When I was first married, I understood that I was assuming certain duties, responsibilities, and obligations. I had a wife, kids, a job, parents, friends, and a small presence in the community. It was PTA meetings for my wife and little league coaching for me. I was comfortable. In fact, I had seen this very same story before. Actually, I had previously lived it because my parents at one point were, in essence, me. Or, perhaps I should say that essentially I was behaving just as my parents did all those years ago when I was a young child.
As I now watch my children raise their kids and establish their place in the community, I smile as I see the cycle of life continue. In addition, in the grocery stores, at the park, and in the churches, I also observe young parents with children looking forward to a life that they know was already established by prior family members. Every new generation assumes that if they fulfill their duties to the best of their abilities by being a good husband or wife, father or mother, friend and community participant, so too will their government leaders act accordingly.
Yet, nobody tells you when you first start out that your money in the bank could be at risk and they don’t inform you that the military — which we are all so proud of — could be used for personal purposes and gain. No one notifies us that all the hours of teaching our kids right from wrong, ethical vs. unethical, and moral vs. immoral, can be instantly undone by a government state that believes it knows better. We are all so busy in our day-to-day lives that “history” is something relegated to our junior year in high school — merely a class that we were forced to take if we wanted to graduate. Indeed, nobody forewarns us that history repeats itself again and again. If only we took the time to learn the lesson. But with kids, soccer practice, iPhone mania, work, daily chores and meals, who has time? Which is exactly the reason that when reality ultimately hits home, whether it’s Pearl Harbor, Nixon’s resignation, 20% inflation, the dot-com crash, 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, or the Lehman Brothers collapse, it seems we are always very surprised that somehow our world is different. Yes, we always get through it and become much more knowledgeable along the way, yet we’re always ready to return to our past existence and believe that somehow in the future our leaders will be different.
It seems the cycle has sped up and now it’s just a matter of time before the young kids that I observed in the park over this past Memorial Day weekend will have their lives forever changed by Operation Fast and Furious, the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the IRS “targeting” scandal, and the AP phone hacking calamity.
The little league soccer matches, iPhone hysteria, and the neighborhood picnic will somehow seem a little different. And we, who are older, know exactly how that feels.