Saturday, March 18, 2006

If only I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't waste my youth chasing boys and drooling over new outfits (which I couldn't buy). I'd concentrate on learning a lot . And I'd spend my middle years learning even more. Here I am, in my final years, just wising up to all there is to learn in this world.

Perhaps this melancholy hindsight is brought on by the weight of the reality that with today's birthday, I'm fast approaching 70. Egads! Or perhaps, I'm berating myself for a misspent youth because I just returned from seeing the four finalist documentaries from this year's Academy Awards. Of the four that were screened today, the superb documentary on Norman Corwin moved me to tears. Listening to the program he wrote, directed and aired on May 8, 1945, the end of WWII, was so moving as were the excerpts from the program he wrote for CBS on the Bill of Rights. What a talent! Why haven't I read his work? Another great talent I missed while being amused by some frivolous pastime.

We are so fortunate to live in a country where our Bill of Rights allow us to speak our opinions without fear of reprisal. Our founding fathers had the foresight to assure our freedom from tyranny and it's our job now to not allow anyone, regardless of position, to infringe on those rights.

Loved listening to Studs Terkel's remark that we who say "This is America, if you don't like it, leave it" are wrong...we are free to speak our mind; free to criticize without being ostracized. Give thanks for the Bill of Rights and defend it.

On Thursday, I had the privilege of serving on the jury of a criminal case. Our justice system has insured that each citizen has representation and is innocent until proven guilty. Another vindication that living in America is a blessing that we often take for granted. And it's not a game of semantics when we differentiate between not guilty and innocent. It assures that, with a panel of peers, the accused cannot be unjustly convicted. Yet, I also witnessed how easily it is for 'gut instinct' to play havoc with 'reasonable doubt'. Scary.

We are living in difficult times, at best. High unemployment, escalating housing costs, rampant crime, outrageous National Debt, at war with no visible end in sight. And saddest of all, an apathetic general population with no more interest in current events beyond the latest reality TV show. Heaven only knows where we are heading.

No food with today's post, folks. Just a little food for thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think thirst for knowledge as we age is common. I had a philosophy teacher who said we had it all backwards. When we are young we should have a sports car and travel. When we are older we are ready to settle down to education.

I don't think that would really go over well, but it seems a better match for our biology...