Thursday, August 31, 2006

Talking and Walking….

Two nights ago while walking our two psycho dogs, my father asked me what I thought about the idea of a mandatory service of some kind. It did not necessarily need to be military but could be any kind of “service”. This then started an interesting conversation. Through a number of questions from me, he explained more fully his idea and reasons for wanting such a program initiated which is why I write about this. Unity was the end desire of the mandatory service. I shared experience that all could call upon to unify the country. Something that seems to be in short supply these days, if it can be found at all. This could very quickly and easily become me talking on how the current administration has messed things up- but I will not say more than that. I think a rift has fallen across us. This rift exists on multiple levels.

What will this “unity” really do for us? What does it look like, in what form can it be found? Is it perhaps a generation thing? Something we will hear our parents talk about but never truly find again?

Unity is defined as the state of being one; a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one; the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification

A cause to unify us behind….seems like there has to be something; anti-terrorist, human rights, faith, justice….Or are these all the things that have us do disgruntled with each other.

My next question is how much of this has to do with the government. Is it the government’s job to create a shared experience or bring unity to the masses? I’ve seen too many revolutionary movies that bring the feel of Big Brother to answer with a ‘yes’ to that question. In my view it is the government’s job to provide for the people. The people should not fear or despise their government. That I think is one of the current problems. So many of us do fear and despise the government…and others feel it’s on the right track or at least looking in the right direction.

Can we find unity again?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I was very recently scolded for not properly updating on recent events and experiences. After all what is the point of this thing if I do not…

The past three weeks have been full of a variety of experiences, some new, some first and others possibly lasts. While on a family vacation, I went west of the Mississippi River for the first time and traveled through six states previously never seen. On vacation I saw the expansive vistas of Wyoming, two of my cousins reported to their posts in the Gaza Strip and in Southern Lebanon, I went on a 12 mile hike through the mountains and it became more complicated to fly between the U.S. and Britain due to a foiled terrorist plot. Upon returning from out west I spent two nights and one day at home before promptly returning to the car for a arduous drive south to Florida, making a layover in Tennessee.

The two-week family vacation was a great get away from the stresses of everyday life, but also brought a few stresses of its own. Camping with one’s family does get tiring by day 10, smelling of campfire and waking up in 34 degree weather is also not all that enjoyable. I was in awe as we traveled through Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons though. The wildlife and nature virtually untouched by people is amazing. The Grand Tetons were beautiful and provided a gorgeous panoramic view as the family and I hiked around a lake at their base.

In Florida I visited my Father’s side of the family, the majority of which I had not seen for five years. The banter and sarcastic remarks begun upon arrival. The usual comments were made about how I looked like my father and how I responded like him (sarcastically).

The last three hours of the car journey home were painful, literally and figuratively. Board out of my mind and feeling the effects of a chugged sprite I wined and complained the whole of the last 150 miles, much to my sister’s and mother’s pleasure no doubt. Now that I am home for the night I have little desire to unpack yet again and then repack. My newly engaged roomie from school and I are heading back to GR for the remainder of the weekend tomorrow morning. At this point I dread getting into a car again, but I long to see the friends and familiar surroundings that I will not be joining this fall. As I ran errands tonight I realized it was probably the last time I would be driving “my” car. As one of my sisters is leaving for school herself Sunday before I return, tonight is the last time I will see her until next summer. This will be my last trip for quite some time to GR and the school I have called home for the past four years. With my tickets for London sitting on my dresser my future seems to slowly be lining up. Details have still to be worked out, but seem to be within sight.