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Point of View: What the Lights at Night Signify

Wed, 12/27/2023 - 16:12

Vermont’s aging population — the presager apparently of a nationwide trend — is pleading for help up there, and people who want to work in this country are being beaten back at the Rio Grande. Go figure. The Republicans in Congress — may they all move, then, to Russia — are threatening to let Ukraine, a democratic country invaded and bombed by Putin, hang out to dry if draconian methods are not used at the border to thwart the democratic aspirations of asylum-seekers. Go figure. Extra! Extra! Voters in this country, a land that is said to be governed by the rule of law, say they’ll vote for Trump even if he’s convicted. Go figure.

And, in the Gaza Strip, it seems as if victory over Hamas, albeit an understandable goal, might not be declared until a good number of its residents are dead.

O tidings of hatred and fear, hatred and fear/ O tidings of ha-a-tred and fear.

It’s enough to give you a migraine headache, one which, while it might not be fatal, may nevertheless make you want to kill yourself.

Temperance may cure us — Aristotle’s golden mean between extremes, which, to achieve, requires some thought, perish the word — but there’s little chance of that, it seems, humans hating and prating the way they do, and inattentive as they are to the causes of discontent and to ways in which that discontent might be lessened (suffering admittedly always being with us — as are, at times, comfort and joy).  

These thoughts, I know, are not in keeping with the Christmas season, which celebrates reconciliation and holds out hope for humankind.

All the lights I see at night in our neighborhood argue against despairing utterly, however, testifying, as they do, to the brotherhood of man.

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