proclaimed this winter to be the best one yet for weather in Palm Springs. Sunny and gorgeous day after day. Somehow I think he missed the other side of the fence where drought threatened a way of life in the Imperial Valley.
I watched Frontline and I saw the strife in Ukraine and Syria. It was compelling and perplexing. Was it all that important whether or not you were a nationalist or ethnic Russian? For these people it was and they were willing to kill their neighbors to prove a point. To me it was insane but maybe they said the same in 1780’s about those whack job colonialists. From my easy chair they were bickering malcontents and to them it is their homeland and their heritage. How arrogant of me.
As I wander around my little spectrum I keep an ear to the ground as to what is going on around me. It gives me way too many ideas and that of course is the way Ted’s Head operates. Last week a young man was trying to differentiate between networks and communities and that seemed to be a good point to ponder. Today we have social networks but are they really social? We slip on and off anonymously. We may or not post but lying low is usually the norm. Now in community we interact. We see each other face to face. We have to be more responsible. You are right in front of me. It’s like small towns. You are my neighbor. I am responsible for you in every aspect of the word. I can’t leave you on the street bleeding any hurting. Big cities? Who gives a shit? Look at Chicago on Fourth of July weekend.
Many years ago I travelled through the World Trade Center as I went home from Wall Street. One night the rush hour was waning and I bounded down a flight of stairs trying to catch the 6:25 to my sweet little burgh of Chatham. At the foot of the walkway on the cold marble floor lay a man in a rapidly growing pool of blood. He had slit his wrist and the world was passing him by maybe even wishing good riddance to this poor bastard. I wrapped my handkerchief around his wrist and told a person to stay with him while I ran to get a Port Authority cop. After they took him away I couldn’t help but wonder how many had blown by him laying there? Network or community?
Good old Father Pat blasted me right between the eyes at 7:30 mass. He spoke of a thing called compassion. Webster calls it a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.That is pretty cool. I can do that. But wait a minute. He said we really don’t have true compassion. What? He said for most people it only goes so far. You can feel badly for family, friends and even coworkers. But that does not count for Blacks or Hispanics. You can feel that way for Americans but not Syrians, Iraqis, Jews or Palestinians. Thanks coach. I knew you wouldn’t make this easy. You mean I can’t pick and choose.
This whole social order thing is proving to be rather complex. Back in NJ for the wedding this weekend everything seemed to slow down. It was held at this idyllic church in a tiny town surrounded by large country estates. Fr. Paddy exemplifies everything Irish and as he finished the rite with his sung Irish Blessing there was nothing but good will toward men. The reception was replete with intelligent young people who were on their way up the corporate ladder but who had not acquired the airs of swells. The music was loud and raucous. Nothing but good times here. We stayed at Kathy’s sister’s house and the Morris County Record didn’t go beyond local fare. That was just fine.
On the way to the airport I took a wrong turn and wound up in a rather run down part of Newark. No tree lined streets here. At the Hudson Newsstand I picked up the New York Times. What did I do that for? Major portions of the world were fighting for turf and annihilating anything in their way. Citi was paying $7 billion to the feds and docs were cheating Medicare. Mexican border crises, drunk drivers in head on crashes and Midwest flooding rounded out the high points…or low points as it were. Sorry TTG this is life.
I am torn somewhere between this thing called acceptance and activism. I get networks but I so love community. I have not grown so cold that I can just look the other way. Your world is my world. I get all the legal ramifications but don’t you feel the slightest bit of remorse for a 12 year old Honduran who was just born in the wrong place? Then again I wonder if I am compassionate if I am equally pissed off at Palestinians and Israelis alike? I understand that things must change and with them our views on life. Yet somewhere there has to be love for one another that doesn’t have boundaries or limitations. Now that is a beauty I think we could all behold. Not easy but let’s keep looking.
Ted The Great
Kathy Kenny was ready to give up golf and Lakewood Country Club a few weeks ago …..before her 90.
In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths resulting form car crashes. There were 38,364 people who decided to take their own lives. That number might actually be low because of the way local officials report causes of death.
There are more than twice as many Israelis as there are Palestinians in the war zone. At the same time 87% of the deaths since 2000 are Palestinian. But the majority of the Israeli deaths are to civilians. Try getting your arm around those figures and come up with a solution.
There are roughly 1200 people per square mile in New Jersey. 858 in Massachusetts. 417 in New York. In Montana there are 7 per square mile. 6 in Wyoming and 1.3 in Alaska.
There are 27,532 per square mile in New York City.11,884 in Chicago. 3922 in Denver. 2100 in Sioux Falls, SD.
You would think with all those people crammed together there would be community.