Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Thought

by Penrod

I miss the 1900s. I wish I were writing the date 1973 for example rather than 2000. Does that mean that I want to be back in 1973? Not really, I just pulled that year out of the hat. It’s the 19 that I miss and with it the idea of my life in that century.

About this time of the year in 1973 (since that year’s come up), I was an anxious but very blessed person. Blessed with money, a fine house, a beautiful wife, lot’s of play, and a great young son. We had plenty of friends and the Vikings of the Purple People Eaters were challenging for the Super Bowl. Youth, health, wealth, and a winning team. Not bad.

When I complain about writing 2000, I am not thinking about my joy in past times. But, it’s a shame that I must cross out the 19 of 19__ on one set of checks and write in 20 above it. Oh, well.

Two thousand isn’t that bad. I’ve got nothing significant to grouse about. Aches and pains, yes; declining physical performance on multiple fronts, yes. But, pretty good health, friends, sufficient income, decent, not very taxing, work, great children and a good relationship with them, some free time, a loving wife, and an engaging avocation. America is prosperous and the country can tolerate an undecided election without violence and without going to pieces.

For billions of people, though, the world is pretty rough. It’s not rough for me but I don’t like that there are those billions of people for whom it is rough. I don’t like that the roughness of life in other parts of the world and even in this country, threatens me. I don’t like that corporations are so powerful and that the value of making money within this corporate system seems to be regarded as the most reliable measure of practicality and as the surest ground for ethical rightness. Many seem to think, given the ambiguities of life, that the "bottom line" is the only realistic guide for personal and social direction.

I don’t like it when people bad mouth taxes which are some of my best spent money. I get streets, parks, schools, fire, and police for the expenditure to mention just a few benefits. I don’t like the opinion that private wealth is more important and more valuable than commonwealth. I don’t like to write 2000.

But, in spite of this, I watch snowflakes fall as I sit in peace, looking out, listening to Christmas music. I am indeed blessed.

Penrod says that, in thinking about him, one should think first of Booth Tarkington's Penrod, the boy writer, and then of the mighty pen of Martin Luther with its power like unto the rod of Aaron.

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