Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

I am having a difficult time trying to write my blog these days.The simple pleasures of life in the country have been dimmed. We are still painting furniture, feeding the birds and laughing at the dogs, but in truth it all feels trivial. There is such turbulence in our country, such divisiveness and fear. What happened to us when I wasn't looking? When did people become so afraid and so discontented? We live in a time with low unemployment, low interest on housing loans, a time when homes are selling once again, the Dow is reaching new heights and jobs go wanting for applicants. And yet we are not happy. I remember a movie I watched when I was a child. It was probably an old re-run and I doubt my parents even knew I watched it. I don't remember the name, but there are images in that film that have stayed with me to this day--and that are probably the basis for how I feel about people of different ethnicities and religions. In the movie there is a family that I think were Jewish, or perhaps the father was Jewish and had married a Christian woman. I cannot remember now. The family bought a home and moved into a neighborhood and at first were welcomed but when people realized they were different, the family was shunned. People quit talking to them; things were thrown at them on the street. Their house was vandalized with painted signs and warnings. I think the family had to leave town in the end. They had come to America to flee the persecution in their country.

I was probably not even 10 years old when I watched that movie. I don't remember the name of the movie, but I remember trying hard to understand what I was seeing. It fit nothing in my small universe then. But the fear of this family, and the ugliness of the whole thing stayed with me to this day. I can still see the father and daughter walking down a street and people peeking out from behind curtains, watching them. I wish I could remember the name of the movie. I would like to watch it again because I think it is relevant to our country today. We made our way through the Salem witch trials, the McCarthy era when even John Wayne was witch-hunting for actors and moviemakers thought to be Communists and helping to blacklist them in Hollywood. We made it through the unrest of the Civil Rights movement and have come a long way in that arena (although we still have a ways to go). 

And now, here we are again. In fear of the Other, of those different from us and our way of life. One would think we had learned something about fear from our own past, from the fear and hatred of World War II and even our own Civil War. But the lessons of history so often go unnoticed, don't they?

This will not turn into a political blog, but I may not be writing as much. Our everyday life pales in significance to the the daily news. I cannot bury my head in the sand and just hope everything will come out okay. 

I remember how the world did that in the 1930's.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

10 comments:

Boud said...

Yes, my own blog is harder to write. It's usually cheerful stuff but I can't fail to note what we're going through, and it seems trivial. Yet I m grateful to cheerful writers, too since I need that relief. Important not to go silent. Then evil will have won. Can't have that. I think we need to keep writing.

annie said...

Hugs, Granny Sue.
Bless you!

megan hicks said...

Was there a movie made of Sinclair Lewis's book KINGSBLOOD ROYAL?

This is Lord of the Flies; Heart of Darkness; 1984. Obviously, it's an old, old story. Look at all the great writers who have told it over and over again.

Anonymous said...

Sadly I think we're in this for the duration. It sounds like his solid base is thoroughly behind everything he's been doing. But like the resistance movements to Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, Nazism, etc., it takes time and persistence. Not getting discouraged and knowing you are on the right side of history.

Batsy in Idaho

Brig said...

It is beyond sad that the left is so terribly distraught over the choice that We the People made, without even giving this admin a chance...

Granny Sue said...

Three things, Brig: first, labels of "left" and "right" are too simplistic. People are more complicated than that. Second, "we the people" voted for Hillary by quite a few more than voted for Trump. So no, the majority did NOT choose this man. I'm not saying the electoral college needs to be changed, but the facts are the facts. Third, the opposing party did little to give Obama a chance and in fact threw roadblock after roadblock in his path. But you already know all this. It is easier to cry "sore losers" than to face the fact that the majority of Americans did not vote for this man, and there is nothing in the Constitution that restricts our right to say so.

Quinn said...

I'm paddling the same boat. It's a struggle. All of it.

Brig said...

You are correct, left and right are too simplistic, and we are a complex assortment. Trump was legally elected as President, I'm happy with my vote. But I'm not willing to let that lull me into thinking that change will come easy.
It is sad that HRC and Obama have not stepped up and helped to make this transition smoother.

Granny Sue said...

I don't fault anyone for their vote, Brig. We voted what we believed. And often even close friends and family have very different ideas about what is right. What this election has done is to spur many of us formerly quiet people into action. I will not sit back again; I will be working for what I want for this country and for my grandchildren's future. Part of what has many of us upset is that we didn't get out there sooner. So there is a good side to this--more people engaged in the process, paying closer attention than ever before, and speaking up. I admire your independence and strong beliefs. We can still talk and agree to disagree--that used to be what was great about our system. Name-calling has become the sad norm and I hope that we soon get past that and have real dialog once again. Hugs, my western friend.

B. WHITTINGTON said...

I understand your feelings and am on the same page politically. I pray that this new administration is successful. While I don't agree with anything so far, I'm willing to give them time. But how much time do we really have???
I've been trying to concentrate on positives. Funny movies and yes even laughing at Saturday Night Live.
God bless. Always enjoy reading your blog. I'm finally back after taking a month or so off. Hugs, B

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