There are many things going on in our world today that stand to shape where we go as a country. There’s the race problems that were highlighted in Ferguson (that’s an entire blog post of its own), there’s the issue or Russia invading Ukraine, there’s the significant possibility of a nuclear North Korea. Not to mention the beheading of Americans abroad and Christians from around the globe being persecuted for their beliefs.
In reaching out to friends about these events it occurred to me, the generation that is now in their mid-twenties neither knows nor cares about these things. They are passionate about which generation of iPhone is superior. They are outraged over the use of GMO’s in popular foods. They are outraged about the mistreatment of animals in the meat industry. In other words, they only care if it affects them directly.
This wouldn’t be a huge issues except, in a few short generations, they are going to be the ones running this country. And while healthy eating is important, it’s not going to matter if there are GMO’s if we are in the middle of another cold war but with Korea and Iraq this time. Putin isn’t going to care about mistreatment of animals if they invade us.
I blame it on a generation that spends their days posting pictures of everything, from themselves (selfies) to what they ate to their nail polish. Social media has trained them to broadcast everything every minute of their day. So they spend so much time thinking of themselves that they have become apathetic to the big happenings of the world.
How are you supposed to empathize with someone else if you only care about what affects you? And you can’t run a country without caring about the good of others. In thirty years we will have a generation of citizens that have no idea about having a social conscience. That aren’t passionate about making this a great county. That are so insular that things happening across the world don’t even show up on their radar.
What will happen when that time comes? When they can’t hashtag something away? When they have to get off their computer and smart phones and actually show up? When the fate of this country is in their hands?
We, my generation, has got to do a better job of getting them ready. We have to include them in the discussions. We have to redirect their radar so they see the big picture. Somewhere out there could be the next JFK or Ronald Reagan. We can’t let them waste themselves away posting funny Vines! Let’s make a commitment to inspire them. To give them our passion. To give them our patriotism. They are the future.
If there were a Guinness world record for weirdest dreams, I would hold that record hands down. By a long shot.
The first dream I actually remember was when I was perhaps seven. In it there was a Queen Anne chair that was deep purple that had a poster of WC Fields on the back. It was chasing me through some Victorian house trying to kill me. Oh, and it only had three legs. Although I overcame enough of that dream to love the color purple, WC Fields scares the bejeezus out of me to this day.
About six months ago give or take, I dreamt that I took an airplane to some Arab nation. The man I was interested in at that time met me there. Normal enough so far. But, he was a midget. And he was humping the windshield of a car.
A few months later I dreamt about the same man, not a midget this time. But a perfectly proportioned miniature. Like two foot tall.
The night before last I dreamt that my daughter, my father and I were all in the hospital. Never mind that my father has been gone for many years. We all got discharged and came to my home. My daughter was sleeping on the couch with my grandson, my father was asleep in the bed and I was trying to tell someone that I had taken an oxycodone but couldn’t think of the word. That person turned out to be my sister (who has passed) except she was my mother (who has passed) in my dream. She took me outside to tell me that my father was dying and I got furious because someone had stolen my mailbox.
Last night I dreamt that I got a new job. In my dream, my best friend and soon to be coworker was Khloe Kardashian. And I was angry at her because some mysterious thing had happened in April and she wouldn’t tell me about it. It had something to do with $817. Then Khloe and I were at the movies and Joey from Friends agent Estelle was our boss.
If anyone wants to take a crack at these, feel free.
But first, admit it. I hold the world record for weirdest dreams.
I remember in fifth grade when I first got glasses. My mom driving me home and me being in wonder that you could see each leaf on the trees. I always thought trees were just green blobs on the top of poles. People say that you look at things through rose colored glasses but I disagree. I think that sometimes we look at things without our glasses on.
Sometimes we want to see things blurrily because if we see the edges and details, then they might not look how we want them to. We see that guy as the guy that, that one time, said how great you were but don’t look at the times he chose someone else. We see that girl that said she liked you but don’t look at the fact that she was posting on Facebook or twitter but couldn’t be bothered to text back. Sometimes blurry is our friend.
Seeing things without sharp edges can help on those long, lonely nights but, if you never acknowledge the edges, you can get hurt. You can spend your time playing what if instead of recognizing what is. You can let a gorgeous leaf with its edges pass you by while you’re longing after the blurry tree.
I’m not saying that, when things come into focus, they never work out because sometimes they do. But, most times, actions speak louder than words and bringing things into focus shows you flaws that you miss from far away.
Daydreaming is great. I do as much or more than most. But, if I have learned one thing, it’s that, if you spend too much time dreaming, you’ll wake up one day to discover that life has passed while you had your eyes closed.
So, take some time to dream but open your eyes and live too. Long for the blurry what ifs but embrace the clear what is’ too.
Put your glasses on and marvel at the leaves!