On the Downslope of Life

The kid is no longer the kid. I’m a baby boomer on the downslope of life. At an age where I have no patience with selfish, racist, liars, or people without good principles. Despite the odds, once domesticated, I lived my life by certain principles amid respect for those who solve issues rather than create them. I’ve enjoyed making some things happen instead of watching problems develop that may affect family or me.
Now, I’m at life’s junction where a lot of people (like me) tend to look at our failures along with our accomplishment. I can proudly look back on my life and say, I could have done better, but I always refused to be a two-faced unrealistic person. As a very young boy, I learned that honest communication should be a written law between all people. It’s a wonderful exercise in exchanging ideas and just talking about experiences. Most folks love it when you approach them with sincerity. Those that don’t have other things on their mind. They usually do not share them because it’s not very pleasant in nature. And God forbid, may be based on a simple misunderstanding.
Like you, there are people out there, including a few family members, who have no clue as to who I am. Nor do they care. There is no doubt everyone who really knows me is aware where I stand on specific issues. My aim and mantra have always been intended to use common sense solutions to any problem with anybody. It has left me with some who are confused, dislike, or vehemently disagree with my thought process. And that’s ok. This is not a cry out for everyone to like me. So be it, life and I go on. The point is while arriving at specific points in one’s life, a look back is reflective in more ways than one. An accomplishment always leaves us with a good feeling.
I’ve seen our Baby Boomer generation contribute a lot of outstanding ideas to the US and World society that is still in place. Yet, there was a lot left undone. We left open sores in our political process. Those open sores allowed for the seepage of an unhealthy virus to get inside our psychic. We took our eye off the pulse of the nation and allowed the infestation of a totalitarian, racist person as the President of the United States. The result has almost been the death of reasonable and common sense in the House of Representatives and Senate replaced by the strange and absurd every day. The nation’s Chief Executive tweets are initiated as a testing ground for pinpointed hit jobs. While Twenty-five to Thirty percent (if we are to believe that) of Americans support these actions. It makes you wonder who these people are who harbor strange ideas about our US Democracy.
Do you remember when Tabloids at grocery stores exhibited outrageous and untrue headlines? The Enquirer and Examiner had crazy headlines and stories of aliens or monsters in your neighborhood, backyard or house. Those hardline percentage of people sincerely believe stories from those newspapers. As noted the absurd is now the norm from selected viewpoints. Who would have thought anyone, American or otherwise with the least amount of common sense would agree with most of Trumps and Republican Party policies? But then here we are in 2018. It is what it is.
The good news is that seventy percent of our citizens still believe in clarity within our Democracy. They still believe in the purpose and goals of average America. So, all is not lost as long as we utilize our right to vote during this year’s midterms. The country that most of us know and love may yet survive the current attack by hackers and power-hungry politicians.
It still makes us proud to see young folks believing in the American process of Democracy. The Florida high school youngsters no longer want to be used as targets. Of as their mantra states “Never Again.” A majority of the time, the young folk’s voice rises above the chaos. Who in their right mind needs an assault type weapon specially made to inflict the most amount of damage on a soldiers’ enemy. Target practice they say. Target practice for what? That weapon is designed to obliterate all in its sights including target stands, etc.
It is one of the first time, I have seen such an all-hands-on-deck reaction from the NRA. Everybody to the front is their organizational cry. Pass on the rhetoric. Never mind that it’s senseless. They are coming for your guns. Arm the teachers, sell to anybody who has the paying price. The 2018 midterm election is going to be the target date of the action. Seventy percent of Americans favor new gun laws. What will you be doing, or more directly will you make your vote count? Or are you one who talks rather than put your beliefs into action?
I bring these two topics up because senseless political reasoning is not limited to politics. It has spread to all aspects of our society including family relationship. Just the other day, I had a with my youngest son. The subject was people and relationships. He, almost a qualified preacher, told me that he didn’t really know me until he read “Remembering Moz.” A book I wrote in dedication to my father’s life. He also wished he had more interaction with his Grandfather. Unfortunately, I moved my family west and away from mid-west home of their grandparents, cousins, etc. Professionally it was a great move for his mother and me.
On the one hand, his remark made me proud that he had gotten something out of the book. On the other hand, he confirmed my suspicions that he tuned out most of those person to person conversations I had with him about people, family, and life. The good news, he still has much of his life in front of him. Hopefully, the foundation that my wife and I tried to implant onto his growing personality will serve him.
The entire conversation enabled me to recall, how much valuable time is wasted on people who don’t communicate with each other. In the end, he made me feel good about communicating with each other. Keeping in mind that communication must be based on honesty. Wow, what a thought for family, social, or political processes. Two or more people sitting down to work out a misunderstanding, problem or societal issue with no hidden agenda. Imagine the solutions that would arise from those efforts. As the song says, “What a wonderful world this would be.”
Peace & Blessing…stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a 2018 day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II
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