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Point of View: A Time to Engage, Rather Than Rage

Wed, 12/22/2021 - 11:13

"It says here," Mary said, looking up from the AARP magazine, "that Social Security is going to run out by 2035."

"That's bad news," I said, but then brightened on realizing we'd be dead by then.

Just kidding, of course, though you've got to laugh. It's all pretty absurd, isn't it? In fact, I've got a sign over my door at the office that says, "Let no one untrained in absurdity enter here." Here's an example: We pride ourselves on our freedoms and we are proud of those who have fought to preserve them, and yet we seem intent on subverting the ethos we extol, gladly welcoming, or if not gladly, tacitly acquiescing to, tyranny, with which we dallied not long ago.

Once burned, twice shy, you might say, though it may be that we all have a death wish.

It's always easier to destroy than to build, Mary keeps telling me. Perhaps that's why we're at each other's throats, on the Internet and elsewhere — it's easier. You can zap people with the same ease as a microwave would heat your dinner. It doesn't take much thought. Just stick it in. Just stick it to them.

To act rationally, in contrast, is not all that easy — some economists tell us that it is irrationality that informs most consumers' choices — but it is worth a try, worth a try if you want to work toward fulfilling this country's promise, which, if you're an American citizen, should be your aim, not division, not secession.

Christmastime is as good a time as any to think of the blessings that might flow from a less antipathetic, a more thoughtful, climate.

It's as good a time as any to say let's engage rather than rage.


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